Perennials

blueberriesCome visit the perennial yard at Mad River Garden Center and delight in seeing what’s in bloom! We carry perennials that are grown at Fairfax Perennial Farm in Fairfax VT, and are hardy to our zone. Whether you need plants for moist soil, creepers for the rock garden, or tough guys for sunny, hot and dry locales, you can find them here. We  carry shade loving perennials, cottage garden favorites, and low maintenance naturalizers. We generally have a fabulous selection of starters including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, horseradish, and rhubarb.

Because we buy locally we get plants in every week. If you’re a landscaper or tackling a large project at home, with some lead time, we can special order perennials for you (based on grower availability). Our knowledgeable staff can help you gc3195find what you need and are available to answer any questions you may have.

Later in the season our nursery is alive with hardy Mums, Fall grasses, handsome ornamentals, cornstalks, straw bales, and hardy Fall annuals. Our Garden Center is brimming with colorful pots, soils, feeding products and all the wonderful items you will need to bring in those non-hardy plants that you wish to keep. Fall is also the time to plant your perennials for next year. We have a wide variety of locally grown hardy perennials to choose from. Please ask our staff what plants will best suit your needs.

Fall is the time to think about planting your spring blooming bulbs, pruning your bushes, and putting your vegetable and flower gardens to bed. It’s also time to fertilize your yard and work on brush cleanup.

Bulb Seasons and Planting

Spring Planting
summer/fall blooming
Fall Planting
spring blooming
Iris Crocus Snowdrops
Dahlias Daffodils (narcissus) Grape Hyacinths
Wild Lilies Tulips Hyacinths
Gladiolus Alium Bluebells
Oriental Lilies

The bloom cycles listed below are for general reference. The flowering sequence depends a great deal on the weather in your region as well as the variety of bulb you plant. Planting a mix of these varieties will provide color from spring into fall.

  • Very early spring— Crocus, snowdrop
  • Early spring — Daffodil, crocus, hyacinth
  • Mid spring — Daffodil, fritillaries, tulip
  • Late spring — Fritillaria, bluebells, lilies
  • Early summer — Alium, lilies, iris
  • Mid summer — Lily, glad, dahlia, iris
  • Late summer — Lily, dahliaplanting depth

Planting at the proper depth is critical to successful bulb gardening. Bulbs have an internal “clock” that tells them when to begin growing. Planting too deep will produce late (or no) blooms. Planting too shallow can subject tender new growth to late season cold weather. Below is a suggested guide.

 

Chart
Reference
Bulb Type Planting depth Spacing
A Hardy Amaryllis 3-4″ 6″ apart
B Crocus 2-4″ 3-5″ apart
C Hyacinth 4-6″ 6-8″ apart
D Lilies 4-8″ 10-12″ apart
E Narcissus 8″ 6″ apart
F Snowdrops 3″ 3″ apart
G Tulip 4-6″, less for tiny species 4-6″ apart

bulbIn colder climates, plant hardy bulbs as soon as possible after purchase. In milder climates, plant hardy bulbs in late October or early November after the soil has cooled. Keep them in the refrigerator or some other cool spot until you set them out. In warm-winter climates you may need to pre-chill bulbs before planting to trick them into a dormant state. Simply place them in a container with a lid and put them in the refrigerator for 8 – 10 weeks. Avoid storing fruit (especially apples) in the refrigerator while you are chilling bulbs. Ripening fruit gives off a gas that may stop bulbs from flowering.

There are also two primary bulb shapes, the teardrop and the flat or “clawed” bulb.

Teardrop shaped bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinth should be planted with their tips facing up. If their tips face down, they waste their energy trying to grow in the opposite direction.

Flat bulbs have a flat side and should be planted with the flat side facing up. If the bulb has appendages or roots, these should be facing down. If you are unsure, plant it sideways.

Proper bulb planting chart

Proper bulb planting chart