Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Foliage Followup: Hide Bulb Foliage As It Ripens?

Foliage following Bloom Day this month are examples of plants planned to hide maturing bulb foliage. Just as bulbs must be planned in a previous season, seeds must be scattered or perennials planted in a timely manner to grow on in time to mask the foliage of daffodils and other bulbs. The longest lasting green with which I work is Hyacinth foliage. I read to remove the dead florets leaving the green stalk as it helps with photosynthesis as the leave do. Just in case, I leave that thick healthy stem.


In this bed, there are hyacinths and Ice Follies blooming. Coming on for later are plants of  'Little Business' daylily.


In front of and around Ice Follies are seedlings of Black Eyed Susans, Poppies and Larkspur. Poppies and Larkspur were seeded in November, as were California poppies, not shown here. Rudbeckia reseeds freely. Gardeners in colder zones might adjust planting times to fit.

Lily foliage is emerging from the soil.
Tall and slender, lilies hide little, but blooms draw attention
away from ripening foliage of earlier plants.

Many annuals and perennials will hide bulb foliage. My mother always planted Shirley Poppies which  I call corn poppies. Sweet William dianthus as well as cottage pinks will be blooming soon. Silene, or Catchfly has a nice bluish foliage, blooming just after poppies here. Cornflowers, Nigella, Rose Campion and other early annuals and biennials are recommended. 


Not every bulb bed will have to be disguised. Areas where daffodils are in large beds of nothing but bulbs are just left bare until the foliage dies back here. Those areas are not prominently viewed from the roadway. He-who-mows knows not to mow there, aided by a bit of green surveyor's tape surrounding the bed. Once the foliage matures, the whole area reverts to rough lawn.

Many bulbs are just coming up here while others are almost done blooming. It's a long show and very satisfying. Adding more bulbs every fall makes it more exciting. It isn't too early to plan for next fall's plantings for spring excitement in 2011.

16 comments:

  1. Nell Jean, I always have a hard time with daffodil greens... It is important to plant them where they will not get cut down too soon. Alas, having them dotting the landscape does not always work as it becomes necessary to mow. I have many that do not bloom for that reason. Then there are clumps I need to divide for they are so old they do not bloom either. Your blooms and foliage look lovely. I can imagine all the plants growing up in your beds in time covering up the yellowing foliage. Carol

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  2. Good post! I try to leave foliage up as long as possible to replenish the bulbs. That's difficult especially when it's tulips that begin to look unsightly after the petals are gone.

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  3. I think the best time to plan for next bulb season, is when you can see where they are flowering now, and where you need them in the future.

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  4. Dear NellJean, This is the pursuit of the Holy Grail of gardening - how to have a succession of flowers all season and yet disguise the dead and dying foliage of spent blooms. I feel that daffodils are most successful when grown as you have them in an area which can, once the flowers are over, be left.

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  5. I'm not bothered by the fading foliage. Like you, my daffs are surrounded by other plants that will hide the yellowing as the season goes on. The allium foliage was no trouble at all last year and the Spanish bluebell foliage goes very quickly to the ground for raking up.

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  6. There's so much going on in my garden when the daffs start to ripen their foliage, it's not a problem. I leave them but do sometimes divide, fertilize and replant.
    Love the poll on the side. The poem is hilarious and (mostly) true.

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  7. I think our daffs will just be left to look a bit shabby in the orchard this year while the leaves ripen. They're out there all alone at the moment. Hopefully in future years, as we get the remaining native ground cover plantings in, the meadow-like effect in late spring will help disguise the mess!

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  8. You have some beautiful daffs and ooohhh I love the hyacinth's.

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  9. I use ornamental grasses to mask/distract from my ripening bulb foliage. My favorite right now for this purpose is Calamagrosis x acutiflora 'Overdam' but there are many others as well. I find the bulbs and grasses need dividing about the same time.

    Christine in Alaska

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  10. Most of my bulbs are in my flower meadow, where the growing grasses will hide the foliage later on.
    I do have bulbs too near the hawthornhede, where the Geranium phaeum grows too. This geranium easily disguised the bulbs foliage.

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  11. I am looking forward to seeing your Black-Eyed Susans and Larkspur. Something about seeing their little clumps of leaves just makes me impatient for their blooms.

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  12. NeilJean,
    Always learning something when I read your blog. Meg's larkspur seedlings are looking great.

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  13. Just beautiful as always! Hope you have a great day! Happy Gardening, Pamie G.

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  14. I add new bulbs almost every fall. Last year I planted more daffs, anemones, allium and camassia quamash. So far, no sign of any of them. Too early.

    Your spring is moving right along, isn't it?

    donna

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  15. interesting to see on your blog that 3 days left in spring. Here we have spring almost fading and summer heat coming in. I also let the foliage of mu hyacinth bulbs and freesias and paperwhites gather energy for next season.

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  16. Nell Jean, your blooms and property are beautiful! I enjoy the daffodils, but am waiting for the black eyed susans! I love these sassy girls! I also enjoyed your poll / peom in your sidebar! :)

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I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.



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