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Flower Power

While bulbs provide a lot of flower power in Spring, it is best to accompany them with herbaceous perennials that will outlast bulb foliage.

a photo of Bob Dylan with his guitar and Allen Ginsberg.

Photo: Elsa Dorfman

Allen Ginsberg, photographed here with Bob Dylan, coined the term "Flower Power."

In 1965, the poet Allen Ginsberg is credited with coining the term “Flower Power.” Bulbs provide a lot of flower power each spring, and we marvel in it as the sequence of their blooms unfolds.

But, after the spring show, as the bulb foliage dies down, it is important that we have nearby plants that will continue the display. For example, plants that will grow up as the foliage of the spring bulbs discolors and dies down, act as a camouflage for the decaying leaves.

Plants To Follow Spring Bulbs

Some perennials to plant as partners for spring bulbs are those that bloom in May or June:

  • Candytuft, daylilies, poppies, and bleeding heart integrate well as companion plants as do columbines and meadow rues.
  • Hostas, deciduous ferns and Soloman’s seal are good collaborators in more shaded beds, as well as epimediums, hellebores and pulmonarias.
  • Ground covers such as lamium,  ivy, and cranesbill geraniums can also be used with bulbs.

Continuous flower power depends on careful selection of companion plants to orchestrate successive blooms across the growing seasons. Perennial spring blooming bulbs and herbaceous perennials are companions that complement and enhance each other if they are combined with care.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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