layering bulbs with other plants

Mon, 20 Jul 2015 14:46:47 PDT
I have naturalized California poppy (Escholtzia?) over my bulbs. Here is WV, it only starts to bloom after the little spring bulbs (galanthus, eranthis, crocus, scilla, etc.) have finished, and it does not overwhelm the later, taller bulbs. Then it fills in while the bulb foliage ripens. And about this late July time of year, I do a massive weeding which eliminates the spent poppies, and the masses of weeds which have grown while the poppies bloomed and the bulbs ripened, and clears the ground for the late summer bloomers - rhodophiala, colchicum, crocus. By that time, the poppies have shed their seed which will start to germinate soon and develop into small plants, many of which survive the winter to bloom in late spring. 
Note:  I do not grow for public display, so there are lots of times when my gardens are beautiful only to my eyes.

Dell in Salem, WV, USA, usda zone 6? (last two winters have gone down to -10 F)
On Mon, 7/20/15, Jane McGary <> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [pbs] layering bulbs with other plants
 To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
 Date: Monday, July 20, 2015, 1:47 PM
 If a plant that can also climb is
 being considered as a groundcover over 
 bulbs, I would not recommend the Akebia that, as a mystery
 started the recent discussion. Akebia spreads underground
 and can be 
 very difficult to eradicate, and its wirelike stems can
 really strangle 
 shrubs. An alternative that seems to be working well here is
 Parthenocissus henryana (it may now be P. henryi?), which
 has beautiful 
 foliage with silvery zones on each leaf. So far it has not
 underground, though the stems can root down shallowly, in
 which case 
 they are easy to pull up. It has climbed a brick house wall,
 but its 
 gripping tendrils are fragile, unlike those of ivy, and
 control is not 
 difficult. I think it must normally climb trees and shrubs.
 It is 
 deciduous (after lovely fall color), so spring bulbs
 complete their 
 growth before the cover plant leafs out. During summer mine
 coexisting without apparent problems with shrubs such as
 Daphne and 
 Mahonia (Berberis), which it shows no inclination to climb,
 perennials such as Iris unguicularis and hellebores. I tried
 to grow 
 this Parthenocissus in my former garden without success;
 probably it 
 could not tolerate the fast-draining soil there, but it's
 now happy in 
 heavily mulched clay soil.
 jane McGary
 Portland, Oregon, USA
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