Start these dual purpose gardens by planting spring-flowering bulbs in fall, then filling in with perennials next spring.
A. Allium 'Globemaster' B. 'Pieter de Leur' tulip C. 'Estella Rijnveld' tulip D. 'Prince of Austria' tulip E. 'Tahiti' daffodil F. Crocus 'Gypsy Girl' G. 'Valerie Finnis' grape hyacinth H. 'Nairobi' tulip I. 'Rubra Maxima' fritillary
Overplant the bed with these perennials, annuals, and shrubs:
A. Weigela 'Red Prince' B. 'Isanti' dogwood C. Sedum 'Matron' D. St.-John's-Wort E. 'Red Flare' sage F. Lamb's-ears G. Veronica 'Goodness Grows' H. Rudbeckia 'Goldilocks'
A. 'Tahiti' daffodil B. 'Lady Margot' tulip C. Allium sphaerocephalon D. 'Sorbet' Lily E. Lilium tenuifolium F. 'La Toya' lily G. 'Jan Reus' tulip H. 'Jetfire' daffodil I. Buttercup mix J. Mixture of 'Album' grape hyacinth, Crocus 'Cream' Beauty,' and C. tommasinianus 'Lilac'
Overplant the bed with these perennials, annuals, and shrubs.
A. Geranium 'New Hampshire Purple' B. 'Goldflame' spirea C. Asiatic lily mix D. Nicotiana 'Nicki Pink' E. Phlox 'Rosalinde' F. Physostegia 'Miss Manners' G. 'Happy Returns' daylily H. Dwarf Fothergilla
A. Allium 'Christophii' B. 'Sweet Wendy' tulip C. 'Golden Bells' daffodil D. 'King of the Blues' hyacinth E. 'Vie en Rose' daffodil F. 'Dordogne' tulip G. Crocus 'Blue Bird' H. 'Pink Star' windflower
A. 'Blue Queen' bluebell B. 'Jetfire' daffodil C. 'Pink Charm' daffodil D. 'Bronze Beauty' iris E. 'Black' tulip F. 'Blue Heron' tulip G. Crocus 'Snowbunting' H. Crocus tommasinianus 'Lilac' I. Snowdrop
If you live in a cold climate, look for hardy, not tender, bulbs for the lowest maintenance. Hardy bulbs can over-winter in the ground, but you should dig up tender bulbs and keep them inside through the cold months.
The term "bulbs" is also used to describe corms, tubers, and rhizomes, all of which have swollen storage systems. Though bulbs bloom for only one season during the year, they bless our gardens with waves of color, and many propagate quickly for even more delight the following year.
If you buy from a garden center, make sure the bulbs are stored properly: soft bulbs, such as lilies and fritillaries, should be covered with sawdust, wood shavings, or peat to prevent them from drying out. Bulbs should be firm, free of mold or bruises, with clean skins and intact tunics.