I've been trying to plant bulbs throughout the garden to supply some early spring color. I prefer bulbs that naturalize and return year after year... which can be a challenge with all the bulb-munching critters in the neighborhood!

  • Allium ‘Purple Sensation’- these are a favorite of my daughter, and children everywhere. The foliage is so awful though and I need to do a better job of hiding it.
Allium 'Purple Sensation'
  • Allium ‘Globemaster’ - slightly larger than 'Purple Sensation', but about 6x more expensive.

Allium 'Globemaster'

  • Chionodoxa forbesii (Glory of the Snow) ‘Pink Giant’ - these are a subtle soft pink color.

Chionodoxa forbesii (Glory of the Snow) 'Pink Giant'

  • Chionodoxa forbesii 'Wedgewood Blue' - a lovely blue-violet cultivar with very little white in its center
Chionodoxa forbesii 'Wedgewood Blue'

  • Chionodoxa gigantea alba - an all-white Glory of the Snow.

Chionodoxa gigantea alba

  • Crocus tommasinianus 'Ruby Giant' - the color of these just glows in the garden when they catch the sun. They have increased quite rapidly, but not annoyingly.

Crocus tommasinianus 'Ruby Giant'

  • Crocus vernus 'Flower Record' - dark purple Dutch crocus. The little species crocus have a more elegant presentation in my view, but these slightly later-blooming and larger crocus do boast intense deep purple color.

Crocus vernus 'Flower Record'

  • Crocus vernus 'Yellow Mammoth' - the deep gold of this variety burns like fire in spring!

Crocus vernus 'Yellow Mammoth'

  • Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite) - these have been slow to establish so far. Less than 50% of the bulbs I planted actually grew, and the ones that did bloomed sparingly in their second spring. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the survivors, because they bloom earlier even than snowdrops - usually mid-March here.

Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite)

  • Galanthus elwesii (Giant Snowdrop)  - the second bloom of spring in my garden, right after the aconites.

Galanthus elwesii (Giant Snowdrop) in a spring snow

  • Galanthus nivalis - the common snowdrop. This one is REALLY tiny. So cute. If happy they will increase and form attractive clumps.

Galanthus nivalis (Snowdrop)

  • Hyacinth 'Aiolos' - a pure white hyacinth, intensely fragrant like all hyacinths. It is perhaps a bit strict and formal looking.

Hyacinth 'Aiolos', with lamium 'Orchid Frost', yew, and barberry
  • Hyacinth ‘Blue Jacket’ - This blue hyacinth works great with the other colors of spring. Hyacinths seem to return for me for 3 years or so, but diminish a bit each successive year. You must be willing to replant periodically if you want that spring fragrance.

Hyacinth 'Blue Jacket', with blue phlox divaricata

  • Hyacinth 'Pink Pearl' - a soft cool pink.

Hyacinth 'Pink Pearl'

  • Hyacinth 'Woodstock' - perhaps my favorite color in hyacinths. The color is deep purplish-red - my camera does not capture it well.

Hyacinth 'Woodstock'

  • Iris reticulata 'Clairette'  - I've tried planting these several years in a row with no luck. Finally... success! So far they have returned faithfully every spring...

Iris reticulata 'Clairette'

  • Narcissus 'Barrett Browning' - flat white daffodil with rounded white petals and a small, very dark orange cup. A very clean, high-contrast look.
Narcissus 'Barrett Browning'

  • Narcissus 'Ceylon' - medium sized with perky yellow petals and a small orange-rimmed cup. A very crisp, distinguished looking daffodil.

Narcissus 'Ceylon'

  • Narcissus 'February Gold'- a cyclamineus type of daffodil with a long, thin cup and reflexed petals. An extremely early bloomer, and very elegant. Holds a long time in the garden.

Narcissus 'February Gold'

  • Narcissus 'Ice Follies' - mammoth flowers on very tall stems. White petals with large, open, frilly pale yellow cup, which fades gradually to near-white. Very early blooming and one of my favorites - it makes a great impact in the garden.
Narcissus 'Ice Follies'

  • Narcissus 'Katie Heath' - a small triandrus type of daffodil with soft peachy-pink cup. Delicate and charming.

Narcissus 'Katie Heath'

  • Narcissus 'King Alfred' - big, bold, classic yellow daffodil which puts on a great show. Very long cup.

Narcissus 'King Alfred'

  • Narcissus 'Peeping Tom' - another reflexed cyclamineus type, very similar to 'February Gold'. This one is perhaps even slimmer-petaled, and blooms just slightly later.

Narcissus 'Peeping Tom'

  • Narcissus 'Red Devon' - lighter yellow with an orange-red cup. Fantastic color!

Narcissus 'Red Devon'

  • Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation' - a plain old yellow daffodil, which is exceptional for its ultra-early bloom time. The first daff to bloom in my garden, overlapping with Dutch crocus, puschkinia, and scilla. Such a cheery sight in early spring!

Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation'

  • Narcissus 'Sound' - a large white daffodil with a frilly orange/yellow cup. Somehow, these were a bit disappointing compared to 'Ice Follies'. 

Narcissus 'Sound'

Narcissus 'Sound'

  • Narcissus ‘Tete-a-tete’ - this well-known miniature daffodil is little, early, and sooo cute! Often has multiple blooms on a stem. Earliest of all my daffodils to bloom.

Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete'

  • Narcissus ‘Thalia’ - this cultivar is fabulously graceful and elegant. They really make more of an impact than you would imagine, for an all-white flower. The texture of the bloom is wonderfully feathery.

Narcissus 'Thalia'

  • Narcissus 'Toto' - a miniature triandrus type of daffodil similar to 'Katie Heath', but white with a narrow, pale creamy-yellow cup. These were somehow not quite as charming as I had expected, but might look nicer if they fill in over time.

Narcissus 'Toto'

  • Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica - a very early little bulb of a dainty china blue and white.

Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica (Striped squill)
  • Puschkinia libanotica alba - an all-white version of the above.

Puschkinia libanotica alba (White Striped Squill)

  • Scilla siberica (Siberian Squill) 'Spring Beauty' - I love the intense blue color of these. Over time they can spread to create a carpet of blue in the woodland.

Scilla siberica (Siberian squill) 'Spring Beauty'
  • Tulip (early double) ‘Abba’ - this crazy red tulip with yellow centers is my favorite tulip. A traffic-stopping blooming machine! It has returned realiably for several years in my garden.

Tulip 'Abba'

  • Tulip 'Juan' - this is a fosteriana tulip, meaning it blooms early and has interesting purple-striped foliage. They are reddish-orange with a yellow base. The color is intense and carries well across the garden. It has also come back every year for me quite reliably so far.

Tulip 'Juan'

  • Tulip 'Monte Carlo' - a bright yellow double early tulip. The flowers are so big and fluffy they do have a tendency to sag in wet weather. Gorgeous nevertheless - a strong, bold yellow.

Double Early Tulip 'Monte Carlo'

  • Tulip 'Prinses Irene' (aka 'Princess Irene') - this single early tulip is wildly popular for a reason - her bright orange flowers with indescribable smoky purple flares are beautiful both from afar and up close. Gives 'Abba' a run for its money as my favorite overall.

Tulip 'Princess Irene'

  • Tulip 'Purple Prince' - not really purple, but a fabulous shade of purplish mauve. The color looks great with spring greens. These do not return for me as well as other the other tulips in my garden though.

Tulip 'Purple Prince'

  • Tulip 'Schoonoord' - since I like double early tulips so much, I decided to plant another one. 'Schoonoord' is white with occasional faint red stripes. In its first year, it did not impress in the same way that my other double earlies do, somehow. Here it is growing with a single early pink tulip called 'Christmas Marvel':

Double early tulip 'Schoonoord'' (white) with pink 'Christmas Marvel'

Tulip 'Schoonoord' - this one had cute red stripes

  • Tulip 'Sweetheart' - superb large, open tulip which is primrose yellow with frosty white edging. I'm really impressed with this one! Return rate is about half or less, so I have to keep replanting if I want it to continue.

Tulip 'Sweetheart'

  • Tulip 'Little Beauty' - a diminutive species tulip (Tulipa humilis or Tulipa hageri - the experts don't agree) with narrow, almost grasslike foliage. They open wide in sun and close tightly at the whiff of a cloud. Foliage disappears unobtrusively.

Tulipa humilis 'Little Beauty' - flowers still attractive when closed

Tulipa humilis 'Little Beauty' - most attractive when open to reveal the blue and white centers

Links to some previous posts featuring bulbs:
Imposters in the Peony Bed
Happy Daffodil Time
Extra Early Spring Bulbs

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