Fall Planting for a Spring Garden
Kris Vento
Fall Projects

With summer coming to a close, now is a great time to start considering your spring garden. Many of the earliest spring flowers are from bulbs planted in the fall.  Since they require 10-13 weeks of colder temperatures to initiate their growth process, planting before the first frost is the best way to ensure you’ll have blooms when the ground begins to thaw in late March or early April. It’s important to consider blooming period, height, and color to thoroughly plan out placement and landscape design. Below, we highlight a few perennial varieties that thrive in Delaware and whose blooms will transform your garden with color every spring.


Crocuses are one of the first buds to emerge from the ground in the early spring months, and the arrival of their delicate blooms ensures that warmer weather is on the horizon. Crocus bulbs prefer soil that drains well in partial to full sun. Crocuses can be found in various colors, allowing you to find the perfect hue to suit your aesthetic. The plants are only three to five inches tall, so consider planting them in the front of your garden so their flowers can be seen and enjoyed.


The sunny daffodil is the heartiest bulb on our list and will reliably re-emerge each spring for generations! Blooming soon after the crocus, daffodils require little more than sun and soil and are very low maintenance. In fact, each year, daffodil bulbs will multiply, bringing more joy to your landscape as the years go by. While they are mostly thought of as yellow, you can find daffodils in hues ranging from ivory to light orange, with flowers that can vary in shape and size. The daffodil is usually about one foot tall, although dwarf varieties are also available.


There is a reason “Tulip Mania” was a phenomenon in 17th century Holland. The vivid petals of the tulip flower immediately add a bright pop of color to your landscape and are a welcome change of pace from the dullness of winter. Even better, tulips can be found in nearly every color of the spectrum, even black! They can be addictively fun to collect and pepper throughout your garden. Tulips grow about one foot tall and do well in nearly all types of soil. They can even be easily grown in window boxes and containers.


The tall and elegant Iris flower can be bearded or crested and bloom from late spring to early summer. Both varieties grow well without much maintenance. However, their bulbs grow a bit differently than the other flowers we have previously mentioned. The Iris bulb is part of a rhizome instead of an independent bulb. When planting, leave part of the rhizome exposed above the soil rather than covering the entire bulb with dirt. Some varieties may also require soaking before planting, so follow the directions marked on the package before you get started. Irises grow up to three feet tall, and their flowers can be found in hues from muted pastels to bright and bold jewel tones. Make sure to plant irises in soil with adequate drainage and avoid over-watering.


Depending on the variety, you can enjoy lilies’ decadent blooms from late spring into summer. Lilies’ height can range from one to many feet high and grow primarily vertical. This makes them candidates for container planting and in the garden. The lily plant is hearty and enjoys full sun, but be sure that the bulbs are placed in well-drained soil as too much wetness can cause root rot. These show-stopping flowers come in many shapes and colors, including double blooming varieties, and flowers with speckles or starbursts, with sizes ranging from dwarf to lily trees.

If you want to add a pop of color to your spring garden but require an expert’s help with planning, planting, or maintenance, contact us! We can help you create an outdoor oasis filled with beauty all year round.