Bulbs: Complementary Companions - Horticulture

Bulbs: Complementary Companions

Scott and Laura Ogden, self-proclaimed bulb addicts, share tips for integrating bulbs among the overall garden design.
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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.

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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)