Our co-workers Hazen and Mary, along with their roommate Rob, wanted to beautify the property around their rental home in South Burlington, Vermont. They knew they wanted to create an easy spring garden that required little time, effort, and money, because they weren’t sure how long they were going to be living at the home. A little design, a little digging, and 1,000 Tulip bulbs later, their vision of a low maintenance spring show of blooms became a reality.
Easy Spring Garden: The Plan
After the roommates decided they wanted to do a mass planting of Tulip Bulbs, Mary set out to design the two main areas. She chose to create a circular trench planting with two different Tulip varieties that would wrap around one another to create a Yin-Yang symbol, as well as a large rectangular trench planting in the front of the home.
Hazen says the planting took them a handful of hours, spaced out into two afternoons. Their roommate Rob helped him dig the trenches, and Mary followed behind, planting the bulbs. They decided to pull the sod up, dig the trench, plant the tulips, fill back in the dirt, and then place the sod back on top to give the planting a natural look that blended right into the lawn. “We had a planting rhythm going for sure, the three of us,” says Hazen. “One of us was pulling the sod while one was digging behind while the other placed the bulbs in the trench. It was so nice how easy it was to get through it all.”
One of the reasons they chose to plant Tulip Bulbs was they knew how easy the process would be. In just a few hours they had planted 1,000 bulbs, enough to create an easy spring garden with huge color.
Easy Spring Garden: The Results
The Rectangular Trench Planting Results
Hazen says the Tulips bulbs planted in the rectangular bed out front are even more amazing than they could have anticipated. Passers-by agree, too. “All of our neighbors come up and tell us how nice it is,” says Hazen. “The mail lady stopped in and hand delivered mail one day and told Mary that it was her favorite stop on her whole route.”
He adds that they’ve had different colored Tulips popping up and blooming at every stage, with plenty of flowers to cut and create bouquets throughout the spring season. Hazen notes that Queen Of The Night Tulips lasted the longest in a vase.
The Circular Trench Planting Results
The Yin and Yang planting at the back of the property had somewhat mixed results. Although both Tulip varieties came up and bloomed beautifully, they had hoped for it to happen at the same time. He also thinks because the bed is on a slope, that they didn’t account for this and planted the Queen of the Night Tulips a little too deep.
“The Jimmy Tulips (which are shorter) came up and bloomed before the Queen of the Night. They didn’t bloom at the same time,” explains Hazen. “ If I did it again, I would choose something that was the same height and bloomed at the same time … I also think we could have squeezed in a few more bulbs to make the statement a little bit bigger.”
Even still, the results of both plantings were big, colorful, and eye-catching --- and Hazen says definitely worth the effort.
Easy Spring Garden: Perfect For Renters
Hazen, Mary, and Rob rent their home and it is currently on the market to be sold, so they’re not sure when they’ll have to move out. “That was one of the reasons why we planted bulbs like Tulips and Daffodils, because we don’t know how long we’re going to be there for,” says Hazen. “It’s minimal effort and time to get a big result. If I lived somewhere else I might add shrubs, trees, perennial gardens, and others, but bulbs are way better when you’re not sure where you’re going to be living.”
Many who rent may often hesitate to tinker with the landscape outside their homes, but all it takes is a simple call in to your landlord. And often, as was the case with Hazen and Mary, the landlord will be enthusiastic. It only brings more value to their property. Sometimes, though, it makes sense to give them details about the planting! Hazen explains, “When we first dug the trench, before we planted the tulips, we got a text asking us who dug the giant trench in the front yard. Our landlord said something to the effect of ‘My wife wasn’t sure if you were burying bodies out there or something.’”
All joking aside, one of the reasons they decided to place the sod back on top of the trench in the front yard was because it is a rental property. Hazen says that the plan at the end of the season, once all of the foliage has died back on the Tulips, is to simply mow it down and have it blend back in with the lawn.
Easy Spring Garden: Plans For Next Season
Hazen says that if they are still at the property next season, he plans on doubling the length of the rectangular trench planting out front and adding in more bulbs for an even bigger display.
Tulips -- and trench planting -- are a fantastic way to create an easy spring garden with big color and statement for little work. These bulbs are also an affordable and low-impact way to make a rental space your own, without worrying about moving out in a year or so.