Interesting Bulb Designs – Creating Bed Patterns With Bulbs

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Image by Rob3rt82

There are so many varieties of bulbs that it is easy for any personality to express themselves. Making bed patterns with bulbs is a little like playing with thread in a textile. The result can be a multi-patterned thematic work of art, like a fine carpet. Landscaping with bulbs in the Victorian age was a popular way to decorate the garden and inspires modern outdoor décor today.

Designing with Bulbs

There are a number of bulb designs found online and in glossy garden magazines. Creating bulb patterns in the garden was once the hobby of the rich, but the affordability of most bulbs today opens this classic design concept up to gardeners of any economic tier. The first steps are to graph out your bed patterns with bulbs and choose the varieties of flowers that will comprise the design.

Select bulbs that will suit the growing zone and site you wish to adorn. Bulbs must be hardy to your region and the site should be well draining with loose soil and plenty of organic matter incorporated.

You might be inspired by one variety, such as all red tulips, or mix in other colors of tulips for a different effect. Another delightful way of landscaping with bulbs is to make a bed with successive color. Plant bulbs that bloom first, intermixed with those that come later, which will cover up spent blooms and foliage.

Patterned Bulb Designs

In gardens of the 1800s, it was popular to have restrictive borders that set off each bed. Consider a plot of all red tulips bordered by sweet little blue Muscari. You can also get really creative by planting flower colors that form a picture or word.

A simple pattern is to line beds along paths or the drive with bold bulb color. Encircle a tree with bulbs, plant in a planter. go monochromatic or plant a shifting sea of jewel tones. A pastel theme is restful, while a blaze of bright yellow daffodils intermixed with red and orange tulips adds pop to the landscape. Just remember to preplan the bed with the look you desire, so planting is easy and follows the design.

Developing bed patterns with bulbs relies on preplanning but also on the health of the soil. Before planting, dig and loosen soil deeply, removing weeds, rocks and other impediments. Mix in some bone meal to slowly add nutrients for good flower growth.

If you have problems with squirrels and other animals that dig up bulbs, lay mulch or even mesh over the area until sprouts begin to come up. After blooming, leave the foliage on until it begins to yellow to help fuel the next season’s growth. You can hide this under successive plantings like later blooming bulbs or perennials.

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