Creating a floral masterpiece in your yard is not only for botanists and serious gardeners, it’s for everyone. All it takes is some basic knowledge of the different types of flowers and what each one needs to thrive, toss in some garden landscape planning and you’ll have a garden that will make the whole neighborhood proud.
Beautiful spring flowers in your garden are something you can indulge in when winter begins to fade and the promise of spring begins to produce buds and green creeps back into the grass. Nothing is more enjoyable than being a part of the change of season. Tending and growing stunning blooms will put you right in the middle of the rebirth and growth of spring in all her glory.
Potted Tulips enable gardeners to have a portable landscape; whenever a show of color is needed, merely move several pots of flowering Tulips to the desired location. For dignity and regal appearance, the Tulip is in a class by itself. For most of the United States, the planting time starts about October 1st and continues through the first half of November.
In the colder areas, plant tulip bulbs in the ground before frost hardens it. In California, Florida, and the warmer Southern states, delay planting until after Thanksgiving, indeed until the temperature of both ground and air has fallen. As a matter of fact, successful plantings have been made in California as late as January 1st.
02. Daffodils (Narcissus)
Daffodils blast onto the scene with cheerful colors, happiness and a feeling that Spring has finally arrived. The Spring-like tones of the flowers are pure white, yellow and golden-yellow, with some varieties being a combination of both gold and white.
One more interesting trait of many delightful Daffodil varieties is their red or orange centers. Daffodils are among the first of the bulbous plants to flower in the spring garden and provide huge bouquets for indoor decoration. Daffodils are at their best when planted for a natural setting. Since these “naturalized” plantings will continue for many years, it is important to prepare the soil properly and to select the best location.
For fragrance, penetrating and intoxicating, there is nothing quite like a Hyacinth. Just a few flowers will practically fill an entire home with a delightful scent.
In the outdoor garden, these beautiful spring flowers will produce a most exciting highlight. In groups of 3 or 5 bulbs, Hyacinths can do more in a garden than any other comparable bulb. Additionally, they will appear most impressive in beds, borders and for massed effects. You will also find them valuable in front of Daffodils, early Tulips or planted in a mixed border.
Muscari or Grape Hyacinth is a delightful plant. This member of the Lily family looks like a miniature Hyacinth. The plant is an excellent variety for potting and also suitable for outdoor culture, where it is relatively hardy.
These small plants only achieve a height of between 6 and 8 inches. Each Muscari flower looks as if it has small beads strung together up and down the plant’s stem. Grape hyacinth bulbs start from tiny fleshy bulbs. Always remember the smaller bulbs usually tend to dry out much easier than the larger ones. Plant them early in the fall to ensure they get adequate moisture.
Lilies are some of the most fascinating flowers in the entire plant kingdom. Nowhere else can you find such dazzling colors combined with distinctive floral shape, plus the ability to brighten your garden from early Spring to late Summer.
For many years, the rumor persisted that these beautiful spring flowers were hard to grow, but this is true only of certain varieties and not of those usually offered through garden centers.
The lovely, delicate tones of Freesias make this plant a must for any Fall bulb-planting program. Although cultivated for at least 150 years, real popularity was not attained until about 60 years ago. Its prominence is due primarily to the fact that the colored forms occurred rather late in the history of Freesias.
The large, white Purity strain is still amazingly popular, but for exciting pastel shades turn to the newer varieties in violet-blue, golden-yellow, clear pink, lavender, rose and yellow with shades to orange. Like so many other South African natives, the Freesia is not hardy for outdoor culture in areas subject to freezing weather.
The Spring Crocus is among the first of the Fall-planted bulbs to appear in the new year. Start corms in early September and set in clumps or groups to provide a mass of color (individual plantings accomplish little). Crocus also performs elegantly in that part of a lawn where regular mowing is not required.
The color range includes shades of white, white with blue or violet striping, blue, blue and violet, light violet and purple, dark purple, reddish-purple and yellow. A protected location will encourage earlier flowering. Crocus is one of the most beautiful spring flowers that you should have in your garden.
For sheer size of bloom, nothing can compare with the Amaryllis. This exciting African native can be grown outdoors in regions having mild Winters, and in the rest of the country as an indoor pot plant. The colors are amazingly brilliant, and the blooms can measure 10 inches across.
Amaryllis flowers are gorgeous and attention-capturing because of the tremendous size of the flowers, often as large as a dinner plate. 3 or 4 potted Amaryllis in your home will just about provide a complete flower show.
09. Dutch Iris
Although Dutch Iris, in spite of its name, is a native of the relatively warm Mediterranean area, the bulbs will thrive even in the coldest of New England Winters. Where freezing conditions are common, it is advisable to plant the bulbs in October, in a sunny location about 4 to 5 inches deep and 5 to 12 inches apart.
For massed effects, the bulbs may be set as close as 3 inches apart, with larger flowers produced from wider spacing. Setting each bulb on a cushion of sand minimizes the danger of rotting after heavy rains. Mulching with straw or comparable material during the Winter in cold areas also will prove beneficial.
Although only those living in areas enjoying mild Winters can plant Ranunculus during the Fall, this lovely flower must be included in any discussion of Fall bulbs. In the Southwest part of the United States, where they thrive to perfection, this amazingly easy-to-grow flower is undoubtedly the most popular subject for Fall planting.
Ranunculus are available in a mixture of colors as well as in individual colors of red, orange, pink, gold and white. The improved strains are entirely double, giving the flower which appears in about 12 weeks, the appearance of a small pompom Dahlia.
It is almost impossible to discuss Ranunculus without also mentioning Anemones (pronounced An-nem-on-ee). These plants are not only “look-alikes” but also enjoy the same growing conditions. Perhaps the main difference between these “twins” is that Ranunculus, at least the better strains, produces fully double flowers, whereas Anemones, which belong to the Buttercup family, have flowers with a more open appearance. Their Poppy-shaped flowers appear in brilliant hues of blue, red, pink and delicate white.
A diversified group of plants, known as Windflower and native to North America, Asia, and Europe. These beautiful spring flowers make excellent additions to the rock garden, in borders and woodland plantings.
The Callas are African natives giving us a clue to their culture. The plants are found growing close to the Nile, flowering during the flooding period. When the flowers die away, the foliage ripens and falls over the root area. This nice gesture from Mother Nature protects the roots from the sun, keep this in mind when growing Callas in your garden.
Not so long ago, the Calla was used mainly as a florist item for funerals, the only available variety being a white one. Today, however, you have your choice of pink, yellow and black in addition to the old time favorite, white.
Ixias. like many South African plants, are fairly tender. Although the corms can be planted outdoors only in mild winter areas, Ixias will prove a most desirable variety for indoor culture elsewhere. A profusion of glistening lavender-blue flowers, which appear on sprays 2 to 3 feet tall, make this plant a real floral treat.
Gardeners who enjoy sprays of rainbow-colored flowers adorning their gardens can turn to Ixias (Pronounced Ik-see-uh) for a stunning display! Choose from an array of bright, exotic flowers in yellow, red, white, pink or even the deep turquoise variety to complement the existing plants in your garden.
Scillas are quite hardy and grow outdoors in practically all sections of the country. The Bluebell Scillas produce masses of exquisite blooms which are bell-shaped and carried on graceful spikes 12 to 18 inches in height. The Scilla tolerates both sun and shade and is a splendid specimen for naturalizing and for rock gardens.
These beautiful spring flowers are most popular for how they naturalize in lawns and gardens, turning the ground into a fantastic carpet of pink, blue, or white in early spring. Many gardeners love the color blue in their gardens, as it blends well with whites and pinks, and contrasts the golds and yellows crisply well.
To add interest to a beautiful and unique garden consider adding Fritillaria plants to it. These gorgeous bulbs are popular in botanical gardens and brings a bit of a sophisticated look to your place. Available in a variety of colors and patterns, their care is pretty easy once you understand what this lily bulb and flowers need.
The most popular choice for those first attempting to plant the fritillaria is the Crown Imperial Fritillaria. If you live in zones 5 through 9, begin there.