Bloom at Home with Inspiration from Tulips, Hyacinths, and Other Spring Bulbs at the Garden

Green Bay Botanical Garden has the largest display of spring blooming bulbs in the state – over 300,000 bulbs! Last fall, we planted an additional 43,000 bulbs to add to the extravaganza. Visit us this spring and share in the experience of being surrounded by color with your family and friends!

Although most spring bulbs are not native to Wisconsin or even the U.S., their early blooms are much needed as sources of pollen and nectar for some early emerging insects, so you may want to consider adding some of the earliest blooming bulbs such as winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis), striped squill (Puschkinia scilloides), and crocus (Crocus vernus) to your garden, yard, or flower containers on the patio. 

winter aconite
PC: Teresa Riehl
Striped squill
PC: Teresa Riehl
Vernal Jewels™ crocus
PC: Colorblends® Wholesale Flowerbulbs

We humans definitely appreciate the vibrant colors and mental health benefits of tiptoeing among the tulips! Every year our Horticulture Team plants some of the most eye-catching creations from our main bulb supplier, Colorblends ®. If you have a larger garden space or want to have a diversity of tulip varieties and not worry about choosing tulips that will bloom together, we recommend you consider using the Bedspreads® blend from Colorblends. We’re featuring many of them at this spring, including the tulip blends I mention below. 

This year, I’m excited about the tulip blend in the parking lot called Fleunace ™. I love the play on words since this is a blend of oranges and yellows that look like a furnace on fire! Get the hoses! Lemony Remedy™ tulip blend’s soft yellow and whites will invite you and other visitors as you enter the Fischer Visitor Center.

Fleurnace™ tulips
PC: Colorblends® Wholesale Flowerbulbs
Lemony Remedy™ – PC Colorblends® Wholesale Flowerbulbs

As you walk into the Garden, you’ll see a unique color combination named Caddy from one of our other suppliers, The Fifth Blend. Caddy combines a maroon and peach double tulip with an underplanting of grape hyacinth. I’m looking forward to seeing this planting come to life. Punch Bowl™ hyacinth mix will also provide a splash of color by the Kaftan Lusthaus that will not only be beautiful, but also fragrant. Remember to plant fragrant bulbs, like hyacinth, close to a path or where you can enjoy their perfume.

Hyacinth Punch Bowl™
PC: Colorblends® Wholesale Flowerbulbs
Bouquet Beaucoup™
PC: Colorblends® Wholesale Flowerbulbs

The last blend I want to mention is Bouquet Beaucoup™. This blend, which is planted by the Concessions Building in the Schneider Family Grand Garden, makes me think about Marti Gras, so come out for this spring party!

Blossoms start mid-April, with peak bloom anticipated around mid-May and continuing throughout May into early summer. There are many opportunities to visit throughout the display including Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 8 – free for Moms) and during Go Public Gardens Days – May 6-15, (May 13 is free admission for everyone!). Plus, Garden members get free daily admission! The Garden is open daily from 9 am-8 pm.

Summer Preview

Life Underground Display
Carvings by Ben Buschke, Buschke Carving

As you enjoy the Habitat exhibit this summer, remember to check out all the native plants that have been incorporated into our plantings.  Last year, we added more than 1,800 aquatic native plants to the storm water basins across from Wood Memorial Grove and behind the Schneider Family Grand Garden. We also added 1,000 native perennials throughout the Garden. Not only will the Garden look stunning, but these plantings also help provide a habitat that leads to greater life and biodiversity. 

Habitat was developed by Smithsonian Gardens and is made available by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

This article originally appeared in the May-August 2022 Newsletter.

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