I saw Halloween pumpkins, Thanksgiving cornucopias, and new displays of plastic Christmas trees within minutes of entering the store. But my mind was on none of these holidays. I was thinking about Easter.
In 2012, Easter falls on April 8th. I’m already starting to get ready for it this fall by planting bulbs for flowers that I hope will be at their peak of bloom in early April. I want lots of spring flowers to be blooming when I once again host the big family Easter egg hunt.
For flowers that should be blooming in early April, I’ve made a list and checked it twice, just like I would for Christmas. So far, I’ve chosen a smaller, early blooming tulip officially known as Tulip clusiana ‘Lady Jane’. It has pink buds that open up to reveal white centers and will not be as tall as most other tulips. With it, I’ll plant some white crocuses, which should bloom in late March/early April. I’m hoping more for early April. I’m also planting a tiny iris called Iris reticulata ‘Natascha’, which is also supposed to bloom in early April. These are not the tall-bearded Iris that most people think of when you mention irises. These are tiny irises that only grow four inches tall before blooming. Finally, I’ll plant some Narcissus ‘Emcys’ which promises to be an early blooming daffodil. I have my fingers crossed that early blooming means April 8th.
Though I ordered these bulbs online, there are plenty of early blooming flower bulbs available to purchase at most garden centers. If you are interested in peak bloom on Easter, look for crocuses, grape hyacinths and Iris reticulata. For daffodils, tulips and other spring flowers, check to make sure they are labeled as early blooming.
Once you’ve purchased your bulbs, keep them in a cool location until planting them in late October. Follow package directions on how deep to plant each bulb, but if there are no instructions, the general rule of thumb is to plant them at a depth equal to two to three times the height of the bulb. Then celebrate all those other holidays while you wait for spring, when your early blooming bulbs will hopefully provide a beautiful backdrop for your Easter celebration on April 8th.
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