Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall Gardening: Time to Plant Those Spring Blooming Bulbs! -Planting Guide

Spring Blooming Bulbs
Fall has arrived and it is time to plant your spring-blooming bulbs! Bulbs require a chilling period so plant your bulbs anytime in fall before the soil freezes but early enough so the root systems can grow before extremely cold weather sets in. Generally, in the coldest areas (Zones 1-4) bulbs should be planted in late August into September and in moderate climates (Zones 4 -7) planting can occur anytime after the temperatures start to dip in September through late November. Various bulbs prefer to be planted a little higher or lower (as shown below) for best development. Generally, bulbs should be planted so the bottom rests at a depth that is two-and-a-half times the bulb's diameter. In a well-drained or sandy soil, plant an inch or two deeper to discourage damage from rodents and increase the longevity of your plants.

Credit: Fall Planting Guide

Purple Crocus

Yellow Crocus

For maximum visual impact, plant bulbs in mass using a garden spade instead of a bulb planter (which encourages single planting) and combine many bulbs together in holes approximately the size of a dinner plate. It is recommended to loosen the top eight inches of soil and mix in a two-inch layer of compost with the loosened soil or use a prepared bulb food while planting to supply nutrients to the bulbs. If using a bulb food be sure to mix the granules into the surrounding soil around the bulb. Avoid placing food directly under the roots to prevent burning. For spring-blooming bulbs prepare the soil in fall, six weeks before the first frost or for summer varieties prepare in spring after the last frost. Apply a layer of mulch to protect your bulbs and water thoroughly after planting to encourage root development.
Purple Dutch Hyacinth (Purple Hyacinthus Peter Stuyvesant)

White Dutch Hyacinth (White hyacinth 'Aiolos')

Muscari armeniacum (Grape Hyacinth)

Different types of bulbs can be layered from bottom to top in the same planting hole to  form a succession of blooms in a given location. For example, you can combine the larger Dutch Hyacinths and smaller Grape Hyacinths in the same hole. Place the larger bulbs first with the smaller bulbs scattered an inch or so above.  The two will bloom at the same time but the smaller plants will fill in between the larger ones. The same can be done with daffodils and other plantings.
Miniature Daffodils

Yellow Tulips

Magenta Tulips
Bulbs can also be planted as companion plants that will complement one another in spring. Try a combination of tulips with an under story of Grape Hyacinths or Allium with a bulb or perennial of choice at the base.  Companion planting will provide a layering effect and provide your garden with additional interest. Consider the growing height of each bulb while planning. Generally, taller growing bulbs should be placed in the rear of the planting bed while shorter growing bulbs (or perennials) are in the front. A favorite combination of mine is a grouping of Allium with an under story of perennial Stella D Oro Daylily. The green foliage from the daylilies masks the dying foliage of the Allium in late spring/early summer while the voluminous blooms of the Allium look from overhead, followed by blooms array of interest!
Tulip Collection Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Allium Globemaster and Stella D Oro Daylily Combination

Allium Globemaster
Allium Mont Blanc

Different varieties of Allium can be combined for interest as well...
Mixed Bulbs (Tulips, Hyacinths and Daffodils)
or perhaps a mix of several varieties of bulbs may be the look you are seeking. Here is a combination of tulips, hyacinths and daffodils all planted together in mass for maximum impact.
Spring Flowering Bulbs
  Bulbs can add so much interest to the early spring and summer garden and the possibilities are endless. For some early color in your spring landscape try adding some bulbs to your garden this fall. It's not too late...the time to plant is now!

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Linking to Today's Flowers

  Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow Up October 2015: Colors of The Fall Garden

October Garden
Welcome to my October Long Island garden.  As autumn is underway all the changing colors of the garden become more and more vibrant by the day.  Blooms from summer hold out as long as they can as hues of orange and yellow appear in the landscape. The combination of the two seasons, summer going out and fall coming in, are spectacular.  Daylilly, Sedum, Butterfly Bush and Knock Out Roses scramble to show their last burst of vibrant blooms while plumes of maiden grasses appear.The fall garden is like a canvas that has been infused with an array of color, developing into a fabulous piece of artwork…nature’s artwork. Come along on the tour.
Fall Mums
 Albert Camus once quoted “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower” One of my favorite things to do since I have become so interested in photography is to look at the garden in a different light...literally! I like to imagine the fall garden as a piece of artwork with all its amazing hues and colors just melding into one another.
Perennial Geranium Rozanne 
Somehow all the colors of the garden seem to come to life again in the autumn. We need a close up of these Rozanne Geranium. They have such detail and a delicate structure to them in the afternoon light.
Dwarf Butterfly Bush October
The purple blooms of the Dwarf Butterfly Bush are also picturesque...
Sedum in Fall
as are the rounded tops of Sedum in the October garden.
Knock Out Roses October
Speaking of colors seeming more vibrant in fall, one of the best things I ever did was to incorporate these fabulous Knock Out Roses into the garden border.  I cannot even put into words how much enjoyment they have provided over the years and this is how they look in fall with their lovely pinkish-red blooms!
Stella D Oro Daylily in Octobe
Old reliable 'Stella D Oro's is still pushing out blooms after a late summer rejuvenation in early August, adding color to the fall garden. These are a real stable in the landscape.
October Blooms:  Variegated Liriope 
With autumn comes the blooms of liriope, which make a statement in the garden border. Liriope looks good in the garden all season long but really puts on a show now in October.
Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus 'komachi')
Here is  Balloon Flower, scientific name of Platycodon grandiflorus 'komachi'.  I have gotten so many requests as to the exact species of this perennial since it is the only variety of Platycodon that does not open up.  It remains as a true closed "balloon" throughout its entire bloom time and I cannot remember where I ever found it and have never seen another. 
Viburnum Summer Snowflake Blooming in October
Here is a close up of the delicate flower of the Summer Snowflake Viburnum in a muted light.
Perennial Border Fall View
Fall has officially arrived in the perennial border with wispy fountain grass plumes and lots of seed heads for the birds to enjoy.
Echinacea Seed Heads
Ah...autumn does have its attributes with changes everywhere...
Weeping White Pine Pine Cone October
so let's take it all in...
Fall Mums
and appreciate what is in view.
Evergreen and Perennial Bed Fall
As we all know...the beauty of having a garden is to enjoy it through all its transitions. 
As the tour comes to an end autumn becomes more and more present as a few of the highlights of the season are upon us.
Dwarf Fountain Grass Hameln Fall Plumes
Brush-like plumes of fountain grasses dance in the wind...
Yaku Jima Maiden Grass Plumes Fall
and Dwarf Maiden Grass Yaku Jima flaunts its stalks of feathery plumes.
First signs of Fall
As the first brightly colored leaf falls and rests on top of the Weeping Norway Spruce and fall mums open, the season of autumn has arrived, and is seen in a different light.
Fall Blooms are like Artwork
  A garden is not a picture confined to a frame left hanging on a wall, it is something that changes with the movement of light and passing of time. ~ Beth Chatto
October Garden Views
Thank you to our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it is possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up.  I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Tuesday Garden PartyToday's FlowersFloral FridaysMosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage, I Heart MacroMacro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods.  Also check out What's Blooming This Week Garden Update.

I hope you enjoyed your walk through my October garden.

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved