This year, where did the winter go? We had winter for two days here in Johns Island and then the warm weather came. I should not be complaining. The spring bulbs are starting to sprout. I planted some tulips, lilies and camassias among my roses last fall and they are all popping from the ground.
To make a colorful display in spring, you have to plant in the fall. Spring bulbs are planted in the fall and the catalogs are the best sources because they offer more selections than local nurseries. When you browse through the garden catalogs, look for fabulous color of spring bulbs to add to your rose garden. Spring heralds with burst of colors coming from spring bulbs. Daffodils and tulips of all kinds fight for attention. To have color in the rose garden before the roses bloom, you can orchestrate the spring bulbs to bloom continuously.
Perennial tulips in the rose garden look fabulous. Red Parade, Golden Parade, Pink Impression, Halley’s Comet and Apeldoorn Elite come back year after year. These tulips are truly perennials. Some tulips don’t come back so the key is to buy the truly perennial tulips. They have huge flowers, good for garden display and for cuttings. Squirrels love tulips but not daffodils. So at planting time, sprinkle cayenne pepper over the tulip bulbs before covering them with soil. Squirrels hate cayenne pepper and run for their lives when they smell it. Take a lot of pictures in spring so come fall, you know exactly where to plant for next year’s display.
I love striped red and white tulips called Carnaval de Rio and World Expression. Also, Dow Jones, a striking red with yellow edges and Monsella, a bright yellow with red flames. China Town, a dark pink with light pink edges with green flames and the foliage has yellow edges around the green leaves looks gorgeous. They are not perennial tulips but I love their color. They are great in front of the house where passers-by can see them. There are spaces between your roses that can accommodate these spring beauties without competing with your roses. By the time the roses come into bloom the spring flowers will be gone.
One year, I decided to plant white tulips in one bed. I called this my little white garden. I had Maureen and Ivory Floradale tulips. Then I added Mount Hood Daffodil and then some white camassias. In summer time, white lilies called Casa Blanca replaced the tulips. This bed was anchored by Madame Hardy rose on one end.
Tulip leaves wither faster than daffodils. The leaves start to turn yellow as the roses are leafing out so then I cut them all off. The daffodils stay in the perennial border where I have some shrub roses, Old Garden Roses and perennials and that way, they don’t look so bedraggled while they are drying out.
After the late blooming tulips finish their turn, then the irises come next. I just discovered camassias few years ago and they were great additions. It gives dramatic impression and height to the garden beds. I had them near the back of the border with the perennials. Alliums were added couple of years ago and the giant ones, Globemaster and Gladiator are new favorites. Globemaster alliums are almost a foot in diameter across and Gladiator alliums are 6-8 inches across and when dried are also great for arrangements. I have these beauties and the Rembrandt tulips planted with the Old Garden Roses.
So be bold and experiment. Plant spring bulbs around your roses and you’ll extend your gardening pleasure. Your rose garden will look magnificent even before the roses reign supreme.
So while you are thinking of spring bulbs, think of another rose to plant. Roses are not difficult to grow contrary to popular belief. Why do you think Roses have been around for millions of years? All they need are food, water and sunlight. Just like you and me.
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Check my other blogs:
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- PLANTING BARE-ROOT ROSES
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