I love the small blue spring bulbs. Their pretty blooms and fresh foliage are appreciated while many other plants are just breaking dormancy.
Chionodoxa luciliae (glory of the snow) is in bloom this week in the garden.
This bulb blooms in early spring with star shaped flowers of purplish blue with white centres. This photo is a bit misleading, just like the ones in catalogues. The blossoms are actually a bit more lavender blue than the photo. While this is a dainty plant, the blooms face upward and can be easily viewed without getting on your hands and knees. The foliage is narrow and somewhat grass-like. They look great with the other spring flowering plants. This bulb is very easy care and reliable.
Scilla siberica “Spring Beauty’ (Siberian squill) is another petite bulb.
This bulb has a true blue colour. The flowers are star shaped with darker blue lines down each petal and faint white areas to either side. The overall effect of a swath of Scilla is of a sheet of rich sky blue. This variety ‘Spring Beauty’ seems to have slightly larger flowers than my other S. siberica which has no variety name.
The leaves of the squills are narrow and strap like, and have the advantage of dying back fairly quickly to make room for perennials. This habit makes it easy to integrate them into the garden with other plants, giving longer interest and colour. The bulbs are small and easy to tuck in around the perennials in the fall. You can see how closely these resemble Puschkinia (striped squills), to which they are related .
Puschkinia, Chionodoxa, Scilla and Muscari are all members of the Hyacinthaceae family, and bloom in that order in my garden. The Muscari (grape hyacinth) should be flowering in another week or so.
I find that all 4 of these are very reliable in a northern garden, returning year after year. They are all worth planting in the fall. In the spring, when you see their pretty blue flowers, you will wish that you had planted them in even larger numbers.