It may be fall, but expert gardeners say it’s prime planting season

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CHICAGO -- It’s beginning to feel a lot like fall, but that doesn’t mean gardeners are hanging up their shovels for the season. The time for bulbs is now.

”People look at a bulb and think there is really nothing happening here, but inside there is a flower bud already formed, the leaves are already in there,” explained Jill Sellinger of the Chicago Botanic Garden

With a little water, cool temperatures and time, the onion-looking bulbs actually turn into gorgeous flowers.

Now a manager of adult education at the botanic garden, Sellinger said her love of gardening started when she watched her grandparents as a kid.

“You just learn to appreciate plants and appreciate what they bring into your life, both ornamentally and for good nutrition, so just growing and gardening has always been a lifelong passion,” Ellinger said.

Gardeners who share her passion are turning out for the Fall Bulb Festival at the Chicago Botanic Garden this weekend to check out more than 225 varieties of daffodils, tulips, crocus and other specialty bulbs.

“Bulb are accessible, doesn’t matter your level of gardening expertise, there is a bulb for you,” Ellinger said.

So there’s a bulb for every level of gardener and every type of situation. But beware, people say, once you start you can’t stop, these bulbs are easy to fall in love with.

“I’ve been doing it for a few years now, and have been completely bitten by the bug; I have a lot of bulbs in my own garden, it’s just a lot of fun,” said the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Stephanie Lindemann.