- Further Reading
- Spring Flowering Bulbs
- Giant Flowering Onion – Allium giganteum
- Grecian Windflower, Green Anemone – Anemone blanda
- Glory-of-the-Snow – Chionodoxa luciliae
- Crocus – Crocus species
- Winter Aconite – Eranthis hyemalis
- Checkered Lily, Guinea-Hen Flower – Fritillaria meleagris
- Common Snowdrop – Galanthus nivalis
- Common Hyacinth – Hyacinthus orientalis
- Dutch Hybrid Iris – Iris hybrids
- Common Grape Hyacinth – Muscari botryoides
- Daffodil, Narcissus, Jonquil – Narcissus species
- Siberian Squill – Scilla siberica
- Tulip – Tulipa species
- The 10 best plants with blue flowers for a cool garden border
- Hydrangea ‘Bodensee’
- Delphinium grandiflorum ‘Delfix Blue’
- Campanula cochlearifolia ‘Blue Baby’
- Salvia patens ‘Dark Blue’
- Agapanthus ‘Brilliant Blue’
- 1. Blue hydrangea:
- 2. Delphinium:
- 3. Dandelion:
- 4. Grape Hyacinth:
- 5. Clematis:
- 6. Bluestar:
- 7. Bellflower:
- 8. Balloon Flower:
- 9. Aster:
- 10. Morning Glories:
- 11. Blue Hibiscus Flower:
- 12. Impatiens Flower:
- 13. Iris:
- 14. Violet Flower:
- 15. Gentian:
- 16. Forget me not:
- 17. Bachelor Button Flower:
- 18. Blue Fringed Daisy:
- 19. Ipomoea flower:
- 20. Blue calla lilies:
- 21. Blue orchids:
- 22. Blue carnation:
- 23. Columbine:
- 24. Anemone:
- 25. Brunnea:
- Unusual flower bulbs for your garden and how to plant them
- How to plant flower bulbs
- How deep to plant flower bulbs
- My favorite unusual flower bulbs
Date April 28, 2016
Yellow is the colour of spring, from the glorious sunlight that is now (sometimes) washing over the gardens, to the bright tulips that burst into life in the Wilderness at Hampton Court. This part of the Gardens has justly become famous for its carpet of yellow, orange, cream coloured daffodils with their multi-coloured petals some with contrasting trumpets and some just plain sunny yellow.
I don’t want to talk about daffodils, I want to discuss the array of BLUE flowers standing proud among the daffodils. Can you spot the difference between these BLUE SPRING BULBS ?
Scilla Siberia these spreading beauties have dainty dark blue slightly bent nodding heads
Chionodoxa also known as glory-of-the-snow they are blue with a perfect star shape in the middle of the flower.
Wood Anemone, my favourite of the wilderness blue flowers with their daisy like blooms and frilly dark green leaves spreading freely where they feel.
Puschkinia libanotica, a pale blue bulb originating from Turkey and is easily mistaken for scilla.
Hyacinth, the blue are the most heady with perfume ours have multi headed blooms so they are around for ages.
Bluebell or latin name hyacinthoides non –scripts we have English bluebells and Spanish bluebells.The English blooms are darker,smaller with slightly nodding bend heads. The Spanish are larger sturdy paler in colour good for cut flowers.
Muscari or grape hyacinth , they have knobbly heads like a bunch of grapes ranging from pale to dark blue
We hope you’ll make your way down to the Gardens at Hampton Court Palace soon and find your own favourites!
Craft Gardener, Gardens
Spring Flowering Bulbs
Giant Flowering Onion – Allium giganteum
Family: Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis) Zone 5
How to Plant: bulb; plant 6 to 8 inches deep and one foot apart in the fall
Habit: upright in foliage and flower
Foliage: bluish gray; strap-shaped; 18 inches long; 2 to 4 inches wide
Flower: pinkish purple; borne in dense globe-shaped cluster 4 to 6 inches across; flower stalk 3 to 4 feet tall; late spring to early summer
Culture: ordinary soil; full sun or partial shade; dramatic in flower – plant in clusters of 5 to 7 bulbs; usually planted in back of the perennial border; long-lasting as cut flower
Grecian Windflower, Green Anemone – Anemone blanda
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) Zone 6
How to Plant: tuberous root; plant 2 to 3 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches apart
Habit: mounded; less than 6 inches
Foliage: 1 or 2 dark green basal leaves; divided; dies down by midsummer
Culture: humus-rich, loamy soil; tolerated high pH; partial shade and protection from wind prolongs flowering
Glory-of-the-Snow – Chionodoxa luciliae
Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone 4
How to Plant: bulb; plant 3 inches deep and 3 inches apart in fall
Habit: upright; 3 to 6 inches
Foliage: grasslike; dark green; 2 leaves per stem
Flower: blue with white center; about 5 in a cluster; each flower 1 inch across; star-like flowers borne on a reddish stalk that extends above foliage; early spring
Culture: ordinary, well-drained soil; suitable for under-planting deciduous shrubs; plant in masses for immediate effect; will multiply slowly by self seeding
Crocus – Crocus species
Family: Iridaceae (Iris) Zone 4
How to Plant: corm; plant 3 inches deep and 4 inches apart in fall
Habit: upright; 6 inches
Foliage: grasslike; dark green; curved; silver striped down center of leaf; leaves shorter than flowers, then expand to 8 to 12 inches after flowering
Flower: 1 1 /2 to 8 inches long; white, yellow, purple or striped; usually borne singly; close at night or on cloudy days; spring
Culture: plant in well-drained soil; full sun or partial shade; may be naturalized in lawns if foliage is allowed to ripen properly
Note: There are 3 main groups of crocus: C. chrysanthus (Golden Crocus) flowers very early and has small flowers; C. vernus (Dutch Crocus) is most popular and has larger flowers (many named cultivars of crocus are in this group); the third group is comprised of botanic species, that tend to have small, brightly colored flowers. There are Crocus species that flower in autumn.
Winter Aconite – Eranthis hyemalis
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) Zone 4
How to Plant: tuber; plant 3 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart in early fall; soak tubers overnight before planting
Habit: upright; 3 to 8 inches
Foliage: basal; long petioles; deeply divided; leafy bract situated immediately under flower; actual foliage develops as flowering ends; dies down in summer
Flower: solitary; one inch across; yellow petallike sepals; very early spring
Culture: partial shade to full sun; well-drained, moist soil; plant in masses; good for naturalizing; will self-sow
Checkered Lily, Guinea-Hen Flower – Fritillaria meleagris
Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone 4
How to Plant: bulb; plant 4 to 6 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart in early fall
Habit: erect; 9 to 15 inches
Foliage: few, alternate leaves; linear; 3 to 6 inches long
Flower: drooping; usually solitary; white or mottled and veined with bronze, gray, purple and white; 1-1/2 inches long; spring
Culture: full sun or light shade; moist, well-drained soil; propagate by dividing after foliage ripens
Note: Arelated species, F. imperialis (Crown Imperial), bears several pendant flowers atop a 2 to 4 foot stalk with a tuft of leaves at the top of the stalk; flowers are bright yellow or orange.
Common Snowdrop – Galanthus nivalis
Family: Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis) Zone 4
How to Plant: bulb; plant 3 inches deep and 3 inches apart in fall
Habit: upright; 6 to 8 inches
Foliage: 2 to 3 leaves; 1/4 inch wide; 6 inches long
Flower: white except for green crescent around the notch of inner floral segments; external floral segments longer than inner ones; flower drooping; 1/2 inch across; borne on slender stalk; very early spring; cultivars may have more green in flowers or be doubled
Culture: partial to full shade; moist, well-drained soil with high organic matter; naturalize in large drifts; propagate by dividing clumps immediately after flowering
Common Hyacinth – Hyacinthus orientalis
Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone 5
How to Plant: bulb; plant 7 inches deep and 6 to 9 inches apart in fall
Habit: upright; 12 inches
Foliage: 4 to 6 basal leaves; strap-shaped; margins upturned; 1 inch wide and up to 12 inches long
Flower: many flowers in showy, crowded, terminal raceme; individual flowers about 1 inch across; very fragrant; yellow, rose, pink, blue, salmon and white; mid-spring
Culture: full sun; good drainage; fertile soil amended with organic matter and sand; remove spent flower stalks; floral display gradually decreases each year – dig and discard bulbs as necessary; flowers too rigid for naturalizing; many named cultivars available
Dutch Hybrid Iris – Iris hybrids
Family: Iridaceae (Iris) Zone 6
How to Plant: bulb; plant 5 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart in the fall
Habit: upright; 1-1/2 to 2 feet
Foliage: leaves almost cylindrical; up to 2 feet long; tips of leaves may tend to die back
Flower: 1 or 2 flowers; 3 to 4 inches across; white, yellow, orange, bronze, blue, purple or bicolor; late spring
Culture: full sun; well-drained soil; dry, warm soil in summer is ideal; good for forcing indoors
Note: Dutch Hybrid Iris originated by crossing Spanish Iris (Iris xiphium) with several other Iris species; Dutch Iris is a common cut flower used by florists
Common Grape Hyacinth – Muscari botryoides
Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone 4
How to Plant: bulb; plant 3 inches deep and 4 inches apart in early fall
Habit: upright; 6 to 12 inches
Foliage: 6 to 8 basal leaves; up to 12 inches long and 1/3 inch wide; dark green on lower surface; appear in autumn and remain green through winter; dormant in summer
Flower: 12 to 20 flowers in terminal cluster on leafless flower stem; each flower urn shaped and drooping; blue or white; 1/8 inch long; early spring
Culture: fertile, sandy soil in full sun or partial shade; plant in masses for best effect
Note: Arelated species, M. armeniacum, self seeds more aggressively and is more invasive.
Daffodil, Narcissus, Jonquil – Narcissus species
Family: Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis) Zone varies
How to Plant: bulb; plant 6 inches deep and 6 to 12 inches apart (smaller species bulbs require more shallow placement)
Habit: upright; 6 to 24 inches
Foliage: about 3/4 inch wide; up to 15 inches long; shiny green
Flower: one or several flowers to a stalk; 6 lower segments white or yellow; trumpet long and tubular or short and cuplike, white, pink, yellow, orange and orange-red; flowers single or double; extremely variable – Narcissus are grouped into 12 named divisions; early spring to spring
Culture: well-drained soil enriched with organic matter; divide every fourth year after leaves have died; easy to grow; remove faded flowers so they dont set seeds
Note: The name daffodil applies primarily to flowers with large trumpets and can be used for all members of the genus; the name jonquil originally applied only to N. jonquilla, but now is usually applied to all jonquilla daffodils of garden origin (Division 7); the name narcissus is derived from the genus name Narcissus.
Siberian Squill – Scilla siberica
Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone 4
How to Plant: bulb; plant 3 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart in early fall
Habit: upright; 6 inches
Foliage: 2 to 5 grasslike, basal leaves; 6 inches long and 1/2 inch wide; blunt tipped and bright green
Flower: deep blue; bell shaped; 1/2 inch wide; in loose cluster of 3 to 5; 1 to 6 flower stems per plant; early spring
Culture: fertile, sandy soil in sun or partial shade; useful under deciduous shrubs and trees; plant in large masses for best effect; tend to colonize over time; suitable for naturalizing in the lawn (foliage matures quickly before turfgrass needs cutting)
Tulip – Tulipa species
Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone varies
How to Plant: bulb; plant 4 to 8 inches deep and 4 to 8 inches apart in fall; deep planting (within reason) discourages bulbs multiplication and encourages good-sized flowers for several years; species tulips usually require shallower planting
Habit: upright or clumped; 6 to 30 inches
Foliage: usually basal; thick bluish green; untoothed; 6 to 10 inches long; Kaufmanniana and Greigii hybrids often have burgundy-or purple-mottled leaves
Flower: usually solitary; erect; saucer-shaped; total of 6 petals and sepals (except doubles); multitude of colors and flower forms (there are over 400 named cultivars: common classes are Mendel, Fosteriana hybrids, Kaufmanniana hybrids, Greigii hybrids, Triumph, Darwin hybrid, Lily-flowered, Cottage, Rembrandt, Parrot, Double-flowered and Species tulips); early spring to spring
Culture: well-drained, sandy, humus-rich soil in full sun or partial shade; plant in masses; bulbs may be moved or discarded in midsummer after foliage has withered; some gardeners plant new bulbs each year; remove faded flowers to avoid seed set
The 10 best plants with blue flowers for a cool garden border
Flowers come in a huge range of colours, but blue blooms are relatively rare. And they really add something different to a border.
This Summer find some common and some more unusual blue flowers for your garden.
Choose from sky blue, royal blue and purple-blue for a cool-toned boost to your garden border.
This is a gorgeous hydrangea with pale green leaves that blooms prolifically. It flowers blue on acidic soil and pink on alkaline soil. For the best blue flowers, grow in large pots of ericaceous compost and add aluminium sulphate.
Delphinium grandiflorum ‘Delfix Blue’
Delphiniums are the iconic blue plants, and this one is stunning. It’s a compact variety that grows to 25cm and won’t need staking. It’s ideal to add a punch of blue colour to borders and even containers.
Campanula cochlearifolia ‘Blue Baby’
Sometimes known as fairy thimbles, this is a low-maintenance creeping perennial. It’s great for ground cover and rockeries. Or plant it in gaps in paving for a colourful patio area.
Salvia patens ‘Dark Blue’
I love these rich blue flowers! They have two ‘lips’ and bloom along an upright stem, growing up to a metre tall. It flowers through summer and autumn and packs a real punch in the border.
Agapanthus ‘Brilliant Blue’
A great purpley-blue agapanthus with veined trumpet-shaped flowers. It blooms in late summer and looks really showy poking up from the border. It has deciduous foliage and is frost hardy.
25 Most Beautiful Blue Flowers Arshi Ahmed Hyderabd040-395603080 September 20, 2017
Blue colour is everlastingly appointed by the deity to be a source of delight.” — John Ruskin
Blue is a colour which is associated with intellect and spirituality. It has calming effects and helps one to sleep better. While light blue is the colour of serenity, calmness and peace; dark blue conveys importance and confidence. Blue is also related to sadness, depression and mourning.
Blue colour flowers are one of the rarest flowers found in the world. It conveys a message of love and desire and also of supreme struggle to reach the zenith. Blue flowers create a contemplative mood by the virtue of its cooling and calming effect. At the same time, it is believed that blue flowers slow down metabolism and reduce appetite.
Thus generally blue flowers stand for loyalty, trust, intelligence, wisdom, truth, faith and confidence and give a sense of stability, confidence, honesty and security.
The Loveliest Blue Flowers In the World
Here are some of the most beautiful blue flowers found across the globe.
1. Blue hydrangea:
Blue hydrangea is an absolute breathtaking flower. Some blue hydrangeas come in vivid and striking colours, while some are in subtle shades like powder blue or sky blue. The shades of blue vary according to the alkalinity of the soil. Blue hydrangea flower convey a heartfelt and strong feeling of love when given as a gift.
Delphinium flowers come in some of the truest shades of blue colour. This dolphin shaped flower stands for fun, levity, ardent attachment and big hearted in the language of flowers.
Dandelion flower is associated with love, affection, desire, sympathy while the blue dandelion flower represents faithfulness, happiness and tranquillity. Dandelion is a popular flower in folklore and legends and has been symbolic in a variety of cultures. These flowers are native to Europe and Asia but are now available widely across the world.
4. Grape Hyacinth:
This flower is a very beautiful and unique bulb shaped bloom which grows in clusters in mid spring. They are found in purple, white and yellow varieties. Grape hyacinth is associated with rebirth and represents games, sports, rashness and playful joy. Grape hyacinth symbolizes constancy and trust.
Clematis is a flowering climber plant that is mostly used for ornamental purpose. ‘Crystal fountain’, ‘Ice Blue’, and ‘Arbella’ are some true blue varieties of this flower. The meaning of clematis is mental prowess. The blue clematis signifies faithfulness, ingenuity and courage.
Blue star flower is a perfect blue flower for gardens. It blooms in clear blue clusters on greenish yellow foliage. It signifies steadfastness and affection.
Bellflowers are charming starry or bell shaped flowers that bloom in several colours like violet pink, purple and white. The long stemmed varieties are great cut flowers. This is a pearl deep blue cup shaped flower with light yellow centers. Its dark green foliage complements the blue colour finely. The flower symbolism associated with this flower is humility, constancy and gratitude. Bell flowers are also related to the realm of fairies and are referred as ‘fairy thimbles’.
8. Balloon Flower:
Balloon flowers are balloon shaped buds that open to beautiful blue, pink or white shaped blooms with striking red pistils. This flower can be used best for decoration purpose or for flower arrangement with this flower as a lovely backdrop. It stands for love, honesty, obedience. These flowers would make a great gift for some who is extremely special to you.
Aster is the last plant to bloom in a year and come in colors like red, purple, blue, pink, yellow and white. The flower symbolism associated with asters is daintiness, love and peace. Asters are also believed to possess healing properties. In the ancient times, it was believed that burning aster flower leaves would drive away evil and other thing associated with it
10. Morning Glories:
Morning glory is a saucer shaped flower that blooms in colors like blue, yellow, purple, red and pink. This star shaped flower is aptly named morning glory as the flower blooms during the day and dies by evening. These flowers symbolize love and affection. These are used for ornamental purpose in wedding and parties.
11. Blue Hibiscus Flower:
Blue Hibiscus flowers are rare to be found and look exotic in shape and colour. Hibiscus in general stands for delicate beauty while its blue variety symbolizes depth, infinity, serenity and unexplainable splendour. This rare beauty that glorifies the flower land also represents fertility.
12. Impatiens Flower:
Impatiens flower come in two varieties which include flat shaped impatiens flowers and orchid shaped impatiens. In the medieval time impatiens flowers were called ‘Our Lady’ Earring’. This flower symbolizes motherly love and affection.
Iris flower is associated with faith, wisdom, cherished friendship, hope and valour. Iris flower was used in medieval times In the Mary Gardens. The blade shaped foliage of this flower denotes sorrows which pierce the heart. Iris has been recognized as the dancing spirit if the early summer for its different colors. Its fluttering petal often reminds me of butterfly wings flapping gently in the breeze.
14. Violet Flower:
Violet is a pretty blue coloured flower symbolizing affection, modesty, watchfulness, love and happiness. Violets are edible flowers its essence is often used in desserts white its petals are used to decorate salads and desserts.
Gentian is a true blue colored flower with smooth green lance shaped leaves which is highly attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Blue gentian is a very unique flower prevalent only in Europe. This unusual looking flower is mostly used as an alternative to traditional rose and daisy. Blue gentian represents loveliness, intrinsic value and femininity.
16. Forget me not:
This flower symbolizes true love and remembrance. In the 15th century, it was believed that the wearers of this flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. This is a pretty little blue flower with yellow stamens and blooms mainly in summer.
17. Bachelor Button Flower:
This flower is more commonly known as cornflower, basket flower and boutonniere flower. These blue flowers were prized historically for its pigment. In the olden days, bachelors would wear this flower to indicate his love for their beloved. If the love is not reciprocated, the flower would die quickly. It is also a national flower of Poland. The flower symbolizes celibacy, singlehood, and hope in love, delicacy and blessedness.
18. Blue Fringed Daisy:
Daisies are classic flowers which are loved by one and all. Blue fringed daisies are beautiful and look even more unique and beautiful because of its blue color. This flower is named blue fringed daisy because it truly looks like fringe surrounded by a yellow and green center. It symbolizes simplicity, adoration and appreciation.
19. Ipomoea flower:
This is one of the loveliest flowers with huge trumpet shaped petals in deep azure colour. It opens up its petal every dawn to embrace the new day and perishes before noon. The bright blue flower contrast very well with rich green leaves. These flowers are born in clusters on high stem.
20. Blue calla lilies:
Blue calla lilies are magnificent looking flowers and are often used for weddings, parties, baptisms and even funerals. These exotic shaped flowers can be used at any occasion as they express feelings of gratitude and appreciation. Blue calla lilies symbolize royalty, serenity, peace and tranquillity. In the Romantic period, this flower symbolized love and desire.
21. Blue orchids:
Orchids are highly coveted flowers that represent luxury, beauty and strength. Blue orchids are astonishingly beautiful flowers and are capable of attracting even people who do not appreciate flowers much. These flowers are quite rare to find but are extremely popular for its beauty. Blue orchids symbolize tranquillity and are associated with the deep and vast ocean for its blue and white colour. These flowers represent delicate beauty, power and stability.
22. Blue carnation:
Blue carnations are fun and colourful flowers making them a perfect choice for party decorations. These charming flowers spread joy and elegance and are used widely for special occasions and gifting purposes. The light sky blue colour of this flower symbolizes peace and partiality. It also represents truth, thus it is widely used during weddings, indicating the clear response to the feeling of pure love a groom has for his bride.
Columbine is plant from the ranunculaceous genus with seemingly delicate petals and coloured sepals which give an appearance of a bunch of pigeons. The name is derived from the Latin word ‘aquila’ and stands for ‘dove’ in the language of flowers. The leaves are dark and bluish green in colour and the flower blooms in a beautiful blue colour with ferny foliage. It comes in colors like yellow, pink, red, maroon, violet and white.
Anemone comes in bright vivid colors and blooms in spring, summer and fall. This flower is believed to bring luck and protect against evil and other harmful forces. It also carries magical and prophetic tales with itself, and thus is called anticipation in the language of flowers.
Brunnea is a 5-petaled tiny blue flower with sprays held above the foliage. These airy sprays of blue flowers appear in early spring and have a striking resemblance to forget me not flowers.
Hope you liked the article. Please leave us a comment.
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I’m Arshi who loves makeup, fashion and cars. Writing is my comfort!!! I love learning new languages. Gardening and cooking are my passions. I love to write articles which would simplify people’s life.I go crazy when it rains and find fun in getting drenced. Life to me is a cup of coffee you need to blend all the ingradients in right proportions, Hope my posts are helpful!!! stay positive and keep smiling !!
Unusual flower bulbs for your garden and how to plant them
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Don’t get me wrong, I like tulips and daffodils. Their cheery faces usher in spring with a rush of color and enthusiasm, and like most gardeners, I welcome them with open arms. But, I also like to include more unusual flower bulbs in my garden, too; ones that you don’t find on every corner. These exceptional beauties herald spring in a very different way than a riot of bright yellow daffodils. Instead, these unique spring-flowering bulbs offer their uncommon beauty in a way that’s both subtle and curious.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to several of the unusual flower bulbs that call my garden home. All of them are fully hardy here in my Pennsylvania landscape and take quite nicely to average garden soil. Best planted in the fall, these unusual flower bulbs settle in for a long winter’s nap before popping up out of the soil the following spring to produce their gorgeous blooms. Most of these bulbs have lived in my garden for many years, and every year their colonies grow, with each bulb producing off-sets that help the plants spread.
Unusual flowering bulbs, like this Scilla siberica, are easy to plant in the autumn, especially with the right tools.
How to plant flower bulbs
Before we get to the introductions, I’d like to quickly share the technique I use to plant all of my spring-blooming bulbs. I plant hundreds of bulbs every fall, and I used to do it by hand, digging each individual hole with a trowel before dropping the bulb into it. But I’ve since come to appreciate the power and prowess of using a bulb auger to do the job.
These cool tools are basically giant drill bits that attach to your corded or cordless power drill. There are long-shafted bulb augers you can use from a standing position and short-shafted bulb augers meant to be used at ground level. I’ve used (and loved!) both types and highly recommend them. I used to be able to plant about 50 bulbs in two hours by hand, but with a bulb auger, I can plant over 200 bulbs in about an hour, especially in areas where the soil is relatively soft.
Here’s a useful video of how a bulb auger works, if you’d like to see one in action.
There are also a few other bulb-planting tools that I’ve found quite useful over the years, if you don’t have a drill or aren’t interested in hauling one outdoors every autumn. This cool stand-up bulb planter works really well, as does this all-steel bulb planter. Both are stepped down into the soil and then pulled back out again to remove a core of earth. The bulb is then dropped into the waiting hole, and as you create the next hole, the core of soil is popped out of the top of the tool head. It can then be used to fill in the empty bulb hole. It’s a bit more work than using an auger, but certainly requires less effort than hand-digging each and every bulb hole.
How deep to plant flower bulbs
As a general rule of thumb, no matter the size of the bulb you’re planting and whether they’re unusual flower bulbs or common ones, the perfect hole depth for each different bulb is about two-and-a-half times as deep as the bulb is tall. So for a two-inch-tall tulip bulb, the proper hole depth is about five inches deep. Don’t get too caught up in this rule, though, because bulbs are pretty flexible and the planting depth doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect for them to thrive.
My favorite unusual flower bulbs
Now, onto the fun part! Here are the unusual flower bulbs I think you’ll enjoy adding to your garden.
Also called the snakes-head fritillary, the checkered lily, or the guinea-hen flower, this sweet little bulb packs a lot of beauty in a small space.
Standing just six to ten inches tall, Fritillary meleagris, or the checkered lily, may not be big, but it sure is gorgeous. The checkered petals on nodding flowers look terrific along walkways and on top of retaining walls where they can be seen close-up. They’re a deer-resistant bulb that the chipmunks don’t seem to bother either. This European native blooms from March until early May, and I absolutely adore it. You can find this great bulb for sale here.
Crown imperial fritillaria are drop-dead gorgeous. Their tropical good looks make them real standouts in the garden.
On the opposite end of the height spectrum from checkered lilies are another type of fritillary, Fritillary imperialis, or the crown imperial. These stunning and unusual flower bulbs reach a height of up to two feet! The hollow bulbs are rodent resistant and smell a bit skunky. But, once they’re in the ground, you’ll forget all about the bulb’s odor only to focus on the tropical good looks of this striking bulb flower. They sell many different colors of crown imperial, including the one you’ll find here.
Camassia quamash is a North American native bulb that once served as a food source for Native Americans. Now we enjoy these plants for their lovely blooms.
If you like to include North American native plants in your garden, then Camassia quamash is the bulb for you! Commonly called blue camas or quamash, these unusual flower bulbs do very well in sunny areas with well-drained, humus-rich soil, and they spread easily via seeds. Their tall, blue spikes of flowers look gorgeous in the spring and reach a height of fifteen to twenty inches tall. The bulbs were once used as a food source among native peoples. If you want to add some Camassia bulbs to your landscape, they have them here.
The brilliant blue of Chionodoxa is certainly a welcome sight in my garden every spring.
These unusual flower bulbs are also known as glory-of-the-snow, and the name is well deserved. Though Chionodoxa lucilliae is a native of the Mediterranean region, it does very well in my garden, producing scores of brilliant blue flowers early every spring, often as the last bit of snow is melting. With a height of just three to five inches, this diminutive bulb knocks your socks off not with its size, but rather with its color and stalwart nature. There’s a pink cultivar, called ‘Violet Beauty’, that I adore almost as much as the blue. You’ll find glory-of-the-snow bulbs for sale here.
Winter aconite is the very first flower to bloom in my garden every year, often in February.
Winter aconite ushers in spring like none of the other unusual flower bulbs I mention here. The yellow burst of color from Eranthis hyemalis appears very early, often in February, and is always the first thing blooming in my garden every year. Though winter aconite flowers are only three or four inches high, they make me giddy every time I spot their sunny yellow. A member of the buttercup family, this plant is deer resistant and thrives under a great deal of neglect (ask me, I know!). This is a good source for winter aconite bulbs, if you want to plant some, too.
Erythronium, or the trout lily, is a spring-time joy in my garden.
Another North American native bulb well-worth growing, the trout lily, Erythronium americium, bears nodding yellow blossoms with recurved petals. Standing ten to twelve inches tall, each flower stalk produces multiple flowers. The thick, glossy green leaves are lovely even when the plant isn’t in bloom. Trout lilies bloom in April in my garden, and they definitely do best in dense to moderate shade. In late spring, after flowering ends, the foliage dies back and the plant shifts into dormancy. But don’t let that stop you from growing these unusual flower bulbs because the springtime show is spectacular. Here’s a source for this special little bulb.
Spanish bluebells are both underused and under appreciated. This lovely spring-blooming bulb is both tough as nails and sweet as pie.
Spanish bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica, are such lovely harbingers of spring. Their straight stems of nodding, bell-shaped flowers stand above strap-like foliage for three to four weeks in the early spring. These unusual flower bulbs spread quickly, forming nice-sized clumps and colonies after just a few years time. This plant does best in woodland or shaded garden areas with soil rich in organic matter, though it will also grow in average garden soil without trouble. You can find top-sized bulbs for your own garden here.
Snowflake flowers are sweet and delicate, and their lateness may surprise you.
The snowflake flower, Leucojum aestivum, always surprises me. Unlike snowdrops (Galanthus sp.), these guys don’t come into flower until late spring. Their pendulous, skirt-like flowers bloom on foot-tall stalks, and they make a lovely accompaniment to late tulips and bleeding hearts. They’re so graceful looking and will naturalize quickly, especially if the bulbs are planted in drifts. Here’s a source for this lovely little bulb.
Puschkinia might be small, but they sure are mighty.
Of all the many unusual flower bulbs out there, Pushkinia, or striped squill, are definitely near the top of my list. And, the bees love them almost as much as I do! Their five-inch-tall spikes of flowers appear in early spring, and each white petal is centered with a stripe of blue. That blue stripe serves as a runway for pollinators who take advantage of the early source of nectar and pollen. A spring-flowering bulb that’s best appreciated close-up, I recommend planting it at the edge of woodland garden, walkways, and stepping stone paths. I got my Puschkinia bulbs from here.
Of all the alliums on the market, drumstick allium is my personal favorite.
Yes, I love the giant blossoms of Globe Allium and the small, inch-wide flowers of caeruleum blue allium just like everyone else, but the drumstick allium (Allium sphaerocephalon) is my hands-down favorite. When the two-foot-tall, straight stalks float above the garden in late spring and early summer, they always catch my eye. The ball-shaped flower clusters are deep purple on top and sometimes have a greenish base that disappears as the flowers age. Plus, they’re deer and chipmunk proof, a must for my front garden. Here is a great place to source alliums.
Hardy cyclamen are a real treat in shady gardens.
Hardy cyclamen are always a surprise treat for gardeners, because unlike these other unusual flower bulbs, Cyclamen cilicicum blooms in the late summer and fall, rather than in the spring. Yep, that’s right: hardy cyclamen strut their stuff late in the season, a time that most bulb growers ignore. Hardy to USDA Zone 5, hardy cyclamen thrive in most garden areas with average soil. Though they’re fairly slow growing, with a bit of patience and time, they’ll form a lovely colony. Their variegated leaves and pink, recurved flowers are deer resistant, too. You can purchase this fun yet striking bulb plant Here.
I hope you enjoyed this list of some of my favorite unusual flower bulbs and that you find the time to tuck some into your garden this fall. Come spring, I guarantee you’ll be pleased with your efforts!
What spring-flowering bulbs are your favorites? Tell us about them in the comment section below.
For more on growing great bulb plants, check out these related posts:
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Saffron crocus: A spice worth growing