Plant bulbs now; you’ll thank yourself next spring

This fall, more than any other, I urge you to plant some spring blooming bulbs. Most of us are looking ahead to what is likely to be a long winter of restricted activities. Wouldn’t it be nice to look out your window and see crocus blooms, and know that spring is indeed coming?


I distinctly remember standing in the bulb aisle of a nursery in September of 2019, trying to decide whether I really needed to buy that many more bulbs. “Maybe just two packages? You know what, I bet I’m going to be glad I bought more next spring. Five packages it is.”


Well, we all know what spring 2020 brought with it. And those bulbs, all of which I planted in my front yard, brought a lot of joy not just to me but to the dozens of people from the neighbourhood who made our house part of their route while out walking for exercise and escape in April, and May. It gave parents something to point out to their kids, provided a topic of conversation other than the news for adults walking together, and gave me a welcome opportunity to talk about gardening with those who paused to ask questions like “what are those flowers?” and “are they hard to grow?” when I was outside myself.


Praestans Shogun Tulip


I am so glad I bought all five packages. If I’d known then what I know now I would have bought fifteen. And a few packages of toilet paper.


This summer I ordered some bulbs online from a nursery on the west coast, since I wasn’t sure what the availability of bulbs would be locally this fall. But from what I’ve seen so far, at least in my area, local nurseries and big box stores have anticipated the demand and there is a supply of bulbs available in the stores right now.


If you haven’t ever planted bulbs before and have questions, here’s an article I wrote on how to do it:

How to plant bulbs


Here’s an article I wrote on how to shop for bulbs, including an explanation of what the symbols and descriptions on the bulb packages means:

It’s time to buy bulbs!

Which spring bulbs should I buy for my garden this fall?

Tulips are the classic spring bulb, but if I could only buy one type of bulb this year it would be crocuses, especially yellow ones, as they are among the very earliest spring flowers to emerge. My favourite yellow variety so far are called “Yellow Mammoth”.  In April, when they start to bloom in my garden, they bring a much needed hit of bright colour that really does help wash away the greys and muddy browns of late winter.


Yellow Mammoth Crocus

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