I’d actually intended that this combination planter would be tulip ‘Gypsy Love’ with crocus ‘Gypsy Girl’. But as life would have it, the ‘Gypsy Love’ tulips had either died out some time ago or, in a night of passion, thrown their label into an entirely different pot. Instead, I’d planted the hyacinth ‘Gypsy Queen’ These are some of the problems a literary-minded gardener faces.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have planted a crocus with a hyacinth: the bloom times are just too close. Fortunately, ‘Gypsy Queen’ is always the latest of my hyacinths to bloom, so I may just squeak by with this combination.
Meanwhile, over in the ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ pot, the mix with Ornithogalum nutans ‘Silver Bells’ is working out more the way I’d imagined. Little tufts of ornithogalum (I’d thought they were crocus before I looked at the label; I haven’t grown ornithogalum before) have popped up amid the sturdy stems and leaves of Rijnveld.
Up on top, it looks like this:
As usual, bloom time has not been the only consideration in making these combinations (well, in making one and having one made for me). Plant height is something that needs to be kept in mind, and I’m still experimenting with that one. It’s easy to see that the hyacinths will have no trouble rising above the little crocuses, but I’m not sure if the ornithogalum will suffer from the shade of looming daffodils. Time will tell.
Another consideration is the requirements of the bulbs you’re planting together. All of these bulbs come from the Mediterranean, where they have the same rainless summers we do here. So I plant them in containers that get no water in summer; after the bulbs die, I drag the containers out back where the foliage can die in peace, and leave them, except for fertilizing and transplanting, until next spring.
Planting two kinds of bulbs in one container not only saves me buying more containers; it also means I don’t have to drag containers to the back until I get the second show. (I can move them off the porch, though, to give room to something more spectacular, until the second flush of flowers presents itself. Then I shuffle the pots around again.) When the hyacinth and ornithogalum bloom, I’ll be taking pictures of them in with their defunct buddies. So far, these are two combinations that seem to be working – even if one of them is an accident.