This is my first year planting and tending bulbs, and it's making this Spring's garden planning different. The little bunches of tulips here, daffodils there, and the beginnings of the noble irises that should start blooming in a couple of months have given the garden a structure that I've never started with before. One of my big problems in the past has been with too much that's at the same height, and the sense that my garden just spreads on a horizontal plane...like a bushy hairstyle. My landlord has always been complimentary about the chaotic and wild look that results by July, but there's a limitation built in. This year, there's much more variation, and the annuals can "fill in" instead of being the main attraction. Also, the various types of leaves make the whole thing more interesting ot me.
In addition, several of last year's perennial plantings are still around: there's a stinky cat-pee smelling plant that's budding anew. The hollyhock, while pruned to a stick, is growing at a fast pace, and several of last year's pansies made it through the winter and are blooming again or on the way to doing so. It means less work in the Spring, and more to look at on the way to full on lush growth. Both my miniature rose bush and the mini-azaela are in much better shape than they were at this time last year. After the rain yesterday, both the azaelas and the gardenia are budding, so it looks like there will be flowers soon.