There’s nothing more cheery for me than when the early spring blossoms burst out of the ground and bring cheery colour to a late winter or early spring day. even better when the sun is out! Everyone is familiar with crocuses, the dependable bulbs that come back year after year and feature bright primary colours guaranteed to lift your spirits.
There are also lesser known bulbs that form perfect companions to crocuses. One of the loveliest are the reticulated irises, named for “netting” covering their bulbs. Yes these are actual bulbs, not rhizomes like the tall irises, and come in wonderful colours from deep purples to sky blues.
A serendipitous combination of deep purple iris and striped crocus
Gorgeous blue iris
Another lovely bulb is scilla or squill which slowly spread to form an early groundcover under deciduous trees and disappear before the leaves and later groundcovers come out.
Blue squill under a maple
Striped squill under a magnolia
Chionodoxa or glory of the snow pops up early enough to be planted in the lawn and finishes before the grass needs to be mown if you are willing to wait a bit 🙂
Glory of the snow
Other early bloomer include our native viola which also spreads to form a low groundcover under trees and grows well in shade.
Common blue violet
All these bulbs are available and planted in the fall. Most finish before the trees are fully leafed out and summer perennials are up, so can be planted almost anywhere in your garden where you want a welcome burst of colour.
Happy spring gardening!!