Garden Photo of the Day

Bulbs Worth Planting

Some favorites to plant now

close up of small orange tulips with yellow centers

Hi GPODers, this is Joseph, your GPOD editor. Fall is here in my Indiana garden, which means bulb-planting time! I’ve been going through old pictures looking at some of my favorite bulbs and scheming which ones I need to add to my new garden. Here are some things I’ve got on my list. What are your favorite bulbs? Send in pics! I’d love to share them on the GPOD.

close up of yellow and orange striped tulipsI love all tulips, but lately I’ve been having a thing for the smaller, species varieties, like this Tulipa clusiana (Zones 3–7)—all the elegance of a tulip in a smaller, more perennial package.

close up of small orange tulips with yellow centersTulipa ‘Little Princess’ (Zones 3–8) is a wonderful little bulb with cheery orange-and-yellow flowers.

close up of small red tulips with blue centersTulipa ‘Little Beauty’ (Zones 3–8) is a closely related hybrid to ‘Little Princess’ in a wonderful red color, with a dramatic bit of blue at the base of the petals. I love both of them and find that they do come back year after year if I give them good drainage and keep the squirrels from eating them.

close up of bright yellow tulips with white tips on petalsAnd one last tulip: Tulipa tarda (Zones 3–8) is the most vigorous tulip I’ve ever grown, multiplying each year to make lovely clumps.

close up of small bright yellow daffodilsI’m in the mood for a lot of bulbs—which is why I think I need some of this unusual little daffodil in my garden: Narcissus bulbicodium (Zones 4–8). The individual flowers are small, but planted in a mass they make a wonderful display, and they have such a sweet, different look to the blooms.

close up of Rijnveld’s Early Sensation daffodilThe daffodil looks totally typical, but it has one very wonderful trait: It is incredible early to bloom. This is the cultivar ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ (Zones 3–8), and it is always the first of the big daffodils to come into bloom, often getting covered with snow after it starts but not missing a beat.

close up of light blue grape hyacinthsGrape hyacinths are so great. I love the soft sky-blue color of this cultivar, Muscari ‘Valeire Finnis’ (Zones 4–8). It is just as tough, pest resistant, and fragrant as a normal grape hyacinth, but I just love the subtle color. It looks amazing with daffodils.

close up of white trilliumAnd let’s not forget natives. Although it’s not on the usual list of fall bulbs, great white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum, Zones 3–8) thrives when planted in the fall like your other bulbs.

close up of Virginia bluebellsAlthough not technically a bulb—but still great planted in the fall with daffodils and an essential source of early spring color for a shade garden—is the wonderful native Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica, Zones 3–9)


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 10/03/2023

    Joseph: Did I ever enjoy that series of suggestions and photos of the bulbs, I have noted down most of them. Sometimes we need a nudge, as in the tulipa variety of small tulips, I am going to give them a try and the earliest of large daffodils Rijnveld’s Early Sensation, brought a smile to my face. I can imagine it in April with snow on its head. Thanks for the excellent hints!

  2. User avater
    simplesue 10/03/2023

    I like your choice of the kind of tulips that seem more natural and come back perennially and reliably! The Tulipa ‘Little Beauty & your Tulipa clusiana-’ are amazing! Love those sky blue Grape hyacinths you planted.

  3. margotnavarre 10/03/2023

    The species tulips are some of my favorites. They would look great with snowdrops. Great pictures, inspiration and makes me think of the four seasons of gardening.

    1. User avater
      cynthia2020 10/03/2023

      Well put, Margot.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest