Want to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden? Here's What to Plant for Gorgeous Color (and Visitors) All Spring
Timing is Everything: Your Guide to Spring Bulbs
Not all bulbs pop their heads from the earth at once—and that's a good thing. A progression of bloom times provides ongoing color for us and consistent nourishment for pollinators. "Early spring bulbs are so critical when there's little else blooming," says St. Louis bulb expert Jason Delaney.
When to Plant Spring Bulbs
Spring bulbs require a long chilling period to instigate blooms, so they should be planted in autumn. Find a sunny or partly sunny, well-drained location, and plant them three times the depth of their own height.
How to Be a Good Bee Host
Did you know queen bumblebees, the only winter survivors of their colonies, arise from underground in early spring to rebuild their nests? They may appear half awake as they clumsily bob about, sipping on nectar and loading up on pollen. Some bees are even known to sleep inside crocuses as the flowers close at night. Peggy Anne Montgomery, of the resource site flowerbulbs.com, explains how to welcome them to your garden this spring.
Refill Plates Often
Think of yourself as a server offering a succession of tapas from February to May. Snowdrops, scillas or reticulated irises come first. Fritillaria, grape hyacinths (above), species tulips, pheasant's eye daffodils and hyacinths follow. Then Allium, Camassia and Spanish bluebells are the final course before summer.
Dish Big Portions
Plant bulbs in masses so bees can spot the swaths of color and feast more efficiently.
Lay Out a Picnic Blanket
Sow early bulbs like scillas or crocuses in a sparse lawn. They'll multiply into a blanket that blooms and disappears before it's time to mow the grass.
Say what? Lasagna-style planting means placing bulbs at varied depths in one area—a layer of tulips, followed by daffodils, grape hyacinths and crocuses. Each will take the others' place through the season.