Your Guide to Fall Bulbs
After a long winter, as the ground finally begins to soften and the first hints of green grass emerge from beneath the snow, the unexpected joy of a blooming Snowdrop or spring Crocus is like candy for our eyes. Spring-blooming flowers like tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and snowdrops are the first, riotous colour in an Ontario garden. They bring the landscape back to life, and brighten our worlds in a celebration of vivid colours. Our full selection of spring-blooming bulbs has just arrived in our stores. Here’s a preview of our favourite types, and how to plant them now for an outstanding garden next year!
The Earliest Bloomers
The first colour to appear in our gardens after the winter is a most welcome sight! The earliest bloomers, such as the aptly-named Snowdrops, or bright blue Scilla, and cheerful Crocus begin pushing through the melting snow in April. In general, these earliest blooming plants tend to be quite small, so they’re ideal for planting near entrances and walkways, where they can be noticed and appreciated.
In late April, the Hyacinths begin to appear in the garden. These compact, colourful flowers are full of saturated colour in tones of blue, purple, pink, white or cream. Hyacinths are also incredibly fragrant, which makes them ideal for planting near entry areas or windows, allowing their sweet scent to be enjoyed when they bloom. Plant Hyacinths at the front of borders, where taller plants can fill in behind them. As a bonus, Hyacinths are also generally less appealing to deer or squirrels, making them an attractive option where these critters are more persistent.
Daffodils & Narcissi
If low-maintenance beauty and cheer is what you’re after, Daffodils are the flowers for you! These tall, iconic flowers are so easy to grow. Plant them in the garden, in drifts beneath trees, in patches in the lawn… once planted, they naturalize and spread over time. While the large-cupped yellow Daffodil is what most of us picture when thinking of this flower, this family of blooms includes many sizes, styles, and colours. Small specialty Narcissus are ideal for containers or rock gardens. Try fancy split-corona varieties in shades of cream and pink. Daffodils are also resistant to squirrels, and they make excellent cut flower bouquets in May.
Tulips of all kinds
Is any spring-blooming flower more iconic than the tulip? These free-blooming beauties are the ultimate garden showstopper in the mid- to late-spring. In Ontario, we generally plant tulip bulbs in late September through October, as the temperatures begin to drop, but before the ground freezes. Tulip varieties offer colours, shapes, and bloom styles in a staggering selection. They also vary in their bloom times, so by selecting tulip types that bloom early, in mid-season, and in late-season, it’s possible to have tulips iblooming in your garden for the entire Spring season.
Allium, or Ornamental Onion, is having a moment in the garden world! These funky flowers have been gaining in popularity over the last handful of years. They’re relatives of onions and garlic, and offer deer- and squirrel-resistance with big, showy flowers in June. You’ll find Allium available in varying heights and sizes of flowers, in colours of blue, purple, and white. Plant them in small groupings, and they’ll naturally multiply in garden over time.