To me, planting Dutch spring flowering bulbs is like cooking. First of all, unless the cook really messes up, most meals are pretty good. I remember eating food from Jeremy’s Boy Scout campout days where the scouts would dump everything into a big pot - noodles, onion, potatoes, canned vegetables and cubed beef. It really wasn’t bad at all. Likewise, a customer could come to the garden center, pick bags of spring flowering bulbs without regard to any design at all, and in the spring when the bulbs bloomed, you’d be impressed with the colors of the season. They might not be the best colors together, but they’d still be bright and cheery.
Following recipes as a guide is how I approach cooking. Being someone who can be like a kid in a candy store when selecting flowering plants for the landscape, my beds may tend to look as if they ‘dressed themselves’!
Our good friend and Dutch bulb supplier, Piet Stuifbergen of Stuifbergen Bloembollen Export BV, has developed several bulb blends to make choosing bulbs so easy. Your flower beds in the spring will look as if a professional landscape designer has personally selected a blend of bulbs just for you. And that’s because one has. Piet works with the top display gardens in the Netherlands to come up with blends of not only the newest var ieties of bulbs, but also tried-and-true var ieties that complement each other well. Some var ieties are decades, if not centuries, old. Here are just a sampling of what we have in the stores now for easy to plant spring flowering bulb ‘recipes’:
My Funny Valentine contains Red Cassini and White Dream tulips reaching 16” in height. These Triumph tulips will bloom mid-spring.
April in Paris is a blend of pastel colors with pink, purple, light yellow and cream tulips blooming in harmony, making an amazing show in mid-spring as well.
Prince Garden Mixed is what I planted last fall for a beautiful show of dark purple, lavender and yellow tulips in early spring reaching almost 2’ in height.
The Days of Wine and Roses contains a mix of rich purple Attila and Shirley, a color-changing tulip, featuring ivory white petals edged in purple. As it opens, it slowly turns almost entirely into light lilac lace.
We also have ‘Cake Box’ packages with 50 bulbs to create a show in the garden. This blend contains 5 different bulbs, including fun var ieties such as Allium and Fritillaria. For best results, plant bulbs with Hi-Yield Bone Meal for establishment and water thoroughly. Hi-Yield Dutch Bulb Food will help bulbs naturalize well and bloom for years to come.
Your friend in the garden,
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center
There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.