Planting Bulbs: I’ve Learned a Thing or Two

spring bulbs

This Year’s Bulb Lineup

Planting bulbs isn’t complicated. Keeping them under wraps till show-time is a whole different story.

Apparently most bulbs prove irresistible to squirrels. Three seasons later, I’ve learned a thing or two.

In the past, fall catalogs arrived brimming with the most beautiful bulbs imaginable. I let my imagination run amok, mentally placing  an order for 500 flowering bulbs in every shape and color. After tucking them into the earth, effortlessly and without two days of neck pain to follow, I would put my feet up and smile. Rounding out the fantasy, the following spring would arrive with the garden awash in yellow, purple and pink fragrant bulbs.

Ha! I crack myself up.

So, back to reality, I’ve learned to temper my expectations. A little reading on the various bulbs and corms revealed this useful nugget: squirrels do not like the smell or taste of daffodil bulbs. I planted fifty daffodil bulbs last year and they all came up. Further, they kept the curb garden looking bright and cheery in February, often our coldest, grayest month.

daffodils curb garden
Here’s the plan:

I’ll add 30 more daffodils to the curb garden in case a few of the bulbs from last year don’t recover. This year’s variety is ‘Ice Follies‘, a blend of softer yellows. They’ll provide a nice contrast to the bright yellow variety. I’ll also be able to determine what comes up from last season.

The Narcissus ‘Paperwhite Ziva‘ are for indoors. Two summers ago I bought a beautiful glass vase at a craft fair, but find it difficult to use for traditional flower arranging. It’s long and narrow. A friend suggested bulbs. It never occurred to me. The wall in our bedroom is a rich blue, the perfect accent for the bulbs.

Finally, the pink and purple hyacinth, the ‘William and Kate Blend‘ will go in a large planter just outside my back door. I don’t know why they’re named after royalty, but it made me smile.

Once planted, I’ll lay a screen over the pot to prevent digging. I’ll be able to keep my eye on it, so that when the time is right, I can remove the screen and allow them to grow into fragrant goodness. They remind me of my mom.

That’s the plan from here, folks. Fingers crossed, salt tossed over my shoulder, spin around three times in a circle and a graceful bow to our dear Mother Earth ought to do it. You know I’ll keep you posted.

25 thoughts on “Planting Bulbs: I’ve Learned a Thing or Two

  1. What a lovely selection – and your chosen homes for them all sound perfect too. I do hope the critters are obliging and leave the non-daffodil bulbs alone. I have just been admiring our golden swathe along the roadside as I drive home from the inner city – it looks really pretty at this time of the year. It is comforting to think of you, so far away, planting your bulbs as we enjoy the flowers of ours. Isn’t it amazing what six months can do! Love that you crack yourself up with your dreams of what could be – but as you so wisely note, we can learn a thing or two and also get our heads around how to work with, or out-wit, the critters 🙂


  2. Good luck Alys! My Mum (who also has squirrels in her garden) grows most of her bulbs in pots with wire netting over them and is pretty succesful, so I shall keep my fingers crossed for you!


  3. I have never had a lot of luck with bulbs, Alys, except, you guessed it, with daffodils. I planted a lot one year and they have multiplied and flowered every year since. However, my tulips, ranunculus (I think I planted them upside down!) and hyacinths all failed miserably. There are no squirrels in Australia so I can’t blame them. Perhaps I overwatered – who knows? Yours look so lovely in the curb garden. I hope the 50 initial ones have all multiplied and will all flower again. What a show you will have with 30 more. Can’t wait to see! xoxoxox


  4. Posh ! William and Kate Blend 😀 That’s cute. That blend should include two types of wee ones for accuracy 😉 Clever you to do some research. Those rascals will take one sniff of the daff’s and snort, “blech” (or chirp in grumbly low tones). I’m just winging it. I actually found a bag of yellow tulip last night at Home Depot. So, out I go to plant those with my Purple Alum momentarily. Right after I tip-toe thru your Daffodils. The cheeriest house on the block for certain! I really want to re-do our curb when I see how pretty yours is. Maybe next summer, I’ll rake off the faded mulch, they used dyed black cedar :/ Totally would not be my pick. I basically blew most of it off the other day with my new leaf blower, LOL. Hazard of the job :/ Currently there’s a few slabs of shale to step on and a number of ground covers. Some are doing well, others, barely surviving. I would rather see some tall grasses, some spring bulbs and maybe daylily. Nothing to complicated. I also want a nice place to plant Alyssum because it smell luscious and will remind me of you ❤ whenever I walk by. Baby steps, today just bulbs 😀 tomorrow the world…LOL Love you plan, I see a beautiful spring ahead xoxoxox K


  5. Glad to read these tips! I’m going to plant my first bulbs this year (I actually have a reminder in my calendar so I don’t forget!). I’ll be sure to get screen!!


  6. I wish you luck, we’ve had the same problem (voles) and it’s disheartening. I also read that daffodils are the best bulbs to plant so we’re sticking with those too. It won’t provide the riot of colour we were hoping for but at least we’ll have some! I’ll watch with interest to see how you pot hyacinths grow.


  7. You crack me up too!! LOL but i have done the same thing. planted a billion and then the next spring my dreams didn’t come to fruition. AHHhh what a waste. doesn’t stop me from trying again though. hah. I like your happy spring garden all neat and tidy!!


  8. Is it time to plant bulbs? I’m trying to figure out when it’s safe to move the roses forward. No frost yet but very cool nights. Yay! I love all the colors. Next summer there will be more work outside since I won’t be moving. 🙂 We’ve had a good rain and more coming. Trying to send some to you.


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