Last week we talked tulips
Now lets see what else we can find to bury this fall.
Daffodils are just about the happiest flower there is.
They will often begin poking their noses out of the ground before Christmas.
Some years they even bloom by Valentines – more often in early March.
My favorite is a solid yellow called King Alfred.
It’s the traditional large cupped solid yellow.
There are hundreds of varieties, but I must confess to only planting this one kind.
Don’t let that stop you from finding your own favorite.
Daffodils are more perennial than tulips.
King Alfred edging the garden in late winter
Which is good since they cost more.
Another standard for me is Dutch Iris.
You might recognize them as a standard in florist bouquets.
Dutch Iris "Delft Blue"
They are a smaller bulb, don’t require much space and easy to plant.
One of my real favorites is the tiny bulb and bloom of the Grape Hyacinths.
They bloom early and long.
They are wonderful at edges.
I’ve lined much of the path of my garden with them.
Grape Hyacinths along the brick path
I’ve also scattered them on my one little “hill” and let them roll down to the edge.
Grape Hyacinths and vinca minor on the "hill".
And best of all they are pretty cheap!
The other bulbs I order this time of year are lilies.
Asiatic, Oriental and Trumpet
I love them all.
This year I’ve found a semi-shady place to add lots of Oriental lilies.
So I’m buying a mix of pinks and creams and whites.
Stargazer - a staple Oriental Lily
Mixes generally save you a little money, but you don’t get to pick the colors.
I’m also adding Oriental Lily Golden Star to the yellow Orientals I all ready have.
I’ve also found Trumpet Lily African Queen.
I saw this melon colored beauty in a magazine and tracked it down.
Now…no bulb order would be complete without Amaryllis.
You will know them as the fantastic flowers forced into bloom at Christmas.
My favorite is the Hybrid Dutch Amaryllis.
The pink and white Apple Blossom is glorious.
Apple Blossom Amaryllis
A fairly new Black Pearl is a most dramatic dark red.
Black Pearly Amaryllis
Actually, there isn’t a bad color of Amaryllis.
They are monster bulbs fitting snuggly into a 6 ” pot.
Forcing Amaryllis for Christmas in the garden house.
Where do these bulbs come from?
How many do you order?
How do you know a good bulb?
How do you plant all of this stuff?
We’ll save the last question till time to plant.
Which for me is in November.
Suffice it to say it’s good to have friends in November.
Let’s tackle the rest.
Where to get bulbs?
You’ll find them at garden centers, nurseries and stores that add seasonal greenhouses.
Along with all kinds of catalogs and websites.
I find them well…everywhere.
I will tell you though I don’t like the pre-packaged bags of bulbs.
Though my friend Debra literally grabbed a bunch of these last fall
Through them into the ground.
And had glorious bulbs.
But, I like to pick out each one to make sure that it is firm, has no sign of mold, and most importantly, big.
The bigger the bulb the bigger the bloom.
It’s just that simple.
Though I do my best to support local merchants I do have to confess to being a little picky about the colors I want.
So for that reason I do order from catalogs.
My long time favorite is a company called k. van Bourgondien.
I have found their selection to be very good – to the point it takes me a week to figure it all out.
I also think their quality is excellent and reliable.
Their prices are fair.
As for quantities.
Well…this is my weak point
I always over buy
But I always get them planted
With Megan’s help.
Here are a few guidelines
But remember – it’s just my own opinion
Which is worth exactly what you are paying for it here in the blogosphere!
With the exception of grape hyacinths and other tiny bulbs I never plant in rows.
I dig – rather Megan digs – big oval-shaped holes.
In them we plant odd numbers of bulbs
Daffodils & Dutch Iris – 5 or 7 or 9
Tulips – 9 or 11 or 15
Lily bulbs are bigger and need a bit more space 3 or 5 per hole.
So…that gives you a guideline.
You can measure and multiply and see how much trouble you can get into.
We’ll cover more planting information come fall.
This should get you in over your head.
But come spring you’ll be so glad you took the time to plan ahead
I think of it as planting hope!