Botanist's Lens: Planting Bulbs in the Fall for the Spring

Sleeping beauties, ephemeral warmth for a cold winter garden.


Plan in the fall, and reap in the spring. Spring bulb treasures begin with proper fall planning and planting. Bulb planting can begin as early as late summer and early fall. But September is the time to plan and buy your bulbs. Now you can buy wild Tulips, Crocus, Trout Lilies and many bulbs at our Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, Sept. 26th, 9am - 2pm! Learn more here.

Daffodils in the Woodland Gardens

One of the most common spring flowers are Daffodils. "Daffodils (Narcissus sps.) are among the easiest plants to grow, which makes them a great choice for beginning gardeners and for introducing children to gardening" Source: https://ahsgardening.org/wpcontent/pdfs/Daffodils_TAG_MA11.pdf


Bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes... there are many underground treasures that make every spring spectacular. But what does each type look like? Here is a close look at botanical insight of each type and planting guides:


From top left going clockwise: Wild Tulip 'Tarda', Spring Crocus, Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum), Pink Scilla, Scilla bifolia, Blood Root, Sanguinaria canadensis, and Bleeding hearts, Dicentra spectabilis


Spring at London Town's Gardens brings many bulbs: Daffodils, Crocus, Tulips, Scilla, Trout Lilies, etc. Overall, Daffodils and Tulips are one of the most common and well recognized bulbs.


Tulip 'Pinotage'

In fact, Tulip mania dates back to the 17th century! "One early 17th century bill of sale recorded the following transaction for a single bulb: 'two loads of wheat; four loads of rye; four fat oxen; five swine; twelve sheep; two hogsheads of wine; four barrels of beer; two barrels of butter; 1,000 pounds of cheese; a bed with linens; a suit of clothes; a silver tankard and a sizeable wagon to haul it all away.'” Source: https://ipm.missouri.edu/MEG/2016/10/Tulip_A_Brief_History/


Wild Tulips

Among several ephemeral beauties, London Town also features wild Tulip varieties such as 'Tinka', 'Praestans', 'Tarda' and 'linifolia.' The wild Tulip varieties are more perennial and hardy compared to some of the colorful hybrids. Here is a good link: https://www.pacifichorticulture.org/articles/tulips-in-the-wild/


Now you can buy these wild Tulips and many more at London Town's Fall Plant Sale on Sat. Sept.26th. More Information: https://www.historiclondontown.org/plantsale

Come and pick your own bulbs, or buy a pre-mixed bag of bulbs. Plant sale will also feature many other woodland ground covers, native shrubs and ornamental treasures suitable to Zone 7.


Plan in the Fall and reap in the spring. Spring bulbs, when given the best care and proactive planting in early fall, will surely mesmerize anyone who catches their sight. Sleeping beauties, ephemeral bulbs are the true treasures of a cold deciduous winter garden, adding warmth and beauty even with one small bloom.