Magazine article Sunset

One Stage, Two Stars

Magazine article Sunset

One Stage, Two Stars

Article excerpt

The flower bed stays the same, but the bulbs change

For sheer drama, few plants can compete with spring-blooming bulbs. Starting early in the season, straight green stems of daffodils and tulips shoot up like magic from the ground. Then the flowers unfurl.

As sweet as the show is, it's all too fleeting. Within a week or two, the flowers fade and shrivel, then the green, strappy leaves carry on for a few more weeks to help nourish the bulbs for next year's encore.

But there's an easy way to keep the beds pretty: "drop-in" bulb shows. Instead of planting bulbs directly in the ground this fall, plant early, midseason, and late bloomers in 1-gallon nursery cans or 8-inch plastic pots, then slip them into the ground when they bloom.

Getting started

* Paper white narcissus bloom first. Then come daffodils and tulips. Pick bulb colors that complement a border's color scheme. …

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