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In Praise of Bulbs & Perennials

Updated on May 29, 2011

Bulbs and Perennials

I take a walk most mornings, usually around eight am. It helps me clear my head before I settle down to a few hours work. As I was walking along one of my favourite routes, favourite because it takes me past several intriguing garden, I noticed the number of perennials that were sticking their head up in one garden. Now if I remember rightly this garden about three years ago had a variety of plants but the last year the bee balm or Monarda didyma was taking over. Bee balm is an attractive plant but it does spread.

There are six words that will help you create a garden that thrives. The words are right plant, right place, and right time. Never forget when you place a plant where it can thrive it may do much better than anticipated and become a threat rather than a joy.

The six daffodils I planted last fall are in bloom and if I was looking at a reason to praise bulbs they are that reason. Colour in a still mostly brown landscape. Daffodils are fairly simple to plant as are many bulbs.

Most spring flowering bulbs will need a high organic, well drained, slightly acidic (pH 6-7) soil in a sunny location (6 to 8 hours of sunlight.)

When it comes to planting bulbs there is a second rule in addition to the right plant, right place rule and that is to plant bulbs root side down. If you do not you will be wondering where the bulbs are.

You plant spring bulbs two to three times as deep as the bulbs are tall. For example, two of the most popular plants tulips and daffodils will be planted approximately eight inches deep. Smaller bulbs, such as crocus and snowdrops (Galanthus) will be planted three to four inches deep.

Perennials also deserve praise, plant them and make sure you give them what they need and they will reward you for years to come, just be sure to know what you are planting and how ell it will grow when it gets what it needs.

Perennials and bulbs are the foundation of a garden, no matter what you grow it is always a good idea to add a few of these dependable plants. For the most part they can take care of themselves; they may need some water and mulch now and then. They will encourage the pollinators to visit yoru garden and pollinate your other plants. Bulbs bring the first pollinators of the season as they also bring the first colour.

Daffodil, first colour

Bob Ewing photo, front lawn.
Bob Ewing photo, front lawn.


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Nature is full of wonders, thanks for visiting.

  • DustinsMom profile image


    8 years ago from USA

    The wonders of mother nature. It is indeed very rewarding to plant something, anything, then see it pop out of the ground. Such a feeling of accomplishment. Life is about the little things. Enjoyed your hub.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Gardening renews the spirit, happy gardening.

  • Granny's House profile image

    Granny's House 

    8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

    Hi Bob, been working in the garden getting it ready to plant. You are right there is nothing better then planting a garden and seeing and tasting the fruits of your labor.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Happy Gardening

  • loveofnight profile image


    8 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

    i love digging in the dirt and planting bulbs or seeds as i sit back on my porch and await the beauty of my work come forth.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    This site has useful information on dealing with squirrels and other unwanted visitors.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you for another wonderful hub but what can I do about the damn squirral eating all my bulbs? A grey one in all.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Happy Gardening

  • jjmyles profile image


    8 years ago from Pacific Northwest

    Thanks for this one. I love my Daffodils and now I have information on how to plant more of them.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    It is exciting to watch a plant emerge from the soil, grow and then flower. Thanks for dropping by.

  • msorensson profile image


    8 years ago

    I have only planted a couple of perennials in the property but we enjoy the generosity of spirit of the previous owners of the home, as they planted a lot and so every once in a while, I get to see variegated colors in the yard. It is truly beautiful.

    One of my previous postdocs in my lab when I was teaching left me his red daisy in a pot many years ago when they left home for good, for India.

    It took a lot to nourish it back, it has persisted and now one of my magical moments is seeing the bud sprout.

    First it produced one, then two, then three and now four! Magic!!

    Thanks, I learned something, Bob.


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