Spring-flowering bulbs are a bargain in late fall and it's not too late to plant them if you use this trick.
Here’s a trick that allows you to take advantage of the money-saving late offers from Internet bulb companies like Brent and Becky’s or Old House Gardens. Or you can snag bags of orphan bulbs locally for rock-bottom prices and have them bloom in your garden next spring.
Water features – especially the naturalistic kind with waterfalls, streams or pools – often have planting pockets among the rocks where the soil is already improved and drainage is terrific. These spaces are ideal for bulbs of all kinds.
Also, you could consider other areas around your garden where you’d love to see spring bulbs popping up.
But wait, you say—it’s beyond bulb planting time in your garden. You’ve already hung up your gardening gloves for the season.
Not quite yet.
I learned this sleight-of-hand bulb planting from my friend Cindee Eichengreen, garden designer extraordinaire. She’s combined years of down-on-her-knees garden practicality with the showcase needs of designing for high-end places like The Oregon Garden and Moonstone Hotels.
Creating Cindee’s bulb bowl
Here’s Cindee’s great tip: Plant bulbs in wide shallow bowls, overwinter in a protected place, and then in spring, slide the contents of the bowls into similarly sized planting holes right where you need the color and form most.
Grab whatever orphan bulbs you can find — this is the time to try out ones you’ve never grown before. Or perhaps you’ve already got a collection of bulbs that never made it into the ground before your flagging interest or winter caught up with you — yes, let’s admit it, our gardening enthusiasm does wax and wane.
Locate a few wide shallow plastic bowls — the kind sold as “color spots” in the spring works well — and a bag of good potting soil. I also add organic bulb food.