Whether it’s fast and furious or slow and seductive (depending on the weather), the Colorblends Spring Garden was designed for constant thrills with never a dull moment.
Once spring gains momentum, you won’t want to pause for a minute. And that’s what the Colorblends House and Spring Garden is all about. The performance is not just a series of one act plays. Instead, it’s a continuous prolonged surge that pulsates from March until May—and sometimes beyond. It’s not just a sprint. It’s a half acre marathon without rest stops. Yes, it’s magic. But the secrets are solely in the timing—you can easily make this happen at your home no green thumbs needed. And the beauty of bulbs is that once they’ve been jumpstarted in autumn, they are on autopilot. Come spring—just sit back and enjoy. Better still, get out there and wade through the wonder. You need this. You’ve earned this.
Going into Orbit
Think of spring as a launch. Like all blast-offs it starts at ground level. It makes perfect sense that the festivities begin with the ground crew. The first bulbs to pop are the pipsqueaks. This small but mighty brigade barely break through the chilly soil before they’re getting busy forming buds. In a blink, they are showing color. From that instant on, it’s a steady diet of thrills as the show unfolds. And those thrills soldier on, no matter what the weather has in store.
So Jacqueline van der Kloet, the designer behind the Colorblends Garden display, planned for nonstop performances beginning with crocus and moving into mobs of early Cyclamineus narcissus. We’re talking thousands of Narcissus ‘Jetfire’ spreading out in swarms. That’s a huge dose of bright yellow and orange guaranteed to hit your happy place. The petals are flung back, the tubes jut forward—and you get lift-off. ‘Jetfire’ floods the Colorblends Garden like a yellow brick road. Worried about varmints digging up your bulbs? Not going to happen. That’s one less problem you’ll need to address with daffodils because nothing nibbles the leaves, bulbs, or flowers of narcissus. These plants are survivors.
Although ‘Jetfire’ takes the main stage, it is not the only precocious Cyclamineus narcissus at the Colorblends Garden. Another favorite is the uniquely shaped ‘Rapture’ ultra-early daffodil. We’re talking long, lean canary yellow flowers with oboe-shaped trumpets diving down. Nothing cutesy about this narcissus. It’s almost an architectural statement. And talk about robust.
Watch the Gap
Truth is, there is no gap here. The ‘Jetfire’ brigade is just part of the picture. Remember that stream of ‘Iris Harmony’ along the sidewalk? Even before the irises were finished doing their thing, Tulip ‘Scarlet Baby’ began swinging into action. Actually, some irises were still lingering as the greeting party for the ‘Scarlet Baby’ tulips when they arrived. Again, we’re talking big numbers of little tulips here. Clusters are key. As a result, the color created is Big Bang.
Tulip ‘Scarlet Baby’ reads like a procession of flames lighting the path. They stand a total of six inches tall, but half of that equation is color. Jacqueline van der Kloet’s method of planting is to dig up a patch of earth and simply toss bulbs in—no back breaking labor necessary. So they naturally cluster together. No need to worry about which end is up. Like I said earlier, bulbs are survivors—they sprout up no matter how the bulbs are positioned.
Good Things to Come
Nature always flows together. Whenever you plant bulbs, a few flowers will bleed from one moment into the next or linger longer after the crowd has moved on. It’s like a sneak peek previewing coming attractions. So we can predict what will be happening soon. Right now, the trumpets are getting ready to blare. Hint: Many of your favorites fall in this group. All those big blaring see-from-a-distance daffodils that you love to naturalize are preparing to show you their stuff. From ‘Marieke’ to ‘Dutch Master’ and ‘Golden Harvest’, these daffodils are the crowd pleasers with drive-by appeal. For gardeners, newbies, and people who just love spring and want to wave goodbye to winter, these are the narcissus for you. At the Colorblends Garden, they are planted in showy Vavoom battalions—like marching bands with all their trumpets front and center.
The big cup narcissus might be the configuration that first comes to mind when you think of daffodils, but they are certainly not the only game in town. Big, showy, and unique, once you’ve seen Narcissus ‘Cassata’, you will crave it every spring. Like a series of skirts, the pale yellow split-cup almost overlays its star-shaped ivory petals for see-from-the-road impact. Tidy and compact, ‘Cassata’ leads the pack in spring.
And that’s not all. On a totally different note, in a pocket of the garden chionodoxa is quietly doing its baby blue thing. Tucked close to the ground, it’s a subtle note filling that bridge. Proof again that spring can whisper as well as shout out. As far as spring goes—We’ve got you covered. Stay tuned for the next installment from the Colorblends Spring House and Garden…