Photo: Eric Piasecki
There would be no comely crocus, iris, or daffodil if not for the homely bulb. These swollen underground packages are young buds bundled with their own supply of nutrients. Just dig a hole and drop them in. Come spring you'll have a chorus of blooms — from the familiar turban of the tulip to the exotic 36-inch spire of the foxtail lily (Eremurus himalaicus) shown on this page. Most bulbs originated in mountainous regions, particularly of the Middle East and Mediterranean, and flower only after an extended stay in the cool earth. Planted in the coming fall weeks, these hardy parcels will patiently pass the winter until spring's warmth triggers their growth, some early in the season, some later. Chosen for their varied bloom times, a well-choreographed cast of bulbs will perform all season long.

Early Spring Bloomers (See image 1)
Each bulb is listed by name and planting depth:
•Tulipa tarda 'Titty's Star'; 3/4 inches
•Narcissus 'Intrigue'; 5/6 inches
•Narcissus bulbocodium var. conspicuus; 3/4 inches
•Chionodoxa forbesii (glory of the snow); 2/3 inches
•Crocus vernus 'Flower Record' (Dutch crocus); 3/4 inches
•Muscari botryoides 'Album' (white grape hyacinth); 3 inches
•Tulipa greigii 'Toronto'; 8/10 inches


Late Spring Bloomers (See image 2)
•Allium aflatunense 'Purple Sensation' (flowering onion); 4/6 inches
•Camassia quamash 'Blue Melody' (blue camas); 4/6 inches
•Iris x hollandica 'Casablanca' (Dutch iris); 5/6 inches
•Triteleia ixioides 'Starlight'; 3/4 inches
•Dichelostemma ida-maia (firecracker or lipstick flower); 3/4 inches
•Anemone coronaria 'Mr. Fokker' (windflower or poppy anemone); 2/3 inches
•Allium moly (golden garlic or lily leek); 2/3 inches
•Oxalis regnellii var. triangularis (purple-leaf false shamrock); 2/3 inches


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