Color-Coordinated Spring Bloom
Time your seasons of spring-bulb color with these recommended flower types.
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Theme: blue, yellow and white
Scilla siberica, Narcissus 'Tete a Tete', Narcissus 'Ice Follies'
In this spritely combo, the cobalt-blue scilla are first to bloom. They continue to bloom for weeks as yellow Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete' joins in, followed by white N. 'Ice Follies'.
Scilla siberica – This delicate-looking but sturdy little color machine produces stems supporting up to five bowl-shaped brilliant blue flowers each. The flowers emerge on still-short stems, then gradually rise to eight inches in height by maturity.
'Tete a Tete' – A miniature daffodil just six inches tall, 'Tete-a-Tete' bears an abundance of short-stemmed dangling flowers with golden-yellow outer petals that curl back to highlight deeper-yellow trumpets.
'Ice Follies' – This large-cupped daffodil is a champion naturalizer famous for its ability to "come back" each spring, often for decades in settings where it is happy. The large frilled flowers are lemon-yellow when they open, then fade to nearly white as the flowers mature.
Theme: red, yellow and white
Tulipa turkestanica, Tulipa praestans 'Unicum', Tulipa tarda
These three botanical tulips combine to charming effect in the early spring garden. All three are excellent naturalizers and will come back for years in many gardens. A mix of bright green, grey-green and variegated leaves with creamy-white margins provide a backdrop for the red and yellow flowers. T. turkestanica will bloom first, joined by T. praestans 'Unicum' and slightly later, T. tarda.
Tulipa turkestanica (species tulip) – This is a wild-looking species or botanical tulip with grey-green leaves and up to 12 star-shaped, malodorous white flowers borne on 12-inch hairy stems. The white flowers are flushed greenish-grey or greenish-pink on the outside, with centers shaded yellow or orange around brown or purple stamens and purple-tipped yellow anthers.
Tulipa praestans 'Unicum' (miscellaneous tulip) – A bunch tulip (multi-flowering) just eight-inches tall, 'Unicum' has variegated leaves edged in creamy white and clusters of up to five cayenne red flowers, each centered with a light yellow base and blue-anthers.
Tulipa tarda (species tulip) – This six-inch tall bloomer boasts star-shaped yellow and white flowers that open wide in the sun, then close tightly overnight. Each flower is white with a greenish tinge and a vivid yellow interior edged in white. Its shiny bright green leaves are lance-shaped, recurved and often finely fringed.
Host Paul James tackles some routine spring tasks in his garden, beginning with a new driftwood design and some planting.