Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Bulbs Like to Share Space

Bulbes printempsYou figure you don’t have room in your garden for spring flowering bulbs? Think again!

Spring flowering bulbs (tulips, crocuses, daffodils, etc.) actually require zero space in the flowerbed. They are ephemeral plants that sprout early and completely disappear from view after they bloom: not even their leaves remain. So don’t give them their own space in the garden, like you would with a perennial or shrub: that spot will just remain empty all summer. Instead, let them share space with other plants.

For example, plant your bulbs between or among other plants in your garden. Or if you divide or transplant a perennial, drop a few bulbs into the planting hole before you finish. The bulbs will emerge in the spring while the slower growing perennials and shrubs are still dormant.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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