Fall Planted Bulbs | Tips & Tricks

A Touch of the Blues


Blue Blooms

One of the most sought-after colors in the garden, blue blooms are something to truly behold! I had actually begun preparing a blog post on blue-flowering bulbs when I received the September edition of the Martha Stewart Living magazine in the mail just the other day. I was quite pleased to see her article (found on page 31 of her magazine) which focused completely on a “blue bloom” bulb planting project at her farm, preformed last November. In this bulb planting project, Martha along with various members of the International Flower Bulb Centre and the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center mixed together a number of different low-growing early, mid, and late spring bloomers of different blue hues. All of the bulbs used in this project were also extremely good naturalizers, meaning that they will multiply over time and increase their flower show year after year. I thought some of my readers may be interested in these specific types of bulbs and also where they could purchase them:

Blue Blooms

1. Grecian Windflower (Anemone blanda)

These bulbs produce countless daisy-like flowers atop short (3-5″ tall) stems. The gorgeous blue-purple hue will begin to appear in early to mid-spring. Anemone bulbs should be soaked overnight prior to planting to soften the hard outer shell and encourage growth.


2. Glory-of-the-Snow (Chinodoxa luciliae)

The white centers of these pale blue flowers resemble stars in the early spring. Although on rather short stems (6-8″ tall), these little beauties last extremely long as a cut flower as well.


3. Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum)

One of the most tried and true of the spring blooming bulbs, the grape hyacinth multiplies rapidly and adds a subtle fragrance to the mid-spring garden.


4. Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica)

These bright blue flowers adorn multi-stemmed plants among thick, somewhat shiny foliage. Another great naturalizer, these bulbs will come back bigger and better each spring.


5. Woodland Crocus (Crocus tommasinianum)

One of the first signs of spring, the woodland crocus begin to bloom in early spring, sometimes peeking through a light layer of snow. The more sun these plants receive, the wider the blooms will open.


6. Bicolor Grape Hyacinth (Muscari latifolium)

This “variation on a theme” is a relative of the typical grape hyacinth with a twist. Its blooms produce a two-tone look, with a darker almost black bottom and a lighter blue top to each flower. The sturdier stems of these give it a longer bloomtime than most spring blooming bulbs.


7. Cantab Dwarf Dutch Iris (Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’)

A blue beauty that definitely could’ve been added to Martha’s mix, this dwarf iris has one of the most exquisite forms and colors in the spring garden. Its delicate blooms and deep green foliage are one of my personal favorites.


8. Blue Allium (Allium azureum)

Definitely not for a groundcover area as in Martha’s case but still worth mentioned, the Blue Allium is just as impressive in color as it is in stature. Its flower-heads are much more petite than those of its relatives and sit atop stems which max out at two feet tall.


So there you have it! I’m definitely going to be trying this mix (with a few of my own additions) this fall. I’ll be sure to post pictures this spring. In the garden is one place I definitely don’t mind “feeling blue” 🙂

P.S. You can read more about Martha’s project by picking up the latest copy of her Living Magazine or by heading to her blog.

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If you need any help with gardening or if you have plant-related questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to Jenny San Filippo. She can provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed with your next project!

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