Bulbs for Your Rock Garden

How should chionodoxa (glory-of-the-snow) be used in the rock garden?

Scatter the bulbs in groups of 2 dozen or more in various places among low ground covers. They may also be used effectively beneath shrubs that may form a background to the garden.

Will you give a list of crocuses suitable for the rock garden?

Spring-flowering: Crocus aureus, biflorus, chrysanthus and its varieties, imperati, susianus, tomasinianus. For autumn: cancellatus albus, longiflorus, pulchellus, speciosus and its varieties, zonatus.

Can you suggest some good daffodils for the rock garden?

The best kinds are the small ones, such as Narcissus asturiensis, cyclamineus, triandrus (angel’s tears), concolor, bulbocodium (hoop-petticoat daffodil). The sweet jonquils and campernelles can also be used, such as Narcissus jonquilla, j. flore-pleno, and odorus.

Can you tell me kinds of tulips to plant in a rock garden and what conditions they need?

The best are the tulip species, also called “botanical” tulips. These need well-drained soil and sunshine. Plant them about 6 or 7 ins. deep. The following are among the best: kaufmanniana, acuminata, clusiana (lady tulip), dasystemon, greigii, praecox, praestans, josteriana varieties, and sylvestris.

Which spring-flowering bulbs are suitable for the rock garden?

Squills, glory-of-the-snow, snowdrops, spring-snowflakes, crocuses, grape-hyacinths, miniature daffodils. And also dogtooth-violets, fritillaries, calochortuses, brodiaeas, and Iris reticulata.

Which bulbs are suitable for a rock garden at the side and front of the house?

Crocus species (for fall and spring), Galanthus nivalis (snowdrops), Leucojum vernum (snowflake), Chionodoxa luciliae (glory-of-the-snow), muscari (grape-hyacinths), scillas (squills), narcissus species, colchicums, tulips kaufmanniana and its hybrids, and dasystemon.

When are small spring-flowering bulbs planted in the rock garden?

In late August plant snowdrops, winter-aconites, autumn-flowering crocuses, and colchiums. Plant the small daffodils and crocuses in September and October.

I wish to plant a number of small bulbs in my rock garden. Should I dig up the other plants before planting the bulbs? How deep must I plant the bulbs?

Unless the soil needs improving it is not necessary to remove the plants. Use a bulb trowel (a tool with a narrow concave blade), push it into the soil through the mat of plants, pull the handle toward you, and then push the bulb into the soil and smooth the plants back again. Plant these small bulbs in groups and closely together. The depth at which they are set should be, roughly, 3 times the depth of the bulb.