Companion Plants for Bulbs (part one)

Everyone needs a friend. A companion…..even heirloom bulbs.

Companion plants are to bulbs, as friends are to people. Simply a must. Life is just too short to not have some companions by your side.

Most bulbs bloom just once a year. That’s a lot of garden space for a non-flowering plant!! The bulb is so incredibly beautiful, it is worth the entitled garden space… now what? It’s time to find some companions.

Finding the right companions for your bulbs can be tricky. Comanions, like friends, need not be too aggressive, not over-powering, not frail, wimpy or high maintenance. I prefer companions that are in the garden for the long haul, whether they are re-seeding annuals or natives. There are many companions out there to suit your garden needs and personality. Two of my of my absolute favorite companion plants for the Spring are Larkspur and Poppies.

Larkspur and Poppies are the two ‘must-haves’ for any cottage garden. These wildflowers are not over-bearing, and can be controlled by simply plucking the seedlings out. Larkspur and Poppies like to “overwinter”, which means to plant in the Fall. The baby plant will grow a strong tap root, but the plant itself will stay small until Spring. The plant will be much stronger than if seeds are sown in early Spring, which means stronger flowers to enjoy..

Larkspur is a spike of delicate flowers in pastel shades. Larkspur is a wonderful cut flower, and stays fresh in a vase for a week. I’ve been told that it is highly toxic to cattle, so be advised if you live on a farm.The seed pods will grow up the spike and dry out, giving you a generously large collection of seeds to resow in your garden and share with friends.

Poppies are my all-time favorite Spring flower. Honestly, what’s not to love about a poppy? The flower head opens to a delicate whimsy of simplicity, while the seed pod grows to make little poppy people throughout your garden. Poppy heads also make fantastic dried arrangements. Let us not forget about yummy poppy seed muffins and other baked poppy seed delights! Poppy seeds are dried and useable when the poppy head “hat” pops up, which allows air to flow inside the poppy head and dry out the seeds. Nature is so amazing!!!

Floret Farm Flower Seeds and Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company are two valuable resources for poppy seeds, and all flower seeds for that matter. Both companies believe in high quality heirloom seeds and unique flower varities. Seed packages have beautiful artwork and are truly a joy to open, knowing each seed was collected with love. Poppy seeds are ver prolific and can be collected each year. Re-seeding flowers are a garden investment, and it is worth the money to purchase high quality seeds.

There are countless ideas for companion plants for your bulb garden. In future blogs, I will revisit the different flowers I have blooming throughout the gardens.

Happy Gardening, my friends!