BY JOANNE SASVARI
Bulbs are kind of like magic. You tuck these knobbly things in the soil in fall, and in return you get a burst of bright, fresh colour in spring, just when you need it most.
Here in Victoria, the best time to plant bulbs is generally between mid-September and mid-October. In other words, right now.
You will likely want to choose bulbs that bloom at different times, giving you waves of flowers week after week. Home and garden centres should have a huge selection of interesting new varieties and colours, as well as tools for planting them and experts to give you advice.
Here are just a few bulbs to consider, and when they are most likely to bloom around Victoria:
- Snowdrops: These delicate white blossoms often appear when it is still technically winter, from January to March.
- Crocus: A true harbinger of spring, these charming little white, yellow, blue and purple flowers appear in February and March.
- Hyacinths: Late March is the time for these fragrant pastel-hued blooms, which is why they are often associated with the Persian New Year Nowrooz.
- Daffodils and narcissi: These pretty golden flowers will be “tossing their heads in sprightly dance” around the end of March.
- Tulips: There is a truly dizzying selection of these most iconic of spring flowers, which in April bloom in every imaginable colour and a variety of petal styles (ruffled, fringed, flared, single, double).
- Grape hyacinths: These shy blue blossoms appear in prolific numbers come April and May.
- Ranunculus (Persian Buttercups): The layers of cup-shaped, rose-like petals in tints of cream, butter yellow, apricot, pink, orange, red and burgundy are almost too pretty to be real. They bloom throughout spring.
- Iris: While mini versions of these dramatic flowers can bloom in March or even earlier, the tall showstoppers appear in May and June.
- Lilies: There are many, many varieties of lilies that grow here; most will appear between May and August,
- Alliums: Pollinators love these dramatic globe-shaped blossoms that bloom in June and July.