How to Flower Garden with Bulbs
Flower gardening is one of the most satisfying types of gardening – its only purpose is to bring beauty into the world, and who of us doesn’t need that? But before you go off willy-nilly to the nursery, you need to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the whats, hows and whys of flower gardening to get the best result.
There are three kinds of flowers to work with: perennials, annuals and biennials. Perennials come back every year with no replanting; annuals have to be planted each year; and biennials last at least two growing seasons. Perennials bloom for short periods of time, and with planning, you can ensure that as one variety is shutting down for the year, another type will start to bloom. Bulbs fall under the Perennial category.
Spend some time online researching different types of flower bulbs that thrive in your particular climate. You can also take a few fact-finding trips to local nurseries and pick their brains about the best choices for a flower garden in your area.
Here is an article from Phoenix Home & Garden:
And plant catalogs provide climate zone information with each plant they sell.
Take into account the lay of your garden. Make a plan of what you want and where you want it. Your choice of flowers will depend on how much sun, shade and drainage your selected plot receives. Find out how tall each plant becomes so you can plant your tallest flowers in the back and your shortest in front. Don't forget where you plant bulbs, so you don't dig them up later.
When getting ready to plant your garden, take the bulbs and place them in your prepared flower bed to get an idea of what the final result will be. Follow the instructions for each type of bulb for the correct planting depth. After all of the flowers are planted, water them thoroughly. Most flowers can get through a growing season with one, early-spring application of fertilizer. A mid-season feeding of a high-phosphorous fertilizer will promote flowering and help them through the summer. Follow fertilizer package directions.
Two more crucial elements: weeding and deadheading. You must be vigilant with your weeding. Weeds grow much quicker than the flowers and compete with them for nutrients. By keeping ahead of the weeds from the time of planting, you save yourself much time through the summer. Deadheading means to snip a dead or dying bloom off the mother plant. Snipping the flower-head off keeps the plant from focusing its attention on the creation of seeds, which will form in the dead flower-head. Be sure to let the leaves and stalks die back on their own because the bulb will work extra hard at storing nutrients for next year's blooms.
Here are some photos from my garden:
Spider Lily Iris