Naturalizing bulbs is a terrific way to brighten up lawns. A surprisingly large number of perennial bulbs do well in grass, such as snowdrops (Galanthus), crocuses (Crocus), squills (Scilla), checkered lilies (Fritillaria meleagris) and plenty others charming bulbs. Left undisturbed in the ground, they will emerge again every spring, but will also gently multiply as long as they receive the right light conditions and are planted in soil with the proper drainage.
- For great impact, create natural-looking plantings and do not space your bulbs evenly. Toss them gently on the lawn, planting them wherever they fall to achieve a natural look. Most bulbs look their best when grown in swathes and informal drifts. Never forget to leave room for natural increase.
- Choose a limited palette of colors and try to mass them. Do not try to intermingle too many colors or your planting would look unnatural and confusing.
Planting perennial bulbs in lawns requires some adjustments to the mowing regime.
- Since lawns need mowing, the choice is mostly restricted to bulbs blooming in early-mid spring or in the fall. Resist the urge to make the first cut as soon as the bulbs have finished flowering. Cutting down bulb foliage before it has properly ripened will deprive the bulb of much needed nourishment and make for a poor second-year display. To be assured of a profuse flowering next year, the lawn should not be cut until 6 weeks after flowering is finished. The later the bulbs bloom, the longer you need to wait.
- if you plant colchicums and fall crocuses in the grass, you will have to stop mowing your lawn in late summer.
- Cut the lawn fairly short in late fall to allow your spring bulbs to neatly peep up from under the ground.