John Scheepers2017

Woodland Bulb Plantings

It is incredibly beautiful to plant certain types of flower bulbs in woodlands. They help to create a dreamy, magical panorama for happy views from one's home and lazy spring walks.

Some of the best flower bulbs for woodlands graced with filtered sunlight include Hyacinthoides hispanica and Hyacinthoides non-scripta, each of which are naturalizing heirlooms dating back to the 17th and 16th centuries. One may still see glorious old European estate woodlands shimmering with seas of pendant, bell-shaped flowers planted centuries ago.

Other flower bulb varieties good for woodland plantings include Allium triquetrum, Camassia, Corydalis solida, Eranthis hyemalis, Erythronium pagoda, Galanthus, Geranium tuberosum, Ornithogalum nutans Silver Bells, Oxalis adenophylla, Puschkinia and Scilla. Galanthus is the earliest to bloom, followed by Eranthis hyemalis and the rest. The last of these gems to bloom is Oxalis adenophylla and Allium triquetrum. Each of these varieties is so eye-catching planted in irregularly shaped drifts and swaths among lush ferns, highlighted in the illumination of shifting, dappled sunlight. You may refer to our section on Shade-Tolerant Flower Bulbs.

Naturalizing Narcissi are also good for woodland plantings that benefit from a bit more sunlight. Depending on your own personal taste, one may choose from individual varieties of naturalizing Narcissi like Trumpet Daffodil Mount Hood, Large Cupped Narcissi Flower Record, Ice Follies, and Salome, or more diminutive varieties like Triandrus Narcissus Thalia, Cyclamineus Narcissi Jack Snipe and Tête-à-Tête, or Species Narcissus obvallaris. We also carry some wonderful mixtures of naturalizing Narcissi ideal for woodland plantings, like our diverse Narcissus Grand Mixture, Heavenly All-White Narcissus Mixture, Sunny All-Yellow Narcissus Mixture or one of our favorites, the Ravishing All-Pink Narcissus Mixture, among others. You may refer to our section on Naturalizing Flower Bulbs.

If you are going to plant drifts of flower bulbs in woodlands, keep in mind that most trees have profound, concentrated root systems that can take up quite some real estate. These root systems can siphon away rainfall and deplete soil of valuable nutrients. They can even push flower bulbs up from their proper planting depth, exposing them to extreme seasonal temperature spiking.

It is best to plant them in and around the trees, rather than directly over root systems. (If you think of piling more top soil over the root systems of trees, it is not a good idea. Most trees don't like having more soil heaped onto their roots: it would quite likely damage them.)

Black walnut trees are particularly bad for flower bulbs in that their nuts create excessively acidic pH soil as well as quite a mess.