Yes, it’s November, and that means it’s time to plant spring bulbs! Yay!
Okay, I already planted eighty bulbs last week:
- 10 Prinz Claus crocus
- 10 Pickwick Crocus
- 10 Chionodoxa Luciliae (Glory of the Snow)
- 10 Iris Reticulata ‘Violet Beauty’
- 40 Galanthus (Snowdrops)
Now please note that while some of the above links will take you to sites that allow you to order bulbs, I do NOT necessarily endorse any of those sites for ordering bulbs. You have to be very, very careful about where you order your bulbs from.
I know this because of a course I took on Wednesday evening from the Morris Arboretum on Landscaping With Bulbs. Some bulb supply companies will tell you that their bulbs are “nursery grown”. This means, according to my instructor, that they pay peasant women peanuts to go out and dig up native bulbs; they then “grow” them in the nursery for a week and send them off to you, thus ravaging and depleting the native bulb supply.
What you want are “nursery propagated” bulbs. These are grown either from seed or are propagated from existing bulbs and are not dug up out of the wild. According to my instructor, here are some reputable sources for bulbs:
Brent and Becky’s Bulbs
7463 Heath Trail, Gloucester, VA 23061 804-693-3966
Daffodil Mart/White Flower Farm
P. O. Box 50, Litchfield Ct 06759-9952 1-800-503-9624
McClure and Zimmerman
Quality Flowerbulb Brokers
108 W. Winnebago St., P. O. Box 368, Friesland, WI 53935-0368 1-800-883-6998
P. O. Box 1000, Babylon, New York 11702 1-800-622-9997
Well, thanks to my class on Wednesday night I now have five more bags of bulbs to plant:
- Muscari armeniacum: cobalt blue flowers, great naturalizer, very cost efficient color in the garden, 4″-6″, early to late spring, an heirloom bulb first cultivated in 1877
- Crocus tommasinianus ‘Barr’s Purple’: six-petaled, cup-shaped purple, early-blooming and great for rock gardens, front of the border or early spring lawns, 3″-6″ tall blooms in late winter/early spring**
- Chionodoxa luciliae ‘Glory of the Snow’: (wait! I already planted these!) 5-10 small starry flowers in a spray per stem, great naturalizers in rock and woodland gardens or in lawns, up to 8″ tall blooms in late winter/early spring**
- Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’: the world’s second most numerous daffodil, creamy white petals and a very broad, ‘wide-open’, sunny yellow cup that matures to almost pure white, 16″-18″, early-midseason
- Eranthis hyemalis: Buttercup relative with frilly, green collar of leaves; very early blooming, prefers humus rich soil with plenty of moisture in partial shade; reseeds when ‘happy’, 3″-4″
I am going to be a busy girl in the next week. I should plant them all today and tomorrow when the weather is still nice enough to be outdoors but you can’t just get 5 bags of new bulbs you’ve never dealt with dumped on you and know where you want to put them just like that. Ah, the problem of being bulb-rich. What a luxury.
Now, once you have planted your bulbs, how do you protect the blooms next spring from the increasing hordes of deer currently munching their way through gardens all up and down the east coast? Well, you start by buying Rhonda Massingham Hart’s book, Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden. It’s a very comprehensive reference. I have not yet found, however, where she describes how the deer, ashamed of the havoc and destruction their number has wreaked upon the globe, switch to the Democratic Party before the upcoming election.
**when everybody goes to Mexico