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My Spring Garden

It’s nearly Spring in New Zealand, the bulbs for spring flowering have already popped their heads out and some are in full bloom, even though it’s, the middle of August.

The dahlias bulbs are still dormant, it is quite cold still, had a hail storm Monday morning, hail was still laying around in shelter areas of the garden four hours later, and we live beside a beach in Waitara.

Freesias are all looking good and smell beautiful, I have some on my table, love the smell in the house. The perfume that floats around in a spring garden, it makes one feel so good.


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Spring Bulbs

If you want the feeling of spring in your garden, you need bulbs, that are best suited for your climate, there are bulbs for every garden, be it hot and dry or cool and moist.

Bulbs range from charming dwarf ideal for rock gardens to tall growers well suited to growing in association with trees and shrubs.

The beauty and diversity of bulbs make them fascinating subjects for any garden big or small.

Few other groups of plants produce such a colorful display as effortlessly as bulbs.

We all know that when you see the Narcissus, spring is here.


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Snowdrops, Narcissus – Daffodils – Different Flowers, but all beautiful in Spring Gardens.

The first sign that spring is arriving is when you see the snowdrops, which have been in flower for some weeks now. Even though it has been very wet, they don’t mind, they open their white, winged flowers before anyone dares whisper spring is here.

Galanthus Snowdrop is a small genus of about 20 species of bulbous herbaceous plants in the Amaryllis family.

Narcissus – The best-known members of the large narcissus family are daffodils and the jonquil, but there are numerous other classes.

Hybridizing has resulted in thousands of varieties.

Daffodil is a common English name, sometimes used now for all varieties.

The range of forms in cultivation has been heavily modified and extended, with new variations available from specialists almost every year.

All narcissi need a similar growing medium, well drained, well dug light soil dressed with bone dust or basic slag.

The bulbs should be planted in autumn with planting depth equalling twice the bulb diameter.

Bulbs in borders often need to be lifted and separated every two or three years.

Bulbs – Natures Beauty.

There’s is an art in planting and growing bulbs, actually if planted at the right time you can have bulbs flowering in the garden most months of the year, not only in the spring.

For instance, Dahlia’s are a great summer bulb that can still be flowering in the late autumn if you prune the dead flower off regularly.

Dahlia’s are just one bulb, that you can have flowering all the year round.

There are many books about growing bulbs, a great way for someone to learn about them is try them out as some bulbs suit some areas and other won’t tolerate the climate.

Once you have one bulb if they are lifted stored and replanted they are something that you only buy once, and you will always have that plant, in fact, you will be giving them away they multiply very fast.

Check them out and enjoy natures beauty!

Crocus.- a beauty in any garden


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Know your Bulbs

Gardeners when referring to bulbs include not only true bulbs but also plants that arise from corns, tubers and thickened rhizomes like the iris.

A true bulb, such as daffodil, is a short underground stem surrounded by fleshy leaves or scales.

A corm is a smaller underground portion of stem covered with one or more dead leaf bases.

Gladiolus is a well-known example.

A tuber is a short underground stem which stores food.

Tubers are rounded, as in potatoes, flattened as in tuberous begonias, or irregular in the case of ranunculus.

Dahlias are an example of tuberous roots, the food being stored in the roots rather than in the tuber.

Spring maybe the main season for bulbs, but there are also many beautiful flowering bulbs for summer and autumn display.

Dahlias is one of them.

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Dahlia - Dahlstar SunsetPink


Tulips are spring-blooming perennials that grow from bulbs.

Depending on the species, tulip plants can grow as short as 4 inches (10 cm) or as high as 28 inches (71 cm).

With daffodils, tulips must be ranked as the most striking spring flowering bulb.

Tulip floriade

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There are many garden varieties and most can be grown quite easily in any free draining, well-dug loam.

They should be planted between March and June (in New Zealand) September to December (in the USA) and do especially well if well-rotted manure is worked into the soil some weeks before planting.

Tulip bulbs should be planted 15 cms (6 ins) deep in light soil and 10 cm (4 ins) deep in the heavy soil.

The somewhat tender bulbs fare best if protected by 2-3 cms (1 1/4 ins) of clean sand.

Treated this way, the tulip will come into bloom soon after the daffodils have finished blooming the following spring.

After the leaves have withered the bulbs should be lifted carefully and stored in trays in a dry shed.

A number of species and many hybrid cultivars are grown in gardens, as potted plants, or to display as fresh-cut flowers.

Most cultivars of tulip are derived from Tulipa gesneriana.

Tips for Planting Bulbs for Spring

Irises for a spring garden

Another one of my favorites is the Iris, especially in spring, there is later flowering iris, I enjoy the early one brightening up the spring garden.

Iris aphylla

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There are scores of different species of irises and more appear each season, in fact, the iris is a genus of 260 -300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers, which never cease to amaze me, their beauty is from another world, and they fit in with any land scrape.

Bulbous Iris

There are English, Dutch and Spanish irises within this group.

The Dutch Iris produces larger blooms early in spring and plantings are usually made from February to May in New Zealand.

The English iris thrives in cold districts but needs good winter drainage, the flowers appear in Summer in various hues of blue, wine and white.

The Spanish iris, planted at the same time of the year as the Dutch irises, will flower in late spring and are ideal cut flowers.

All bulbous irises like a light rich soil and the bulbs should be lifted each year after the foliage has died down.


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Other Iris species are Bearded Iris, Japanese Iris, Dwarf Iris.

Bearded Irises – They flower when most of the spring flowers have waned, flower color is wide ranging.

Japanese Iris – Thrives in damp situations, and in summer bears immense flowers in colors ranging from white to lavender, blue, violet, and purple.

The soil should be well enriched with organic material, are ideal for edges of pools, you can leave them for two or three years before dividing and replanting in early spring.

Dwarf Iris – Bears flowers of yellow, plum and white, in early spring.


Sparaxis tricolor


Sparaxis tricolor

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The best known is Sparaxis tricolor whose flowers are usually red or pink and white with a yellow throat.

This species has been crossed with sparaxis grand flora which is creamy white and purple.

Today these bulbs are, therefore, a mixture of colors: white, cream, yellow, orange, pink, red and purple Sparaxis and blooming med spring.

Sparaxis tricolor, known by the common names Wand flower, Harlequin flower, and Sparaxis, is a bulb-forming perennial plant that grows in well-drained sunny soil.

It gained its name from its colorful flowers which are bi- or tri-coloured with a golden center and a small ring of brown surrounded by another color.

The plant is native to southern Africa, bearing brightly colored spikes of flowers on slender stems.

They should be planted late summer about 5 c ms (2ins) apart, lift every two to three years as they tend to become overcrowded.

Primula Vulgaris

Primulas – Polyanthus

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Perennial primulas bloom mostly during the spring; their flowers can be purple, yellow, red, pink, or white, generally, they prefer filtered sunlight. Many species are adapted to alpine climates. Some flowering forms of (cultivated) Primula are commonly known as polyanthus (P. elatior hybrids) as opposite to primrose (P. vulgaris hybrids).

Polyanthus prefer a moist shady position, they are gross feeders and the bloom spikes will be greatly improved if animal manure is worked between the plants in spring, I find blood and bone good also, sprinkled around the roots. Polyanthus can be propagated by division after flowering or by seed sown in late spring, one year to flower the following season.


What Kind of Bulbs do you grow in your garden for spring flowering