Spring Regrets About Planting Tulips

Ilona Erwin

… Or I should say about not planting tulips last fall.

It never fails that when spring rolls around (especially after the type of deep freeze winter we had this year), that I regret not planting more tulips and other spring blooming bulbs.

Fall is the time for that, and last year I was completely taken up with decluttering and preparing for a grand holiday reunion. Yes, almost all my children and grandchildren came to my house from far parts of the country and we had the best Christmas ever! But back to that fall bulb planting opportunity: I didn’t have the ability to fit it all in and didn’t even go to the plant store last fall.

That must be a first.

Spring is when you realize just how much the beauty and color of Dutch bulb growers are appreciated. For little money and relatively small efforts on a gardener’s part, there is a rich display of gorgeous blooms in such vivid hues that you can’t resist bringing some into the house for a vase. Each view out the window can light up even dreary days, when oval blooms of painterly pinks, purples, oranges, or yellow decorate the landscape.

So, is the regret going to turn into sad feelings of missed opportunity? Absolutely not.

Now is the best planning window for making the best of the coming fall. Seeing plainly where past stands need replacing or dividing, where the garden pictures could best use a swathe of crocus or those subtly tinted tulips you so admire.

spring bulbs blooming in April

Remember to plant more bulbs this fall.

It is a wonderful time to note the varieties wanted, write them in a journal, draw out the loose plan, and soon order your favorites. Ordering bulbs come at a time when we don’t usually consider the planning and ordering part of gardening.

I am so glad I made progress decluttering and cleaning up my life last year, and I am ready to put a priority on renewing some of my tulip beds. This year I will also divide the snowdrops and many of the daffodils.

Gardens show great economy in the art of time management, that is, they almost always provide us a way to turn a mistake into something new that we may not have previously considered. The missed opportunities that morph into a chance for a better garden in the coming season.

It is all in how we look at it.

Here Are Some I Plan On Planting

Tulips

I have a few places that I would like to have a stand of twenty or so bulbs. The ‘Queen of Night’ needs replacing every so often and I would like to have more of those deep dark tulips beside the caramel Heuchera foliage.

Daffodils

I have so many that I just need to divide the older stands. I might take some of the bulbs and share them  with my kids, the way my mother did with me. I have a couple huge areas of mixed types of daffodils that she hauled here from her garden. They were in big old dish pans, and I rushed to put them into the ground late one year.

I think I will spread around more of the happily growing and multiplying narcissus bulbs that I already have.

They make a huge splash of yellow that is a sight to behold in midseason.

If you wonder how to do that:

Dig up your bulbs after the foliage is starting to go, allow to fully ripen, then remove withered leaves and clean off the dirt from the bulbs. Store in a dry, cool, dim place until fall. Then plant.

Take a tip from my mother: she would hang the bulbs to dry safely inside the netting that we bought oranges in. Old nylon hose find re-use as storage bags for your lifted bulbs, too.

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author

Ilona Erwin

I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of Ilona's Reflecting Pool. Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.