Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
There are so many varieties
of bulbs that it is easy for any personality to express themselves. Making
bed patterns with bulbs is a little like playing with thread in a textile. The
result can be a multi-patterned thematic work of art, like a fine carpet. Landscaping
with bulbs in the Victorian age was a popular way to decorate the garden and inspires
modern outdoor décor today.
Designing with Bulbs
There are a number of bulb designs found online and in
glossy garden magazines. Creating bulb patterns in the garden was once the
hobby of the rich, but the affordability of most bulbs today opens this classic
design concept up to gardeners of any economic tier. The first steps are to
graph out your bed patterns with bulbs and choose the varieties of flowers that
will comprise the design.
Select bulbs that will suit the growing zone and site you
wish to adorn. Bulbs must be hardy to your region and the site should be well
draining with loose soil and plenty of organic matter incorporated.
You might be inspired by one variety, such as all red tulips,
or mix in other colors of tulips for a different effect. Another delightful way
of landscaping with bulbs is to make a bed with successive color. Plant bulbs
that bloom first, intermixed with those that come later, which will cover up
spent blooms and foliage.
Patterned Bulb Designs
In gardens of the 1800s, it was popular to have restrictive
borders that set off each bed. Consider a plot of all red tulips bordered by
sweet little blue Muscari.
You can also get really creative by planting flower
colors that form a picture or word.
A simple pattern is to line beds along paths or the drive
with bold bulb color. Encircle a tree with bulbs, plant in a planter. go monochromatic
or plant a shifting sea of jewel tones. A pastel theme is restful, while a
blaze of bright yellow daffodils
intermixed with red and orange tulips adds pop to the landscape. Just remember
to preplan the bed with the look you desire, so planting is easy and follows
Developing bed patterns with bulbs relies on preplanning but
also on the health of the soil. Before planting, dig and loosen soil deeply,
removing weeds, rocks and other impediments. Mix in some bone
meal to slowly add nutrients for good flower growth.
If you have problems
with squirrels and other animals that dig up bulbs, lay mulch or even mesh
over the area until sprouts begin to come up. After blooming, leave the foliage
on until it begins to yellow to help fuel the next season’s growth. You can hide
this under successive plantings like later blooming bulbs or perennials.
“Interesting Bulb Designs – Creating Bed Patterns With Bulbs” was first posted here