The Q&A Archives: Monet's Garden At Giverny

Question: 1 January 2001

Dear National Garden Association:

Could you lay out a bulb planting scheme that would allow me to plant a four square foot area of my garden the way Claude Monet did? I understand he planted bulbs so that they could bloom in succession from early spring to late autumn on the same plot of land. I live in zone 6 and love all colors.

Answer: The secret to a long season bulb display is to plant different types of bulbs close together. Select bulbs that bloom early such as Iris reticulata, snow crocus, snowdrops and jumbo crocus, then add early, mid- and late season daffodils and tulips. Add summer blooming bulb ilies from the Asiatic, Oriental and Aurelian groups, then add lycoris for late summer. Finally, add in summer blooming non-hardy bulbs such as acidanthera. Gladiolas can also be planted at intervals so that they bloom all summer and into the fall. Unfortunately I am unable to provide you with a specific planting plan, however with a little thought and some experimentation you should be able to devise a color scheme and bloom sequence to your liking. You might also consider using a larger area to avoid a "spotty" look to the display.

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