Garden Photo of the Day

Spring Bulbs in Marlene’s Garden

Planting 2,000 bulbs a year makes for quite a display

deep purple tulips

Today we’re headed to Westerville, Ohio, to see a beautiful display created by Marlene Suter. When she emailed in these photos, she introduced them by saying simply, “I love spring bulbs, and plant about 2,000 each year in my gardens.” Two thousand each year! That’s pretty incredible—and a LOT of work putting all of those bulbs in the ground each year. But as you’ll see, the results are worth it.

garden arbor surrounded by pink and yellow tulips‘Pride Mix’ is made up of several colors of Darwin hybrid tulips (Tulipa hybrid, Zones 3–8), which is the group that tends to be the best at perennializing.

japanese maple surrounded by spring bulbsThis bed includes ‘Crimson Queen’ Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Crimson Queen’, Zone 5–9), ‘Carnival’ hedge maple (Acer campestre ‘Carnival’, Zones 4–8), pink ‘Ollioules’ tulips (Tulipa ‘Ollioules’, Zones 3–8), and white ‘Thalia’ daffodils (Narcissus ‘Thalia’, Zones 3–8). I love the way the colors in the bed in the foreground are repeated in the beds behind it, drawing the eye into the garden and unifying the whole garden.

Bridge over a dried creek with gardens on both sidesThe bridge leads to beds with several Japanese maples and groups of daffodils.

front yard path lined with spring flowersThe beds along the front walk are edged with ‘Sherwood Purple’ phlox (Phlox stolonifera ‘Sherwood Purple’, Zones 3–8) and clouds of blue forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica, Zones 3–8; often performs as a biennial or cool season annual), with white and yellow daffodils glowing behind them.

spring garden bed with lots of perennialsIn the front beds, groups of 10 to 12 tulips and daffodils are scattered among perennials and shrubs. I love the way the clumps of flowering bulbs create points of color in the midst of the other plants.

spring bulbs with Spirea japonicaGlowing ‘Spryng’ tulips, ‘Golden Echo’ daffodils, and Magic Carpet spirea (Spirea japonica ‘Walbuma’, Zones 3–8) with new orange foliage.

garden path in the springWoodland path with bluebells (Mertensia virginica, Zones 3–9), ferns, Epimedium, and spring bulbs.

woodland garden with lots of flowersFront of the woodland garden

tulips with bleeding heart‘Camargue’ and ‘Elegant Lady’ tulips, bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis, Zones 2–8), and fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii, Zones 5–8)

Queen of the night tulips‘Queen of the Night’ tulips, and lancifolia hosta (Hosta lancifolia, Zones 3–8)


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View Comments


  1. garden1953 05/31/2021

    Sooo gorgeous! Something to aspire to. Thank you very much for sharing!

  2. nwphilagardener 05/31/2021

    It's lovely to see how the bulbs really enliven the mature garden beds. I wonder if Marlene might tell us which varieties of tulips that have done the best job of perennializing, given how many bulbs she plants annually.

  3. PattyLouise 05/31/2021

    Beautiful & I want tulips! Thanks for sharing!

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/31/2021

    Oh, my, how very lovely!

  5. coastalgardener 05/31/2021

    What an outstanding spring display! I'm amazed at the amount of bulbs you plant each year and envy the energy you have to get them all in the ground. I especially loved the garden in front of your house. Thank you for sharing all of these lovely photos.

  6. alicefleurkens 05/31/2021

    What a lovely cheerful display. 2000 bulbs, that’s a lot. You must have a lot of ground

  7. User avater
    simplesue 05/31/2021

    Your garden brings on spring with a super display of flowering bulbs, one of the best I've seen yet.
    The woodland surrounding it and the stone path through the plantings, the did a fabulous job on your garden.
    I also love your choice of using ‘Sherwood Purple’ phlox, they are such a nice color and natural woodland looking type of plant that can fill in around bulbs, a favorite of mine.

  8. welcometomygarden 05/31/2021

    It was a joy entering your garden! Thank you for sharing your love of creating beauty and inviting all of us to enjoy a walk among the tulips.

  9. maryannborcherding 05/31/2021


  10. User avater
    bdowen 05/31/2021

    Lovely and welcoming entry garden. I also like the color combination of the tulips and the bleeding heart. Lovely garden!

  11. user-5117752 05/31/2021

    A fantasy of spring! What a delight! Your garden beds charm the heart just at the right time of year! Thank you for taking the time to share your beauty with us all!

  12. annette_brong 11/30/2021

    Marlene, Thank you for your beautiful garden. You must have vases throughout your house too! Hope your garden club gets a tour each year!

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