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I would like to plant some spring bulbs in my raised beds. I currently have a butterfly garden, herb garden, and lily garden. Can I plant my spring bulbs in these beds or will the existing root systems over power the bulbs?
I plant bulbs EVERYWHERE I think that they can possibly grow. Yes, this does mean 'overplanting' in some areas. I plant most of my bulbs for the earliest spring flowers (read: daffodils/narcissus) They are interplanted with my roses, butterfly garden, herb garden, you name it. While I would be somewhat careful not to disturb the established root system of your established plants, I would say, "Fear not!" and plant bulbs in groups where you think you need some springtime color. I didn't look to see where you live, but keep in mind that some bulbs may not do well in your area, so try to find out the best varieties for where you live. (For example, here, tulips and hyacinth will more than likely never come back unless dug up and chilled in the refrigerator...yeah, like I'm going to do that!)
I once lived in a small house of a farm belonging to a very interesting old man and his wife. There was a small tree off the front porch. It wasn't much more than 1 1/2" thich and about 6' high. But around the bottom was a small flower bed about a 2' diameter circle. There was so much in that little bed it was amazing. Every week something new was blooming. I was great to see what would come up next. I say overplant every where you can. It really helps with bulbs because when you propperly grow them you should let them grow even after the flowers turn brown. If you have another flower blooming in the same area the color from it will draw the eye away from the spent blooms.
Crocuses, especially, are famous for coming up virtually anywhere, including around established trees and bushes. I planted quite a few in the last 2 years, and it's great to see them already pushing their way through the ground, even though we're still getting frigid PA winter weather. I just cover those that have already popped up with a light blanket of dry leaves or pine branches. So far, they've made it through several Feb. ice storms.
I also have tulip and Asiatic lily bulbs in a section of garden that, later in the season, has mums and primrose vines. As tbgworldwide suggested, it's best to not cut down the plants even after the flowers are gone. The plants should be allowed to remain until the leaves turn brown; when they are still green, they are absorbing nutrients to store in the bulbs for the next growing season.