Blooming bulbs


Hi, I’m re-designing my front yard. I got Hellebore to bloom early in the season and planning on getting Tulip and Crucos for early summer. What other bulbs I can get other than Lilly for late summer Blooming in shade areas? Is Monkshood a good recommendation? Also is there a best practice to mark where the perrenails are planted so I don’t dig them out by mistake?


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners about re-designing your front yard. What a great project ! I think reading several of our Garden Guides would get you off to a good start. They have lots of information on various topics, and many also include plant suggestions. Our Garden Guides are all available on our website.

An important consideration in your choice of plants, in addition to how many hours of sunlight your garden gets, is the type of soil you have. This could be clay, or sand, or loam, or some combination. Different plants will thrive in different types of soil. Re-designing your garden is a good opportunity to amend your soil before putting your new plants in the ground, based on soil type. For example, if you have clay soil, amending it with organic matter such as compost, will help to improve the soil structure so that the soil will drain more quickly, which is important for many plants to thrive. Soil Fertility: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide is a great resource for information about soil.

It sounds like your Hellebore is in a good spot !  Growing Tulips: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide has information about many different varieties of these beautiful spring flowers which bloom at various times from April – June, depending on the type, and about how to plant and care for them. Similarly, Bulbs for Naturalizing: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide has information about other mostly spring blooming bulbs, including crocus.

You may want to consider adding some native plants to your shade garden. Native Plants for Shade: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide has good information about these perennials and also includes suggested plants. Similarly for Perennials for Shade and Part Shade: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide (Monkshood is a suggested plant.)

I am not aware of any best practices for plant markers, other than it’s a good idea to have them. Here is an article that might give you some ideas. I think it is important to keep the plant labels that come with the plants, for perennials in particular. These labels provide valuable information about the size of the plant and its light, water and fertilizing needs.

Happy planning !