The small bulbs of early spring are some of my favourites. Their perfect miniature flowers add beautiful colour and charm to the garden. The little blue flowers of Chionodoxa (glory of the snow) and Scilla (squills) mix well with the other spring colours, as well as the new perennial foliage. They can also endure snowstorms and keep producing these beautiful flowers. Both the Scilla and Chionodoxa do well in a shady garden.
These Chionodoxa forbesii (glory of the snow) are planted under a Hydrangea. The Hydrangea has yet to break any buds, but the glory of the snow are shining beautifully under the bare branches of the shrub. I adore the bright blue flowers, with the white centres. Each flower has six long petals, with a dark line down the middle of each. The white in the middle makes the flowers stand out even more. The upturned flowers of each bulb are very showy, but they look especially nice in groups.
The Chionodoxa luciliae (glory of the snow) also have terrific blue flowers that face the sky. These bulbs are planted in a very shady area, but they still bloom each year. The flowers are behind a group of Scilla, and together they make a beautiful garden bed of blue on the north side of my house. There are still some blue and white Puschkinia (striped squills) flowering next to them, after three weeks.
Scilla siberica (squills) come in the prettiest, brightest blues. The flowers hang down from the stems, but the backs of the petals are as blue as the fronts. These squills have spread in this area of the garden, despite getting less than an hour of sun a day. I’m surprised they have been expanding each year, instead of declining under the adverse conditions.
The above photo shows why I appreciate these hardy spring bulbs in a cold climate. The Scilla siberica were getting battered on the morning of a snowstorm earlier this week. The snow actually got deeper during the day, and mostly covered up the blue flowers. After the snow melted, most of these hardy bulbs were still upright and flowering. Their resiliency and tolerance make them great choices for a northern garden. The first photo in the post of the Chionodoxa forbesii was also taken after the snowstorm had completely covered the flowers, and then melted. You couldn’t even tell that they had been buried now.
I have a large group of Scilla siberica ‘Spring Beauty’ next to some white Chionodoxa ‘Alba’, which flower at the same time. These two spring bulbs make a fresh looking combination in blue and white. This group in the back yard have some blue and white Pusckinia scilloides (striped squills) flowering to the west in this bed. I waffled, and placed it in a post on white spring bulbs, but could easily have included it with the blues. All of these bulbs have long narrow leaves that fade away by summer, and are easily hidden by the growing perennials.
There are buds on the blue Muscari bulbs (grape hyacinths), but none have opened yet. The little blue spring flowers will continue for a while, once the Muscari fully open. Here is an earlier post with more blue bulb pictures.
I love cheerful flowers that endure and bloom, despite the conditions, instead of sulking and declining. Both Chionodoxa and Scilla are much tougher than their delicate petals and diminutive stature would suggest.