As the summer draws to a close it is already time to start garden planning for next year! Spring bulbs need to be planted in the fall or more specifically once the soil temperature has cooled to 55F. In Seattle this is from October to early December. Think you can only grow the same daffodils that you can buy from your grocery store for a couple of dollars a bunch? Think again! There are over 25,000 registered cultivars of Daffodil alone. If you have a woodland garden or an area with part shade you might like to plant Snowdrops, Scilla, Trout Lilies, Aconite, Squill, Crocus, Grape Hyacinths, Snakeshead Fritillary, and Snowflakes.Take a gander online at my personal favorite Brent and Becky's Bulbs. Order now for November delivery. By the time you are done you will have a full shopping cart , an empty pocket—and a garden that will rock your world.
Most bulbs like to grow in well-drained sunny spots but there is one bulb, Camassia, native to the Pacific Northwest which thrives in sunny, wet soil. If you are lucky enough to have a sunny, draining site you could consider a plant like Crown Imperials (Fritillaria imperialis)) which have a very statuesque form and come in eye catching shades of yellow and orange. The ball-like inflorescences of Alliums look great in traditional and modern gardens. There are species tulips for every color palette (but not all cultivars survive well in Seattle so you could treat them as an annual) . I’m trying Tulipa turkestanica this year, a small yellow and white tulip which has a sweet scent.
If you want to add scent to your garden try the daffodil ‘Poeticus recurvus’, an old variety that has white petals, a yellow cup edged in red and a spicy scent. The dwarf daffodil ‘Minnow’ is one of my favorites. Minnow blooms grow 8” high with multiple cream and yellow flowers to each stem and is lightly scented.
For maximum color and maximum scent grow Hyacinths. I know they are old fashioned and conjure up memories of grandma's garden, but they smell so dang amazing—who cares?! I keep mine in a pot that I pull out from my holding area and put it along my front walk so I can smell them right up close. Then, I put the pot back along the utility side of my house to do it''s dying back out of sight. They are also good for forcing and growing in pots to bring indoors for an even closer up aroma of grandma – I mean, SPRING!
While we are talking bulbs, check out these fall bulbs: Naked Ladies! Laugh all you want! They are gorgeous! Bare legs and a big wowsa blooms--these Amaryllis Belladonna will grow in our sunny , well draining soil here in the PNW. These lay dormant all summer and shoot up the bloom first and then the leaf. These amaryllis will grow in our sunny, well draining soil here in the PNW. Fall blooming bulbs are so lovely coming up through the fall turning colors of perennials and the falling leaves drifting about.
There is just really no good reason not to have four seasons of color in your garden, people!