Bulbs

Scilla paints the landscape blue!

Scilla Grouping

Most of us love blue in the landscape. We hunt for perennials that grace our gardens with blue blooms; we plant blue-blossoming annuals; and if that doesn’t satiate our cobalt cravings, we buy blue pots and blue garden décor.

Does this sound like you? It sure sounds like me, and I don’t stop at annuals, perennials and yes, even pots in cerulean tones. I enjoy blue flowers in my spring landscape even before pansies are planted in my blue window boxes.

Scilla - Flower Close Up

Scilla siberica paints the garden under my weeping willow blue beginning the end of March and lasting through much of April. They are small – just 3 to 6 inches tall – but they are mighty, naturalizing into a canvas of sparkling blue nodding flowers.

Scilla in Woodland Garden

If you want a picturesque panorama of blue, plant scilla bulbs in the fall. They prefer a spot in part to full sun, but will grow just about anywhere with well-drained soil. I love the way they look in a woodland garden cuddled up to the trunks of trees.

They are pretty planted with other early spring-flowering bulbs like crocus, snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), and glory of the snow (Chionodoxa luciliae). Or plant them directly in the lawn as long as you can wait to mow the grass for six weeks after the flowers bloom.

A bee can't wait to partake of some of scilla's nectar.
A bee can’t wait to collect some of scilla’s pollen.

Plant bulbs a few inches apart and 2 to 3 inches deep, and water them deeply to nurture forming roots. Don’t worry about winter protection. These beauties are hardy to Zone 2.

Be sure to leave yellowing foliage after flowers bloom in spring. Although unappealing for a short time, scilla’s blade-like leaves are busy collecting sunlight and replenishing nutrients for next year’s flowers.

I think I will plant some scilla bulbs in containers next fall, store them in our unheated garage in winter, and let pots packed with blue welcome guests to our front door and titivate tabletops on our deck. Garden with me!

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