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. 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.

  2. 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.

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