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The spring color blast has begun and in gardens and yards across Wisconsin, colorful spring blooms decorate our landscapes. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crown imperials and more brighten our yards and gardens after the long, cold winter.

Of course, the majority of these beautiful spring blooms must be planted in fall, however, now is the perfect time of year to get out and explore and look for ideas for next years show.

Visit public gardens, the gardens of friends and neighbors, as well as display gardens at garden centers and nurseries for ideas on combining and designing with bulbs.

The bright beauty of spring blooming bulbs is spectacular, especially when the bulbs are combined and planted in mass displays.

Already, in many areas of the state, crocus have already completed their bloom. Now, the stage is set for dozens of varieties of daffodils, tulips and more.

With so many incredible spring beauties to choose from, some gardeners are overwhelmed when they enter the garden center in September and October to seek out spring blooming masterpieces. Explore gardens this spring to find specific bulbs that interest you and focus on those during the fall planting season.

Some of my favorite spring displays combine color and texture, along with existing perennials, trees and shrubs to accent the showcase in April and May.

For example, combine the rich texture of bright pink hyacinths with tall, yellow or white daffodils, deep blue grape hyacinths and purple tulips. Include the beautiful arching fronds of a bleeding heart or fern for a spectacular backdrop.

Here are some of my favorite specimen bulbs for a breathtaking spring show.

Crown Imperial — The tallest spring blooming bulbs, these may reach 3 to 4 feet in height and feature a pineapple like crown with bell like blooms in orange or yellow.

Double Tulips — Each year, more and more double flowering, or peony flowering tulips become available. Combine double flowering tulips in assorted colors for an amazing and colorful display.

Thalia daffodil — An old-fashioned heirloom, this bright, tall daffodil features light and airy pristine white blooms.

Parrot tulips — The most dramatic of the tulips, these huge blooms may reach 6 to 8 inches across and feature extravagant ruffling, feathering and streaked colors throughout.

Checkered lily — Unusual and interesting specimen plants, checkered lilies feature bell shaped blooms that descend from thin, wiry stems and are checkered in shades of white, maroon and chocolate brown.

Persian Bells — A striking, elegant plant in the garden, Persian bells or chocolate bells are related to crown imperial and feature dozens of bell shaped blossoms arranged in a beautiful spire around a tall 2 to 3 foot stem.

Find Rob Zimmer online at www.robzimmeroutdoors.com. On Facebook at www.facebook.com/RobZimmerOutdoors. Listen to Outdoors with Rob Zimmer, Saturday mornings, 7 to 8 AM, on WHBY.

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