New additions for 2015–Hardy Bulbs

Last spring, one of the better things I did was take the Hardy Bulbs course at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

The course offers wonderful detail on over 60 plants that are great choices for our area. It includes sections on daffodils and alliums (both wildlife-resistant options with unusual varieties) and a section on tulip varieties that made me decide to try a few even though they require protection from deer, squirrels and chipmunks! For this post, I’d like to share a few easy choices that are wildlife-resistant and will naturalize.

Of course, once I got to the bulb catalogs and the bulb sale at the garden, I ended up trying just about everything in small groups (which is what a designer will tell you what Not To Do).  I even added some species tulips (planted in a spot well-reinforced with wire.)  I justify all this by telling myself that I need to know how the plants will do here in the northwest suburbs with our soil, weather, critters, etc. Here are a few I planted that I am looking forward to:

Netted Iris

Iris reticulata Netted Iris

Netted Iris – Iris reticulata  Looks like irises you are used to, but the small-flower is 3″ across on a 4-6″ high stem.  Lovely shades of blue or purple.  Great planted in large drifts.  Loves dry soil.  Animal resistant.  Blooms in March and can even tolerate some snow!

Windflower Anemone Blanda Blue and White mix

Windflower – Anemone blanda  Looks like a small white or pink or deep blue daisy with yellow center that opens when it is sunny and closes at night from March into April.  Flowers are about  the size of a quarter with ferny foliage that fades away quickly.  Likes full sun to part shade, well-drained soil and is animal resistant.   Will naturalize (clumps enlarge over the years)

Fumewort Corydalis solida

Fumewort – Corydalis solida  Another pretty blue/green ferny-foliaged plant with 3/4″ long spikes of pinkish/reddish flowers that blooms in mid to late spring.  Will grow well in sun to semi-shade but needs rich soil. Will take summer drought once dormant. Nice to use under daffodils. Will naturalize and is wildlife resistant!

Guinea hen flower Fritillaria meleagris

Guinea hen flower – Fritillaria meleagris  Purple or cream nodding flowers with checkered pattern!  10-12″ tall with lance-like leaves. Blooms in April to early May in moist rich soil and will tolerate wet soils in summer.  Wildlife resistant! I’ve had such good luck with these for years that I added some more last fall.  Plant them 4″ deep.

Do you plant any unusual hardy bulbs in your garden?

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