Friday, September 17, 2010

Buying up the Bulbs

Guess what started showing up in the garden centers this week?! Yep. Bulbs! To be more precise, spring-blooming bulbs. They’re my weakness. Don’t get me wrong. I love all kinds of plants, but after our l-o-n-g winters, the spring bulbs pop out (sometimes when the snow is still on the ground) and signal the start of spring and warmer weather and digging in the dirt. They should get some special recognition for that in my book!

I always save the cardboard info sheet that comes with the bulbs so I can write the location of the bulbs and the year they were planted. Then, I write on the cardboard how they performed. My old favorite used to be Apricot Beauty. But, last fall, I planted cute little Bronze Charm tulips and now they are my new favorite!

I saw a Fritillaria in a neighbor’s garden this spring and loved it. So, I picked up a few of those this year. And, I’m not a huge fan of the daffodils, but I found a variety that looks a little like a giant snowdrop and picked up a few of those, too.

One neighbor avoids tulips because the squirrels and rabbits get them – if not in the fall when she plants the bulbs, in the spring when they come up. So, she buys scilla, windflowers, snowdrops, crocus, scilla, and grape hyacinth. Another friend loves the giant allium and has a garden filled with the tall purple pom-pom like blooms.

I won’t plant anything for a few more weeks and new bulbs are still arriving in the nurseries. So, if you have a favorite spring-blooming bulb, post a comment and let me know! I’ll see if I can find some to add to my gardens!


Marguerite said...

After a long winter there's nothing like the sight of a bulb pushing through the ground letting you know spring has arrived. I love Crown Imperial Fritallaria for their tropical look but careful! they stink. Also love the little checkered fritallaria. Camassia, winter aconite,and muscari also make my list.

Mary S. said...

We also have problems with voles eating the bulbs, but I have had good luck with allium, especially 'Purple Sensation', which is a giant allium. It hasn't spread as much as I was told it would and it looks great in the garden for 6 weeks or longer, if you just leave them, first as a bloom and then as a seedhead. Other favorites: the squills naturalizing in the yard and fritallaria.

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for bulbs to arrive. I get them mail order from Holland. But I do have a weakness when passing them in the stores. I do not plant daff's either, but a few show up in Spring anyway. I used to battle the squirrels with the tulips, but I now plant deeper than recommended to foil the little rodents. It works, but they come up later in the springtime, but revert to normal the next year.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I just picked up another 150 daffodil bulbs the other day. They're really the only bulb that can withstand our deer and gophers here, both leave them alone, thankfully. Tulips however are the woodland creature equivalent of caviar! If we grow them at all, in has to be in containers.

Auntie K said...

Things have gotten away from me this week, and I apologize for not responding sooner . . .

Marguerite; I'm afraid now, to plant my Crown Imperial Fritillaria, after hearing about their stink! I think I should try some of the smaller bulbs this year, too.

Mary; Do the moles/voles get them right after you've planted?! How horrible! I use chicken wire/hardware cloth to keep the creatures from digging the bulbs up in the fall and do use a barrier/short fence in the spring to keep the dogs and bunnies away from the tuliips. There's nothing that will keep the squirrels away in the spring. :(

gardenwalk; I LOVED your post about the cacophony of color! I can't imagine the thrill of getting bulbs straight from Holland! Do you have a favorite color? Or variety that you can't live without?!

Auntie K said...

Curbstone; A couple of the tulip varieties I bought last year had labels that touted "deer resistance." I don't know what's to be done about the gophers. And, your image of tulips as caviar is apt and vivid! I've thought about it several times over the weekend.

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