How to Plant Bulb Lawns – The Easy Way

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I’m filing this under – Things I Wish I Had Done Last Fall.   I love me a good flowery mead and given that I have a dead front lawn, (soon to be revived this spring)- this would have been all the easier.

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I never thought about how much more effective it would  be to roll back the lawn to achieve this effect.  No, I rather daftly dug little individual holes with a bulb planter.  Duh….So much simpler this way. 
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Now I am all inspired for this coming fall….or perhaps even this spring before the new lawn even takes hold!

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I’m curious — are you the type of person who loves this look (the sort of weedy lawn) or would you view this as a complete denuding of grassy perfection?   I’m really curious — because there truly is two sides to this in garden world…and none is more right…but I find that when I meet a new client, this is a huge indicator of what kind of landscape they will ultimately want and be happy with.

tumblr_mgpj8lP7yT1r5dkjoo6_1280Completely controlled nature (or as much as possible), or a willingness to encourage things going off on their own (or look like they did)?  What kind of gardener are you?

images from Trädgård med utsikt found via LF. and Photo by Wilfried Santer on Unsplash.

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How to plant bulb lawns the easy way

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Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

8 Comments

  1. carolyn mullet on January 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

    The town I live in (Takoma Park, MD.) has many homes that in the spring have Crocus tomasianus covering the entire lawn. Breathtakingly beautiful. This is thanks to the homeowner/gardeners planting them in the 1st half of the 20th century and now 75 years later we reap the rewards. Thanks for the post, Rochelle.

  2. Eddie Cummings on January 30, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I much prefer to have my bulbs in a bed. I don’t like the messy look of bulbs in a lawn, too weedy for a city garden. If I had a large meadow it might look OK.

  3. Paul W on January 30, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Love it (and love that dark brown soil!). If my beds are full of variety, why should my lawn-ish not be too? As long as it’s low, and can handle foot traffic, I’m happy for it to not be pristine turf. I fell for flowers in the turf while visiting English gardens. Their single, white Bellis in turf is charming. The closest I can come is white clover though we’ve also planted crocus and daffs. I’m also charmed by the Colchicum hillside at Chanticleer each fall.

  4. rochelle on January 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I have to say — I am towards the weedy lawn look — but I wasn’t always – growing up in the midwest and remembering people (like my parents) talking enviously about the shades of green that other people (on the other side of the fence) had achieved with their grassy perfection – it had an impact. But then I lived in England and was completely charmed by the variance, and lived in and loved look of something less perfect and more natural. Now I have moss in my grass (and some bulbs leftover a previous owner) and I relish and encourage it all. The only thing I need to rid myself of is the thistle….it simply must be barefoot ready.

    Caroline — I would love to see those crocus….maybe you can feature them sometime!
    Eddie – agree an urban are might be too much — but many of the spring ephemerals are there and gone before the grass even greens up – and then you can mow them down with the first cut. I think a possible nice season extension.
    Eddie – I too long for that soil…I have it in some places — but not under my lawn…plus it is filled (or was filled) with the nasty white grubs that killed it.

  5. redbrickbuilding on January 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    That’s an interesting barometer to use…I like it! I definitely like things to look like they took off on their own. They’re not weeds, they’re flowers, is my way of thinking. But then, I’m not a lawn person, either….

  6. Nell Jean on January 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I like the look of daffodils tumbling down a hill, or tucked at the end of a row of shrubbery. I’m willing to deal with dying foliage. Hyacinth foliage lasts a long time, I tuck them in the edges of perennial beds where they’ll be hidden while they ripen.

  7. Lucinda Packard on February 1, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    There is a great chapter on bulbs in the lawn in Lauren Springer Ogden’s new edition of The Undaunted Garden. It’s not that messy looking because the foliage of the crocus is fine like grass. I say, Do It!!

  8. Spalding Bulb on February 18, 2013 at 8:16 am

    These look beautiful.

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