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Garden Design with Flower Bulbs
Choosing color schemes for your garden is not different from choosing color schemes for your house or your clothing. There are cool and warm colors in all garden designs All hues have different impact. To generate contrast, combine cool and warm colors and to create harmonies, combine colors that are close to each other in tone and intensity. In your garden, of course, green will always be part of your color scheme, and white is another color that is hard to avoid.
Repeat colors in all parts of your garden to make it a whole and to create some rest. Professional garden designer’s general rule: limit the number of colors in a display to three, one of which should take up 70% and the others 15% each.
Height is more important from the designer’s point of view than from a technical one. Of course height is a function of time: during spring different plants gain length and flower at different moments. Combinations with perennials, shrubs and grass make playing with height a creative game where maximum height and timing are the key factors to consider.
Broadcasting or planting in long drifts, is a technique that helps you to obtain a natural look in your garden because it prevents you from planting your bulbs in clusters or rows. This doesn't mean that it is wrong to plant in this way but broadcasting gives an effect sought by many and found by only a few. What it comes down to is forcing yourself to plant your bulbs randomly.
When you plant in long drifts, you should mix all your bulbs in a basket, grab a good handful and throw it away with a backhand swing, a bit like throwing a Frisbee. The next step is to plant the bulbs where they landed and then the most important part, don't cheat! You will without a doubt be tempted to pick up the farthest ones and bring them near the rest. Don't do this because the whole concept is based on absolute randomness. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Especially in borders bulbs can’t be avoided. They show their splendid colours on a moment when shrubs and perennials just start to develop their leaves. But bulbs become a real eye-catcher in these borders when you make sure to create beautiful combinations with the already existing plants. Wouldn’t you love to brighten up your evergreen Viburnums with a splash of brilliant red tulips? Or add some colour to the first leaves of Hosta and Pulmonaria by mixing them with Narcissus or Scilla?
If your well-trimmed lawn is the treasure of your garden you might not want to ‘spoil’ it with bulbs. But if you were ever mesmerised by a spring meadow with small narcissi you might be tempted to create such a little paradise in your own garden by adding early spring blooming flowers like Crocus, Chionodoxa, Puschkinia and Scilla to your lawn.
Sometimes the busy day-to-day life does not give us enough time to work in our garden. In that case large areas with groundcovers are the best solution. A lot of them however, like ivy, Acaena and creeping Cotoneaster, have the same appearance all through the year. They are the best example of a group of plants that can easily be upgraded by adding bulbs: long drifts of Narcissi and Hyacinthoides in spring, huge bouquets of Crocosmia and Gladiolus colvillei in summer turn ordinary green blankets into enchanting colourful tapestries.
Learn how from our blog
Creative ways to plant flower bulbs
Planning a mix of perennials and bulbs