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Lions, Tigers & Bears...Kale, Cabbage,& Bulbs, OH MY!!!

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

So, if you don't know already, it is sports season... which I really can't tell you much about. I know that the Lions and Bears are football teams and the Tigers are from Michigan. You might be able to tell I'm a transplant from Michigan, now living in Chicago ( what an awesome pun - HA!). What I can tell you is this season brings us cool weather perfect for a jersey and a sweatshirt. It also means that in the garden we need to start getting ready to wear many layers and adding layers over the bulbs we plant! Layers on layers on layers.

Fall is the best time to plant perennial gardens and add some thin layers of mulch. I'm a mulchy witch, just in time for the Halloween season (more on this soon). It is also time to plant bulbs, toss a blanket of dirt over top and put them to sleep in their little cozy garden bed. I am a fall procrastinator, and I hold on to each day like its the last day of summer, but I never forget about BULBS! Planting them now is necessary if you want blooms for next spring.

Fall Planting Basics

Before we get into the vast array of bulbs, let’s cover a few basics:

Planting in this cool weather is preferred. Even a light frost will not negatively affect your plantings. I've planted bulbs in the frozen ground before with compost at hand.

The only issue is when the ground freezes solid, which makes it very difficult to plant. Bulbs do not like to be water logged, which is why we amend it with organic composts. We plant each bulb with the pointed end facing up. Bulbs planted upside down will still flower, but they reach for the light and their bloom will be less prolific. Bulbs also like cool temperatures, so they need the dormancy to produce their stunning flowers.

Bulbs are one of the easiest plants to grow and the amount of spring cheer is worth the wait!

Lets start with the small Bulbs:


  • Crocuses are the first to appear in the spring with dainty cup-shaped flowers.

  • There are two types of crocus:

Species crocus have smaller flowers and are the first to bloom.

Giant crocus have larger blooms and bloom just after the species crocus.

We at Floral Bar recommend doing a mix of the two :)


  • Squill are often used in wooded settings as well as planted throughout a lawn.

  • Squill reach 4″ in height making them perfect for adding color to naturalized areas.

  • The star-shaped blooms are a stunning addition to the edge of a garden or in mass throughout the lawn. They die out after the their bloom and then are mowed down until then next spring.

  • The true blue or beautiful white and blue pictured below are such a refreshing sight to see in the spring.

  • When planted in large groups of 100 or more, squill bulbs can create a beautiful sea of blue.


Muscari aka grape hyacinth

  • Muscari are another popular tiny bulb in spring. They have tiny clusters of blue flowers on their short 4-6″ stems

  • We love planting these in mass and in little holes on the edge of your garden bed.

  • If you will be planting these near a lawn, they do spread naturally.

  • If you combine squill & grape hyacinths you will witness the calming surprise for winter eyes.




  • By far the most recognizable spring-blooming bulb is the tulip!

  • We are a fan of all the tulips, from classic red and yellow tulips to the pink and orange that really scream spring







  • Daffodils are another one of the most recognizable spring-blooming flower bulbs.

  • They grow in a broad range of hardiness zones from 3-8, which means Northern and Southern gardeners will have success with daffodils.

  • Deer and squirrels do not favor daffodils which is appealing.

  • Within the many classifications of daffodils, you will see yellow, white, orange and even pink blooms starting in early spring and continuing through mid-spring.

  • Some blooms are miniatures, while others are considered double blooms, which are full large and showy.

  • Daffodils are the best fall-planted bulbs for beginner gardeners.

  • If you don’t know which variety to start with, trying a package of mixed daffodils. Another great option are multi-flowering bulbs, like the Winston Churchill pictured below.


  • Sweetly scented clusters of blooms are the key feature of hyacinths.

  • Known for their intoxicatingly fragrant blooms, hyacinths are essential to adding the essence of spring to your garden.

  • Not only are hyacinths fragrant, they come in an array of colors and shades.

  • Popular hyacinth colors are light pink, light blue, and white.

  • They also come in bold colors like true dark blue, amethyst purple and deep pink.

  • Hyacinths are best planted on the edge of a border due to their compact stature.

  • These mid-spring blooming favorites are fairly pest resistant and tend not to be eaten by deer or rabbits.


  • Allium bulbs provide late spring blooms and some last late into the early summer.

  • The most well known varieties of allium are the types that have large purple ball-shaped blooms, such as Purple Sensation Allium and Allium giganteum.

  • Allium can be large, round, and white.

  • They can also be short with clusters of airy white, blue, yellow or pink blooms.

  • This diverse group of bulbs is essential to your late spring garden.

  • Some can reach up to 46", last year we had some taller than our client's 5 year old kids!

  • The dried flowers can last into late summer, and some people like to keep these around.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Well, there they are! Tulips and daffodils are the most commonly planted bulbs in fall and their ease of growth makes them a sure winner in spring. If you are looking for something more unique, try one of our packages which will be presented tomorrow!



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