Finally, I’m all done with this year’s bulb planting. The last of them were 100 Glory-of-the-Snow (Chionodoxa forbesii) that I ordered as kind of an afterthought – after I was done with the Tulips, Daffodils, and Alliums.

Bare strip planted with Creeping Thyme along one side of the driveway.

The compulsion to buy the Chionodoxa came after I noticed a narrow strip of bare earth mixed with sand and gravel that lay along one side of the new driveway. Replanting grass on this strip where it lay between the pavers and the flowers of the Left Bank Bed seemed silly.

Instead, I planted some Red Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox ‘Coccineus’), which I hope will work as a groundcover that doesn’t need mowing and can take a bit of foot traffic.


Still, something was missing. And then it came to me: Chionodoxa! The bulbs are pretty small and you only plant them about 4″ apart. The 100 I planted will make a blue stripe 12-16″ wide and about 10′ long.

In Chicago, Chionodoxa usually bloom on the early side of April. They’re under 6″ tall, rodent resistant, and naturalize readily. They’re similar to Squill (Scilla sibirica), but Chionodoxa flowers are bigger with a white eye and I like them better.

chionodoxa lurie close
Glory-of-the-Snow blooming at the Lurie Garden in spring.ย 

I first saw Chionodoxa at the Lurie Garden, as with many of the new plants I purchase for the first time. Last year I planted a few in the Sidewalk Border, but this planting may be more satisfying because the bulbs are not as scattered.

If only I had bought 200 instead of 100. That would have been just right.


41 Comments on “A Stripe of Blue for the Front Garden

  1. “If only” — the gardener’s refrain! I suspect the 100 bulbs will be quite the show and will be most welcome by everyone passing by.

  2. A wonderful choice, and they multiply like crazy! They’ll be splendid peeking up through the creeping thyme (which should be a lovely splash of color along the drive when in bloom). Bet it feels good to have all the bulbs planted! My order just arrived a couple days ago, so it’s all still in front of me – oh my aching back, lol.

  3. I never seem to order as many bulbs as I should… the chionodoxa will multiply but I’d rather see the full glorious blue in year 1!

  4. Good plan in adding these to your garden! You should see the March Bank at Winterthur- breathtaking!!

  5. That will look good. I love Thyme as an edging too. I did almost all my bulb planting the last two days and my wrists are aching!

  6. A river of chionodoxa is a fabulous idea. I envy you having finished your bulb planting. It seems like an endless task to me.

  7. You and a sliver of open soil are a dangerous combination. I can’t wait to see how it all looks this spring, and it will only get better as the years pass!
    I also envy you finishing your planting. Things are only just getting started here, but I haven’t added anything close to what you’ve already put in the ground.

  8. I find it rather incredible how many bulbs you need to make a good display – it’s always many more than I would have thought. I have a feeling you’ll get a nice display in this bit of soil.

  9. Your spring garden will look even more beautiful than before. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Yes, 200 would have been better than 100, but if they indeed multiply quickly, the strip will soon look gorgeous. There are now many of us readers looking forward to your spring photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Yes, I too look forward to enjoying your display in spring … and I donโ€™t have the agony of planting the bulbs! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Those are beautiful bulbs! I look forward to seeing how they do along with the thyme. It should be very nice. You can look forward to planting a couple hundred more next year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: