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Love Grows: Bulbs to Plant in the Fall for a Kindness Victory Garden

These days, we could all use a little more kindness. Bring cheer to your loved ones with a beautiful bouquet of freshly cut flowers. Right now is the perfect time to start preparing spring bulbs so they can grow into a lovely kindness victory garden that’s meant for sharing. Here is how to start a flowering garden and the best bulbs to plant in the fall. 

Young girl holding a bouquet of hyacinth flowers

There’s nothing more heartwarming to me than a gardener sharing their bounty. More than once, I have driven by both urban and rural flower stands where folks can pick up a fresh bouquet from a garden overflowing with blooms. It’s such a lovely sentiment. It’s hard to know exactly how much the person who picks up the bouquet needs it, but I’m betting that it makes much more of a difference then you would expect.

It’s not just the receiver getting the bouquet that gets the benefit of growing kindness and love in this way. The feeling you get when you give a gift that someone truly loves, and makes a difference in their life, is a great reward in itself. And of course let’s not forget the true beauty and healing that comes from growing a garden, cutting and arranging the flowers, and presenting them as a gift.

The Gift of  Homegrown Flowers

Woman carrying a bouquet of homegrown flowers

Peggy Anne Montgomery of Garden Media Group, a horticulturist who lived in the Netherlands for many years where the practice of giving bouquets was very common said it perfectly. She said, “Giving people flowers makes them feel special, especially when they are from your own garden. A bottle of wine is nice but a bouquet, even a small one, reminds friends and family that you care for a week or two. It’s really very easy to brighten someone’s day with flowers!”

I couldn’t agree more!

So here’s an idea that I want to throw out there: when planning your victory garden for your family’s food security, why not add in some cut flowers to create bouquets and spread kindness in your neighbourhood?

A kindness victory garden, if you will.

How to Grow a Kindness Victory Garden

Garden with a teal chair and blooming flowers

Plant some spring-blooming bulbs this fall in your garden. Next spring, those flowers are sure to brighten your day and those of your friends, family, and neighhbours.

Easy right?

More than once, through the challenging times of this pandemic, I’ve had a friend bring me flowers. Without a doubt, the most special bouquets were the ones that had been lovingly cut from a home garden.

On my birthday this year, I wasn’t able to have normal celebrations because of the pandemic but my home was filled with gorgeous bouquets from my friends’ gardens.

Bouquet of homegrown flowers from a kindness victory garden

And when my mother passed away last year, a small mason jar filled with fresh cut garden blooms appeared on my doorstep.

I felt so loved and nurtured through these simple acts of kindness and I would like to help spread the joy by recommending the bulbs you can plant this fall for a kindness victory garden next spring.

Sponsored Content: I’m proudly partnering with FlowerBulbs.com to share this list of bulbs to grow in your kindness victory garden. We have partnered on this article to help remind you that fall is a great time to plant bulbs for the next season. You can find a wonderful selection of bulbs to purchase online now at many retailers and in garden centers.

This is a great reminder to get your fall bulbs before they sell out! You will be glad you did when spring rolls around and you have a garden full of gorgeous blooms. Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post to win a sweet collection of 89 bulbs for you garden!

Bulbs to Plant in the Fall

Bulbs to plant in the fall for a beautiful spring garden

This curated list are some of my favourite bulbs to plant in the fall specifically for a cutting garden. Plant them now in the fall and next spring and summer, you’ll have gorgeous blooms to share in your kindness victory garden

1. English Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

When I think of bluebells, I think of meadows and fairy gardens. These small, bell-shaped flowers look wonderful on their own or mix well with other bulbs among your perennials. In the right conditions, they are a hardy and fast grower, able to multiply each year. These make for a great filler flower.

  • USDA zone: 4-9
  • Type of bulb: true bulb
  • Flower color: blue, pink, or white
  • Flowering period: May
  • Average plant height: 8-12 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: 8 cm
  • Spacing between bulbs: 8 cm
  • Light requirements: partial shade
  • Landscape uses: under trees and shrubs, and in frequently mowed lawns

2. Ornamental Onion (Alliums spp.)

If you’re looking for a showstopper, the ornamental onion is the way to go. These big, beautiful purple flowers from these bulbs to plant in the fall will stand out in your garden or bouquet. They are totally unique and so underrated!

  • USDA zones: 3-9
  • Type of bulb: true bulb
  • Flower color: white, purple, pink, burgundy
  • Flowering period: April – June
  • Average plant height: 10 – 68 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: varies, follow species instructions
  • Spacing between bulbs: varies, follow species instructions
  • Light requirements: full sun
  • Landscape uses: perennial gardens, borders, fresh-cut and dried

3. Daffodil (Narcissus spp.)

Narcissus Westward

It wouldn’t be spring without daffodils. Their bright, cheerfulness is often one of the first signs of spring and they are abundant in many gardens. A hardy bulb, they do well throughout the winter and can tolerate temperatures to -50°F easily. All around, they are a practical and pretty spring bulb that shouldn’t be missed.

  • USDA zones: 3-8
  • Type of bulb: true bulb
  • Flower color: white, yellow, orange, red and pink
  • Flowering period: February – May
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: large bulbs: 8 inches; small bulbs: 5 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 3 inches for large bulbs; 1 inch for small bulbs
  • Light requirements: full sun to full shade
  • Landscape uses: daffodils are suitable for almost every possible application: fields, beds, containers, borders, rock gardens, as cut flowers, and for forcing.

4. Tulips (Tulipa)

Bunch of tulips in a handheld bouquet

If there is a bulb that is going to beat daffodils in the popularity contest, it is tulips. Tulips are amazing due to the sheer amount of colours and variations they come in. Though common, don’t shrug them off too quick. There are over 3,000 varieties of tulips so you are bound to find something that tickles your fancy.

  • USDA zones: 4-10
  • Type of bulb: true bulb
  • Flower color: all and mixed
  • Flowering period: early
  • Average plant height: 8 – 12 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 3 inches
  • Landscape uses: beds, borders, rock gardens and for forcing

5. Dutch Iris (Iris hollandica)

fall bulbs: iris

Dutch iris blooms are a deep purple or blue flower atop slender, tall stalks. The petals are silky soft and bloom in a unique 3 petal shape. Irises make beautiful cut flowers because they are long lasting and easily arranged in a bouquet due to their height. They grow best in full sun but can also grow in partial shade.

  • USDA zones: 6-9
  • Type of bulb: true bulb
  • Flowering color: deep and light blue, purple, yellow and white
  • Flowering period: June – July
  • Average plant height: 24 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: 6 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 10
  • Light requirement: full sun
  • Landscape uses: beds, borders and as cut flowers

6. Hyacinth (Hyacinthus spp)

 

Tiny clusters of small flowers give the hyacinth their unique flower head. However, when I think of hyacinth, I first think of their wonderful scent. They are definitely the strongest smelling flower on the list and will make any arrangement smell amazing. They are easy to flower and come in a variety of colours.

  • USDA zone: 4-8
  • Type of bulb: true bulb
  • Flower color: red, pink, orange, salmon, yellow, purple, white and blue
  • Flowering period: March – April
  • Average plant height: 10 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulb: 8 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 6 inches
  • Light requirements: full sun to partial shade
  • Landscape uses: beds and borders

7. Checkered Lily (Fritillaria meleagris)

Checkered Lily Snake Lily Frittilaria

This gorgeous plant is about as unique as it gets when it comes to bulbs to plant in the fall. The checkered lily is a downward facing plant with purple and white checkers. The fritillaria comes in a few variations, the most notable being the checkered lily. Due to their exotic look, your neighbours will be utterly surprised you grew them yourself!

  • USDA zones: 3-8
  • Type of bulb: true bulb
  • Flower color: purple or white
  • Flowering period: April – May
  • Average plant height: 10 inches
  • Planting depth to the base of bulb: 4 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 2 inches
  • Light requirements: full sun to partial shade
  • Landscape uses: borders, rock gardens, lawns, under trees and shrubs, and perennial beds

8. Madonna lily (Lilium candidum)

Madonna lilies in a vase

Pure white, the Madonna lily is an elegant and large flower, with each stem producing anywhere from 10 to 20 flowers. These blooms are also well regarded for their scent, with the flowers being known to produce perfumes. Long after the bloom is gone, you can keep on enjoying the long, narrow leaves throughout the summer.

  • USDA zones: 6-9
  • Flower color: pure white
  • Flowering period: July – August
  • Average plant height: 40 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 8 inches
  • Type of bulb: corm
  • Light requirements: full sun
  • Landscape uses: borders, beds with perennial plants, and as cut flowers

9. Anemone (Anemone coronaria)

Mixed Spring Flowering Bulbs

Once known for warding off bad luck, anemones are always a welcome summertime flower. Each bulb will produce many flowers, meaning you are getting bang for your buck when it comes to a cutting garden! Make sure to soak the tubers for a couple of hours before planting for best results.

  • USDA zones: 7-10
  • Type of bulb: tuber
  • Flower color: blue, red, white, pink
  • Flowering period: May-August
  • Average plant height: 12 – 16 inches
  • Planting depth to base of bulbs: 2 inches
  • Spacing between bulbs: 4 inches
  • Light requirements: sun or light shade in a sheltered spot (afternoon sun)
  • Landscape uses: border, beds, pots

Bulbs to Plant in the Fall: Giveaway Time!

Flowerbulbs.com is giving away a collection of 89 bulbs to one lucky Garden Therapy reader! This wonderful gift pack consists of bulbs perfect for cut flowers and includes:

24 Anemone De Caen Mix

Anemone de caen mix in purple, pink, and red

The large, poppy-like flowers of Anemone ‘De Caen’ bloom in a mix of vibrant colors on low-growing plants. Impressively long-lasting in a vase when cut, these charming flowers are often used to create a carpet of color in shady spots. Deer resistant. Zone 3-10, height 10” to 12”, blooms in late spring, full sun to half shade. Plant three times as deep as the bulb is tall.

15 Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

Blooming Allium purple sensation

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ has 4″- to 5″-wide, violet-purple globes comprised of dozens of starry florets. Adored by bees, butterflies and pollinators, it has become a garden essential in borders. They make extraordinary cut flowers for modern floral designs. Zone 4-8, height 24” to 30”, flowers in late spring, full sun to partial shade. Plant three times as deep as the bulb is tall.

50 Deep Sunset Blend Tulips

Tulip sunset blend in red, orange, purple, and yellow.

This tulip collection will bloom in an array of warm colors ranging from orange, tinged with yellow, deep purple and nearly back. Perfect for a mixed bouquet. The specific varieties include, Tulipa ‘Nigrita’, T. ‘Queen of the Night’, T. ‘Orange Emperor’, T. ‘Orange Cassini’, and T. ‘Olympic Flame’. Zone 4-9, height 28” to 30”, flowers in mid to late spring, full sun to part shade. Plant three times as deep as the bulb is tall.

This contest is now closed, the winner is Debbie Hayes!

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Comments

  1. I love the hyacinth because they are beautiful and their scent is amazing. I also love the anemones. I’m going to plant lots of bulbs in containers and mix up the colors and varieties. What a fun giveaway. Good luck everyone. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

    Reply
  2. Dear Stephanie Rose,
    I have lived in apartments in New York all my life and always had potted plants on every window, secretly dreaming that someday I would have a real garden. Well, my mom and I moved to Texas about three years ago and live in Housing. Management said all tenants may put a garden three feet from the building. So, Mommy and I cleaned up the three areas to make three small gardens (Mom is disabled, but she liked to think she helped). We had butterflies and moths and many birds and all kinds of insects. We enjoyed sitting on the front patio in the morning hours and in the back patio in the afternoon. Sadly, we have no flowers or vegetables because we seemed to have attracted a bit of envy in the neighborhood, and little by little our solar lights went missing along with our beautiful Marigolds, Sunflowers, Four-O clocks and many others. The last to die were the two English Lavenders, and two Foxgloves last month after someone drenched them with some thing. In full bloom and with flower buds about to burst, the middle of the plants went dead. I have reported the suspected individuals, after seeing them passing behind the house and the side alley for a week with big fastfood foam cups then discarding the cups on the empty lot next to our house.
    But!!! I am tenacious and keeping the faith! Mommy and I went to Walmart and bought a box of solar lights, several autumn hardy plants, including marigolds, and decorations to put up again! We may have missed the spring and summer but we’re going for autumn and winter!
    So, if we win the garden booty know that each bulb will be loved, protected and appreciated! Those Checkered Lily (Fritillaria meleagris) are my favorites!
    Thank you, and I remain,
    Sincerely
    Norma Iris Montalvo (b. 1955)

    Reply
  3. I grew up in England where woodlands would be carpeted with bluebells together with a sea of primroses. A sure sign that Spring was well underway and the promise of lazy Summer holiday time wasn’t too far ahead. Still grow them together in a shady spot in our garden on Vancouver Island. Love giving Spring bunches to friends😊.

    Reply

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