Today we’re headed all the way to Nina Žunić’s garden on Hvar, Croatia, which Nina calls the sunniest island of Croatia, to enjoy some beautiful flowering bulbs.
Hvar is across the Adriatic Sea from Italy and has a warm, sunny, Mediterranean climate, which is where many of our most popular spring-flowering bulbs originate. Many bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, bloom so early and then go dormant because they come from a climate where there is very little rain in the summer, so they retreat down to their bulbs to wait out the dry part of the year. If your bulbs aren’t thriving in your home garden, try to give them lots of sun, and site them where they will be able to stay as dry as possible during their summer dormancy.
Brilliant yellow crocuses (Crocus sp.) are always one of the first bulbs to bloom, and they welcome the spring in such a cheerful way!
Crocuses come in a wide range of colors and patterns—and I’m pretty sure it is impossible to have too many of them.
Freesias hail from another part of the world with dry summers: South Africa. They are intensely fragrant, and modern hybrids come in a wide range of colors. If you live in an area with very mild winters (around Zone 9 and warmer, though I have had them come through mild winters in Zone 7), you can plant the bulbs in the fall for spring bloom. In colder climates, plant them in the spring.
The classic spring bulb—tulips! I love how they are growing here between rocks, which is similar to the conditions their wild ancestors would have experienced in their native range.
It’s hard to go wrong with the classic, timeless beauty of huge, red tulips. Happy spring, everyone!
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