Seven Ways to Plant More Bulbs (and have less lawn)

Way One
Plant your little bulbs under bushes the lawnmowers don't dare to go near. Bushes, especially prickly or thorny ones, can protect your precious bulbs from lawnmowers, weedwhackers, and edgers. Low-growing trees like
this spiky inkberry work the same way to protect the tiny blue Siberan squill beneath it.

Way Two
bulbs in the shadow of bushes, where nothing else grows. To the left, there, where the mulch is? The owners of this property don't want grass to grow there. If you have access to some neglected corner like this, sneak in some bulbs while nobody's looking. To the right, with the poor mangled forsythia bush, is a "professional building," unfortunately.

Way Three
in between rocks, or around tree roots. It's tough digging holes around, for example, those shallow maple roots—grass won't grow there—so nobody, absolutely nobody, can object if you manage to wedge some crocuses in there. It's hard going, I'm the first one to admit that. But just look at how pretty the results can be (and no grass was harmed, none, not one blade)!

Way Four
you see how easy it would be to tuck some small bulbs in between these emerging or spring-flowering perennials!

Way Five
in front of a hedge or between a fence and a driveway, as these two creative gardeners did below.

Way Six
a focal point, in this case a sundial, but it could be a lamp post, a bird bath, or a mail box—anything the lawnmower is just too unwieldy to navigate—and adorn it with bulbs.

Below, are two very similar signs, practically across the street from each other. One side of the road bursts into beauty during April, thanks to the bulbs planted around the base of the sign.



Way Seven
When all
else fails, plant bulbs in your containers! To the right are crocus on a door step in Amsterdam.

Below are freesia in a container with cactus! Not something I would ever have thought of, but they look great. I've always been unsuccessful with freesia; the creator of this container tells me they need a Mediterranean climate. Off to the Mediterranean for me!

In my area, containers of daffodils and other little bulbs are not unusual in commercial applications: outdoor shopping areas, outside of restaurants, in fact, any commercial property with rights to a patch of outdoors can put a container there. It didn't occur to me until preparing this article that I can use that strategy at home, too! Maybe I won't need to move to the Mediterranean after all.

plant more bulbs!

In containers, in windowboxes, in front of rocks, under trees—I'll bet if you look around this spring at the places you see bulbs, and then look at your places where there aren't bulbs, you'll think of somewhere to sneak in a few more.

Since most of us don't have lawns that look like this (left) how about this (right)?

Spring Bulbs Week on Dave's Garden!

Be sure to read all the articles this week, April 21 - 28, 2009.

Photo credits: bbrookrd, Aunt_A, sallyg, adinamiti, BeaHive, critterologist, and Kelli. Other photos are property of the author.

(Editor's Note: This article was orginally published on April 27, 2009. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)