Bulbs: Complementary Companions

In the November 2008 issue of Horticulture, Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden explain how to best incorporate flower bulbs into the garden’s overall design. Below are some additional lists of plants to pair with bulbs.

Early-Blooming Woody Companions
Abeliophyllum distichum
flowering quince (Chaenomeles)
Cornus mas
Cornus officinalis

winter hazel (Corylopsis)
Harry Lauder’s walking stick (Corylus avellana `Contorta’)
Daphne genkwa
Daphne mezereum
Edgeworthia
Forsythia

Fothergilla
witch hazel (Hamamelis)
winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)
Magnolia
crabapple (Malus)
apricot, pear, plum, peach, cherry trees (Prunus)
Rhododendron especially early deciduous azaleas
willow (Salix)
bridal wreath (Spiraea prunifolia)
Stachyurus praecox
Viburnum xbodnantense
Viburnum farreri

Bulbs that Naturalize by Seed, not just Offsets
(varies by climate and soil)
Allium spp.
Cyclamen coum
Cyclamen hederifolium

winter aconite  (Eranthis)
snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)
star flower (Ipheion uniflorum)
summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum)
grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum)
hoop petticoat (Narcissus bulbocodium)
jonquil (Narcissus jonquilla)
Lent lily (Narcissus pseudonarcissus)
Ornithogalum
Puschkinia scilloides
Scilla bifolia

glory of the snow (Scilla (Chionodoxa) luciliae)
glory of the snow (Scilla (Chionodoxa) sardensis)
Siberian squill (Scilla siberica)
Tulipa (some species tulips)
yellow rainlily (Zephyranthes citrina)

Bulbs Deserving More Use

Naples onion (Allium neapolitanum)
autumn squill (Barnardia (Scilla) scilloides)
Bellevalia pycnantha
Chouardia (Scilla) litardieri
Corydalis solida
Crocus ancyrensis
Crocus goulimyi
Fritillaria michailovskyi
Fritillaria pallidiflora
Gladiolus byzantinus
`Cruentus’
Hyacinthella azurea
Hyacinthus (Brimeura) amethystinus

Roman hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis `Festival Series’)
Iris histrioides
Ixiolirion tataricum
Ornithogalum balansae
Ornithogalum magnum

twinleaf squill (Scilla bifolia)
Scilla mischtschenkoana
Florentine tulip
(Tulipa sylvestris)

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