When most folks think of spring bulbs their thoughts tend to drift to gorgeous Holland style tulips. But thinking sustainably I prefer a variety of other spring bulbs that provide some degree of deer resistance, have a better track record for multi-season return, and well orchestrated showing times. First lets be clear, nothing is totally deer resistant. A hungry Bambi will eat their way through the most notable “deer resistant” plants when nothing else is available. But in our region I have had some great success with a few bulbs that offer varieties in color, texture and size that can give you a dramatic spring show.
For early border bloom think of using small bulbs like crocus, and Scilla Siberica. This will give you white, yellow and shades of purple color pop early. The mini hyacinths or Muscari is also a great front border choice. Mid garden go for daffodils. There are so many varieties of color and bloom on the market. …not just yellow. I like the Tahiti pinks and those with funky tufted centers. The mini tete e tete are great in clusters for front border color punch. Variety bloom times differ, so you can synchronize color for a good 6 weeks. Also for the mid garden, add some clusters of hyacinths for fragrance. These are a great opening number for a season of fragrance in gardens. Their tight bloom and shape offer a different element to swaying daffodils.
And don’t forget the allium! Placing these late bloomers: globe master, gladiator or giganteum in central back borders you will have a dramatic upright bloom just as you are beginning to see early perennial blooms. Even when the bloom fades, the shape of the globe can offer visual interest for an even longer period.
Think of your bulb gardens as your early spring stage show. By selecting bulbs and blooms that provide varieties in colors, dramatic texture and show time you can create an early season moving production in your garden.