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Eight Great Bulbs You Should Be Planting Now!

Colorful tulips at Tagawa Gardens in Denver, Colorado

Planting bulbs is truly an act of faith.  You dig some holes… plant a few bulbs…. cover them up and water them in.  And what do you have to show for it?  Nothing…. yet. But just when you think spring will never come…  Mother Nature delivers!  Beautiful, exotic blossoms… sometime emerging through the snow as if to say “So there, Old Man Winter!”

This is bulb-planting season, and Tagawa’s Gardens has dozens to choose from.  Let’s look at a few that caught my eye.

“Cartouche” Tulips


When we think of spring bulbs, the traditional tulips and daffodils are usually the first to come to mind.  I live in the country with herds of deer as constant neighbors.  Deer love tulips, so I generally don’t plant them.  But this beautiful double-pink tulip from Simple Pleasures makes me wish I could.

The flowers emerge white with pink edges but with time, turn more red than pink.  Be sure to plant them where you can watch the amazing color transformation! 

“Clouds of Cotton” Tulips

This lovely combination of white over deep purple is stunning!  It’s from Van Bloem Gardens.  Shades of purple are one of the most popular colors among home gardeners these days.  “Clouds of Cotton” blooms mid-spring.  As with many bulbs, they put on their best show planted together in clumps.  And what a show it will be!

Narcissus/Chinodoxa Blend


Is it a narcissus or a daffodil?  Technically, all daffodils are in the larger narcissus family. But I’ll always think of that big bed of bold yellow trumpet-shaped flowers that my aunt grew as the daffodils that meant spring had arrived.

Whatever you choose to call them, narcissus/daffodils should have a place in every garden.  And if you live in deer country, they can be your go-to spring flower because the deer don’t like ’em!  Deer love tulips, but the daffodils don’t interest them.

Tagawa’s carries lots of these bulbs, including this mix of narcissus and beautiful start-shaped chionodoxa, also deer resistant.  Garden design rarely gets better than combinations of yellow and blue.  Who wouldn’t want this as their own declaration of spring?

 “Orange Monarch” Snow Crocus

If you’re interested in a traditional spring bulb in a not-so traditional color, check out this crocus called “Orange Monarch,” with a beautiful butterfly as its namesake.

Crocus bulbs are about the size of a small grape.  Very easy to plant!  But boy, do “Monarchs” pack a punch!  Can’t you just picture these poking up through the snow in early spring?  Talk about attitude!

Giant Snowdrops

Snowdrops, known botanically as “galanthus,” are lovely delicate-looking flowers that are a lot more robust than you might think.  They’re one of the first flowers to push up through the snows of late winter.

These “giant” snowdrops look like their smaller relatives, but stand as much as eight inches tall.  Small but mighty, and they’re deer resistant!  Sweet and elegant and tough, all at the same time!

“Globemaster” Allium

From small but mighty flowers to big and eye-popping!  Globemaster allium will turn heads!  One of these tennis ball-sized bulbs grows a single giant round wonderfully purple flower.

The “blossom” is actually a globe (as the name implies) of hundreds of tiny star-shaped flowers held high above the garden bed on a four-foot stem.  They’re beautiful as they mature in late spring and excellent in dried arrangements.  Every garden should have at least a few!

Fritillaria “Prolifera”

Fritillaria aren’t like any other spring-blooming flower.  These impressive plants grow a cluster of drooping, bell-shaped blossoms on a stem that’s three to four feet tall. “Prolifera” is a brilliant reddish orange that will shout out its arrival in mid-spring.

All parts of the plant give off what some describe as a “skunky” odor.  But that’s a good thing!  The mild odor keeps the deer and foraging rodents at bay.  These flowers look like they’d be right at home in a tropical setting, but can thrive in Colorado gardens in late spring.

Colchicum “Double Waterlily”

Colchicums are a different sort of flower.  They send up leaves in the spring, but no flowers.   When the flowers emerge in the fall, they have blossoms only.  Not a leaf in sight!  That habit earned them the name “Naked Ladies.”

Karen, one of Tagawa’s Perennial guru’s, says if they’re planted now, they’ll send up that elegant “naked” flower this fall.  Imagine having this double lilac-pink appear as so many other flowers have faded for the season.

Now is the purr-fect time to plant!

All of the flowers listed here come with specific planting instructions.  Most require very well-drained soil, but some tolerate or prefer more moist conditions.  Any of the Tagawa staff working near our bulb display will be happy to help you make just the right choice for  your garden.

Plant now, and be thrilled by the color and exotic beauty still to come!