Spring Flowering Bulbs: The Wonderful Wildflower Tulips

by David Salman

Tulipa 'Little Beauty'Tulipa 'Little Beauty'

The fall-planted, spring-blooming flower bulb planting season is just around the corner. I always order my bulbs in August or September, and wait to plant until the first couple of frosts in the fall. In USDA Zone 6 Santa Fe, this usually in late October. I always remind folks that when you see the bulbs blooming in spring, it’s too late to get them planted. You have to plant in the fall to get color in the spring.

What I like best about bulbs is the ease of their care. Few other groups of plants provide so much with so little effort. I always say I’m planting myself a “spring surprise.” Invariably, you forget what and where you planted your bulbs, so all through the spring, it‘s a continuous source of pleasure and delight to see all the bright colors and cheery combinations you’ve created.

Spring flowering bulbs are outstanding companion plants to mix into your perennial flower beds. The bulbs provide the early season color, as well as nectar for pollinators, and go dormant as the perennials are growing upwards and coming into bloom.

Tulipa bakeri 'Lilac Wonder'
'Lilac Wonder' Wildflower Tulip (Tulipa bakeri)

High Country Gardens specializes in perennial Fall-Planted, Spring-Blooming Flower Bulbs. It seems we all are more time constrained than ever, so it makes sense to plant bulbs that come back year after year, more numerous and beautiful.

For this reason, one of my favorite spring bulb groups would be the Wildflower Tulips. These smaller growers will amaze you with their huge flowers in many extravagant colors. They are strong naturalizers (meaning they increase in numbers during each growing season by propagating more bulbs) and are an essential source of early season nectar and pollen for hungry honey and native bees.

My favorite Wildflower Tulip varieties that we currently offer include ‘Lilac Wonder’‘Little Princess’ and ‘Little Beauty’.

Plant wildflower tulips into blue blooming groundcovers like Veronica liwanensis (Turkish Speedwell) and Veronica pectinata (Wooly Speedwell) to create a blooming carpet decorated with the tulips that push up through them in spring. Easy and colorful!

Shop Tulip Bulbs

  1. Slawa Triumph Tulip

    Slawa Triumph Tulip (Tulipa ‘Slawa’) lights up the May garden with shifting burnished flames of color. Beginning with maroon petals edged in a coppery hue, as the flowers mature,...

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    Slawa Triumph Tulip Slawa Triumph Tulip Tulipa Slawa
    Regular Price $10.99 Sale $7.69
    Per Bag of 10
    You save: 30%
    Slawa Triumph Tulip (Tulipa ‘Slawa’) lights up the May garden with shifting burnished flames of color. Beginning with maroon petals edged in a coppery hue, as the flowers mature, the edging turns to apricot-peach and even to light gold. It’s a dramatic element for a mid-spring garden; plant plenty, with their 3" blossoms they make great cut flowers too. Sometimes know as Muvota Tulips.
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  2. Akebono Double Darwin Tulip, Tulipa Double Darwin hybrid ‘Akebono’

    Akebono Double Darwin Tulip (Tulipa Double Darwin hybrid ‘Akebono’) lights up the mid-spring garden with pillowy blossoms of golden-yellow petals edged in red. Patches of red and...

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    Akebono Double Darwin Tulip Akebono Double Darwin Tulip Tulipa Double Darwin Akebono
    Regular Price $13.99 Sale $8.39
    Per Bag of 10
    You save: 40%
    Akebono Double Darwin Tulip (Tulipa Double Darwin hybrid ‘Akebono’) lights up the mid-spring garden with pillowy blossoms of golden-yellow petals edged in red. Patches of red and green shift through the petals as well, giving ‘Akebono’ an almost ethereal presence. Standing on sturdy 20-22" stems, the long lasting 3 1/2" wide flowers make them the perfect choice for a cheerful spring, indoors and out. Pollinators will thank you for ‘Akebono’!
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  3. Stranger Than Fiction Flower Bulb Collection

    There are flowers and then there are FLOWERS. The blooms in the Stranger Than Fiction Flower Bulb Collection will sparkle, shine and bedazzle their way through your spring garden. Th...

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    Stranger Than Fiction Flower Bulb Collection Stranger Than Fiction Flower Bulb Collection
    Regular Price $94.99 Sale $71.24
    Per Collection of 29
    You save: 25%
    There are flowers and then there are FLOWERS. The blooms in the Stranger Than Fiction Flower Bulb Collection will sparkle, shine and bedazzle their way through your spring garden. These unusual, easy to grow bulbs will keep you smiling all spring long.
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  4. Jumbo Blooms Flower Bulb Collection, including Yellow Gigantic Star Large Cupped Daffodil, Red Casa Grande Tulip, and Purple Shubert’s Allium (Allium shubertii)

    Have some fun this spring with our collection of big flower powerhouses! Fun for the young, and the young at heart, the showy, large blossoms of the Jumbo Blooms Flower Bulb Collecti...

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    Jumbo Blooms Flower Bulb Collection Jumbo Blooms Flower Bulb Collection
    Regular Price $68.98 Sale $51.73
    Per Collection of 40
    You save: 25%
    Have some fun this spring with our collection of big flower powerhouses! Fun for the young, and the young at heart, the showy, large blossoms of the Jumbo Blooms Flower Bulb Collection will bring on the smiles in gardens and as cut flowers too.
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Shop Groundcovers

  1. Pink Lamium maculatum Orchid Frost, Lamium maculatum Orchid Frost, Orchid Frost Deadnettle

    Lamium maculatum Orchid Frost (Orchid Frost Deadnettle) is showy, repeat blooming groundcover for shady areas with large orchid-pink flowers and frosty variegated foliage....

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    Orchid Frost Lamium Orchid Frost Dead Nettle Lamium maculatum Orchid Frost
    As low as $7.99 Sale $6.39
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Lamium maculatum Orchid Frost (Orchid Frost Deadnettle) is showy, repeat blooming groundcover for shady areas with large orchid-pink flowers and frosty variegated foliage.
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  2. Red Delosperma Jewel of the Desert Garnet, Delosperma Jewel of the Desert Garnet, Garnet Dwarf Iceplant

    Delosperma Jewel of the Desert Garnet is dwarf hybrid Ice plant with a profusion of eye catching, dime sized flowers of scarlet and lavender. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant...

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    Jewel of Desert Garnet Ice Plant Jewel of Desert Garnet Dwarf Ice Plant Delosperma Jewel of Desert Garnet
    As low as $8.99 Sale $7.19
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Delosperma Jewel of the Desert Garnet is dwarf hybrid Ice plant with a profusion of eye catching, dime sized flowers of scarlet and lavender. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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  3. Delosperma cooperi, Cooper's Hardy Ice Plant

    Delosperma cooperi (Coopers Hardy Ice Plant) is covered with large magenta-pink flowers for much of the summer. A perfect groundcover where easy-care, high color is on the wish-list....

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    Cooper's Hardy Ice Plant Cooper's Hardy Ice Plant Delosperma cooperi
    As low as $6.99 Sale $5.59
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Delosperma cooperi (Coopers Hardy Ice Plant) is covered with large magenta-pink flowers for much of the summer. A perfect groundcover where easy-care, high color is on the wish-list. It grows vigorously, creating a succulent carpet of color.
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  4. Carex appalachica, Appalachian Sedge, Photo Courtesy Of Hoffman Nursery

    Appalachian Sedge (Carex appalachica) is a native grass-like plant with thin, fine-textured leaf blades. Appalachian Sedge is an outstanding choice for use as an attractive grassy gr...

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    Appalachian Sedge Grass Appalachian Sedge Carex appalachica
    As low as $9.99 Sale $7.99
    Per Plant - 3.25" Pot
    Appalachian Sedge (Carex appalachica) is a native grass-like plant with thin, fine-textured leaf blades. Appalachian Sedge is an outstanding choice for use as an attractive grassy groundcover for shade and heavy shade areas.
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