Invest in a beautiful future with the “Bulb Blitz”

Feb. 04, 2013 @ 03:42 PM

Have you ever been surprised by a pop of color from bulbs you forgot were there? At Keep Durham Beautiful we want to give our residents and visitors the chance to have this experience all over Durham. In one week, we will begin distributing thousands of bulbs to be planted in public view all around our neighborhoods, streets and schools.

We hope that you or your school or community group will take part in this bulb-planting blitz!

Periodically at the end of the bulb planting season, Keep Durham Beautiful seeks a donation of several thousand bulbs from national nurseries with help from our sister affiliate Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful. We organize a massive lottery to offer these bulbs to Durham residents. Bulb Blitz winners contribute their volunteer time to plant the bulbs in places visible from Durham streets and public spaces.

Flower bulb planting, a signature Keep Durham Beautiful volunteer effort, is one of the many paths to achieve community beautification. The term community greening covers a broad spectrum of activities, from establishing trees along public streets, to encouraging tree planting as part of development, to building community vegetable gardens. In between these larger projects, there are all the activities that residents, schools and groups can do to enhance the curbside appeal of the spaces they care for. Flower bulbs can play a vital role.

Most spring flowering bulbs should be planted in the fall for optimum performance. Bulbs planted later in the season may not perform as well in the first year after planting. However, bulbs are perennial, which means they’ll come up again each year, giving years of beauty.

Bulbs are underground plant structures that store the energy that the plant will need when it is ready to sprout and enter the flowering reproductive stage.

They make the most visual impact when planted in bold masses of the same color. They are versatile additions to the perennial landscape, giving gardeners the ability to extend the season of color, create miniature bouquets in the garden, fill in bare spots and add pops of color in an otherwise monochrome scene.

Our goal at Keep Durham Beautiful is to create more vibrant and beautiful spaces, where our residents are engaged to improve their community environment. Programs like the Bulb Blitz help to inspire further beautification and develop practices that will prevent litter, encourage waste reduction and increase recycling, and beautify the community.

Tania Dautlick is executive director of Keep Durham Beautiful Inc. Her column appears monthly.

Keep Durham Beautiful, a non-profit affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, housed in the City of Durham General Services Department, engages and inspires individuals to take greater responsibility for their community environment. To volunteer, or to learn more about our programs and events, be sure to like us at or follow us at