Early fall is a busy time in everyone’s life. School is starting, fall sports begin, and tending our gardens takes a back seat as we focus on the upcoming holidays. In the rush, we overlook the fact that fall is the time to plant spring flowering bulbs and make other garden improvements. There is often a cost savings associated with planting and other landscape work done in the fall, especially in these economic times. Fall is the ideal time to plant large trees and install shrubs and herbaceous perennials, and plant fine lawns. If you are interested in building a new terrace or walkway, doing so in the late season guarantees that it will be ready for your enjoyment in early spring.

Gardeners challenged by deer know that they do not browse daffodils, but there are many other bulb varieties that the deer also dislike. With a little forethought, you can turn a simple daffodil display into a unique and colorful celebration of spring.

The following list of deer resistant bulbs does well in our area and will add variation and interest to any spring bulb display:

• Blooms Late Spring to Early Summer
• Heights from 3” to 4’, Many Colors
• Full Sun
• Resistant to rodents as well as deer

• Blooms Early Spring
• Heights from 3-8”, Many Colors & Stripes
• Full Sun to Part Shade
• One of the earliest varieties to bloom

• Blooms Early Spring
• Heights from 4-6”, White, Blues, Purple
• Full Sun to Part Shade
• Tolerates moist soil conditions

• Blooms Mid Spring
• Heights from 10-24”, Purples, Creamy Whites
• Full Sun to Full Shade
• Dramatic, cut-leaf look, great focal point

• Blooms Early Spring (March, before Crocus)
• Heights 4-6”, White only
• Part Shade
• Naturalizes well in lawns and woodland borders

When planning your spring display, consider mixing any or all of the above varieties with daffodils to create a colorful garden vignette, but remember to use the lower height species toward the front of the garden and the taller types to the rear. Many of these bulbs (especially Daffodils) have bloom times that vary. Researching bloom schedules and mixing the early, mid, and late-season varieties will extend the length of time your garden bursts with burgeoning blossoms!

This year, as the leaves are falling and the pumpkin pies are baking, give some thought to planting spring flowering bulbs and making garden improvements. Next spring, as you relax on your new terrace under newly planted trees watching the floral show unfold, you will be glad you did!