In the Northwest, bulbs prefer to be planted in November and December—and since November has already passed us by (how did that happen?), the time to plant is now!
Planting in late fall (and maybe early winter) gives the roots plenty of time to grow and establish before the ground freezes—if it freezes, that is. Growing up in the Midwest, I always planted my bulbs in September and October, because the ground pretty much always freezes in the fall there. When I moved here and began gardening, I thought I was pushing it by waiting until December to plant. But then I was pleasantly surprised when the daffodils surprised me with their joyful faces!
Bulbs can be planted directly in the ground or added to your winter containers; they will provide a fresh spark in spring just when you need it most (especially since there’s still plenty of rain around at that point). I find that it’s best to place them where they can frequently brighten your day—try a spot near your entry, your driveway or parking spot, or even just where you can catch a colorful glimpse from your window.
Remember to follow the package directions for planting depths and distances. Typically, bigger bulbs such as daffodils and tulips should be planted deeper (6 inches or so), while the smaller bulbs, like snowdrops and crocus, are best at 1 or 2 inches.
A little work now, even when it’s cold, rainy, and dark, will add a lot of brightness and color to your life come spring!