Spring Bulbs and Garden Inspiration Part I

Do you ever need inspiration? I find that I do. So, occasionally, I seek opportunities to surround myself with “plant people” while learning about plants and how to use them in ways I had not thought of or had forgotten about.

Earlier this month, I attended a bulb seminar facilitated by Historic Columbia at the Robert Mills Carriage House and Gardens. Speakers Jim Martin (The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Director of Horticulture & Landscape) and Jenks Farmer (a man of many talents, namely a Plantsman and Storyteller; find out more about him here) provided my inspiration for the day.

Jenks taught us about spring bulbs and their uses for creating long-lasting naturalized areas, while Jim spoke more about intentionally using bulbs to create “special little moments” every day. I have always preferred to use plants that will provide me with several years of enjoyment in the landscape. So, I immediately connected with Jenks’ presentation about creating naturalized areas and using long-lived spring bulbs.

Every spring, little Muscari flowers emerge in my lawn, giving me so much joy. The previous homeowners must have planted them well over a decade ago. Jenks inspired me to add more Muscari to my lawn area, along with Tommies (Crocus tommasinianus). NOTE: if you have irrigation in the lawn, these bulbs will not do as well.

  • Muscari bloom in the landscape.
    Muscari bloom in the landscape. Millie Davenport, ©2023 Clemson Extension

Other long-lived spring bulbs to consider including in perennial beds:

Spanish Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica)

Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum)

Tazetta Daffodils (Narcissus tazetta)

Jonquil Daffodils (Narcissus jonquilla)

Lady Tulip (Tulipa clusiana)

For more information, see HGIC 1155, Spring-Flowering Bulbs.

I encourage you to stay inspired. Actively seek ways to stay passionate about gardening, even in the dead of winter. For weekly garden inspiration, subscribe to the HGIC Newsletter. And keep an eye out for Clemson Extension educational opportunities posted online.

Check back next week for my blog on Jim’s idea of creating “special little moments”.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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