Flowers emerging in springtime from tiny little bulbs planted in the fall is one of the all-time great miracles of nature. When you hold a few tulip, daffodil or crocus bulbs in your hand, it's a great way to prepare for the arrival of warm weather.
These bulbs hold the power to produce a profound array of colors with just a little sunshine, water and some tender care.
If you're new to gardening, it will help to think of the primary way of dividing plants and flowers: annuals and perennials.
Annuals are flowers that bloom only once and stay for just a season. An example is the red poppy. If you go to the nursery in spring, buy some plants already blooming, plant them in your garden or window box, and they die in the fall, and that's it.
Perennials keep coming back year after year. They don't die each fall, they just go dormant until the spring weather warms them again.
Bulbs are perennials and need to be planted in the fall. They'll provide you with blooms year after year.
When you see a garden with a clump of iris or tulips or daffodils that is bushy and thick with flowers, you know those bulbs were probably planted a few years ago.
Before you start planting bulbs, make sure you've got the right spot marked out because unless you dig them up they will be in your garden for some time to come.