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aachenelf

How do you feel about spring bulbs?

aachenelf z5 Mpls
15 years ago

Well, I just got my Brecks catalog today offering me $25 worth of free stuff. No strings. I haven't ordered from them in ages and they keep trying to win me back.

In reality, I have very few spring bulbs. There's a big stand of Scilla siberica, one lonely clump of some forgotten tulip, a few Fritillaria meleagris planted just a couple of years ago, some clumps of species tulips and that's it.

In theory I like the idea of lots of spring bulbs, but most just don't persist for me. Daffs have never done well even though they are probably my favorites. I won't even bother with tulips because the squirrels behead them all except for the species. They leave them alone for some odd reason. There are still a few crocus here and there, but again the squirrels seem to like the flowers.

I do want to take advantage of the free offer, but I'm just not sure what to try. Any tips for growing Daffs? I have a feeling my beds remain too moist through the summer months for these. From what I've read, it seems they really like a dry summer.

So back to the original question: Do you have a lot of spring bulbs?

Kevin

Comments (49)

  • donn_
    15 years ago

    I have a few thousand, and will be planting at least another thousand this fall. I wouldn't buy them from Brecks, however. They charge too much, even with the free offers.

    Example; right now Brecks has a 10 free with 10 offer on 'Minnow' Daffodils, one of my favorite miniatures. You get 20 bulbs for $10. Van Engelen's highest price point is $22.50 for 100 bulbs, and their bulbs are larger than Brecks. If you're buying more than 100, the price goes down.

    I have no problem with Daffs of all sorts, because my soil is very sandy and drains well, but I also grew lots of them in NE Ohio, where there was much more clay in my soil. I simply prepared the beds for them, so there was adequate drainage. One of the keys to Daffs is to be sure to plant them deeply enough. 6" is the minimum for me, and that's for the very smallest bulbs, 12-14cm. Larger bulbs get at least 8".

  • tjsangel
    15 years ago

    Hi,

    My favorite bulbs are my Daffs. I have large, minis, doubles in lots of colors. I think the key is good drainage in summer. They dont seem to mind some moisture while they are blooming. I must have well behaved squirrels. They're everywhere, but dont touch my bulbs! I have red Darwin tuilps that are reliable every year, but I cant say that about the others. These two seem to do the best for me, and Crocus. Ive tried windflower, Hyacinths, Alliums-just ho hum for me-with not much success. I just kind of tuck bulbs here and there for spring color among the perennials.

    Jen

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  • athenainwi
    15 years ago

    I love spring bulbs, right up until about June where I get really sick of half dead leaves. But I wouldn't order from Brecks either, I threw away the $25 coupon after reading the feedback on garden watchdog. For some reason we don't have any squirrels here and the tulips the previous owners of our house planted seem to be perennial, so I have some hope that at least some of the ones I planted will come back although I'm planning to plant a bunch more this year. They just look so great in the spring.

  • Hosta_Haven
    15 years ago

    Those darned squirrels! Between them and the chipmunks, they love digging up my lily bulbs and munching them like an apple! They dig up the cannas I planted in pots and even pick cherry tomatoes from the pots I have on the decks!

    I love tulips and have a few but my yard is 85% shade. I'm on the frugal side so right now all I have are the ones you get from Menards that are free after rebate! LOL!
    At my old house I had hundreds of bulbs...love the hyacinths the best! Love that smell! Love the giant alliums (member of the onion family-maybe squirrels wouldn't like?) but those bulbs are faily expensive, a few dollars EACH.

    Daffodils are my DIL's favorite and I planted about 100 of them for her last year at her house down the street (lots more sun).

    If you had a few thousand like Donn, I bet the squirrels can only eat so many...better odds with larger numbers I would think.

    Good luck!

    Char

  • mxk3 z5b_MI
    15 years ago

    Love spring bulbs but don't have a lot of them. I love daffodils, especially the white ones, but mine have petered out over the years - why I don't know. I do have some crocus, but I do so much bed re-arranging that the small corms invaribly get lost somewhere (either buried way too deep or accidently discarded), so those have thinned out over the years, too.

    I really enjoy seeing the bulbs in other people's yards and municipal areas, they really are the harbingers of spring and always make me smile, even on a dreary day.

    The only thing I buy a handful of every fall are hyacinth. My very favorite spring scent. I replace the bulbs every year, they are not as aesthetically pleasing in subsequent years.

  • shapiro
    15 years ago

    My favorite spring bulb is Chionodoxa - also called Glory of the Snow. They are a small blue nodding star. Leave them alone after blooming and after a few years, you have a blue carpet. I started with about 30 bulbs and grew them in between our flagstone path. It is a gorgeous sight! Also love daffs - my faves are Tahiti and Professor Einstein.

  • mehearty
    15 years ago

    Like Athenainwi, I love 'em in spring & hate 'em by June. I hurled a bunch into the woods this June because they came up purple. I've been planning a Bluestone order for more blubs to plant this fall which I will dream of this winter, scrutinize this spring, and detest in June. Ohhhh but I love seeing them in spring,

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    15 years ago

    I have a love-hate relationship with spring bulbs. I absolutely adore them! Nothing is better than that first crocus bloom in the snow in February, or seeing the bright yellows of the daffodils after a long winter.

    But... I hate the dead foliage that seems to hang around forever! I have to figure out a better way to deal with it, like better planning of other plants around the bulbs.

    I would be careful with Brecks. If it's a $10 off any amount - say you can order $10 worth and get it free - well then it might be worth a shot. If you have to buy a certain amount *first* before getting your discount, I personally would not bother with them.

    I have always had great results with John Scheepers (affiliated with Van Engelen that donn mentioned above) and Brent & Becky's (although I find B&B to be a bit expensive.)

    I have lots of daffs, with my favorite being Quail, a late-blooming, long-lasting fragrant jonquilla. I put my tulips in pots. Surprisingly, I have a ton of squirrels, but they don't seem to bother my bulbs much. I put my tulips in pots only because I treat them as annuals.

    I also add crocus to my lawn every year. I lose a lot because I have solid rock ledge under about 2-3 inches of soil, so the bulbs rot, but I still keep adding them, and get quite a bit of bloom every year (often in February - wonderful for the soul!)

    I also love snowdrops and add some each year, as well as chionodoxa and grape hyacinths. I have some iris reticulata also, which are nice but then the foliage grows to about 4 feet tall after they bloom, lol!

    I'm sure if I think about it I probably have other bulbs too...

    :)
    Dee

  • lindac
    15 years ago

    Spring bulbs are wonderful....the dawn of the garden....but never EVER buy anything from Breck's. They are the worst of the lot, often poor quality, not always what you ordered, usually smaller bulbs and less healthy plants than other places....
    In short, you get less than what you pay for, and while $10 of free plants seems like a good deal, you have to plant them and mostly will lose a year of growth.
    It took me 3 times ordering before I got smart...
    See what others have to say.
    Linda C

    Here is a link that might be useful: The bulb forum

  • terrene
    15 years ago

    I love Spring bulbs! After a long, cold and mostly brown winter, it's so nice to see some color.

    There are gazzilions of bulbs in this yard and except for a few Hyacinths, they were all planted by the previous owner. She planted bulbs ALL over the place and sometimes not a great place (like the middle of the grass). Tulips, daffodils, paperwhites, crocuses, colchicum, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, wood hyacinths, snowdrops, and some unidentified, although after reading Shapiro's post I think one of them is Chionodoxa.

    They all seem to be multiplying except for the tulips (because squirrels get them or they're short-lived anyway?). Seems like I've moved hundreds around, mostly into the gardens. I plant them in groupings under shrubbery or in drifts close to the perimeter of the roots of established perennials. That way the emerging foliage of the shrub or perennial helps to cover the dying bulb foliage.

    I've planted lots of the daffodils in between perennials along the road. The soil is dry, sandy, and well-drained and I rarely water there. They seem to do really well under these conditions.

    Chionidoxa??
    {{gwi:263890}}

    Here's another little blue flower and I'm not sure what this is either...
    {{gwi:263891}}

  • laceyvail 6A, WV
    15 years ago

    If I could grow only one daffodil, it would be 'Hawera', multi-flowered in a bright but soft yellow and grasslike foliage that disappears fast. Other favorite bulbs are Crocus tommasinnianus and Chionodoxa.

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    15 years ago

    Yes terrene, your first photo looks like chionodoxa. And the second looks like scilla. How could I have forgotten to mention I had that? I have tons of it!

    :)
    Dee

  • deeje
    15 years ago

    Hmm. Breck's bulbs have always outperformed any others I've planted. I had hundreds of tulips, daffodils and grape hyacinths in my last garden. But squirrel invasions wiped out the first planting I did at our new house and I haven't bothered with more bulbs since. If I had $25 of free bulbs offered to me from Breck's, I'd happily take them.

  • entling
    15 years ago

    I will not be getting any bulbs this fall. I'm tired of planting them! It's such a pain to have dig so deeply to plant daffodils. Besides, I have to dig up & divide an old clump of MtHoods that aren't blooming anymore. Tulips are a complete waste of time - if the squirrels don't eat the bulbs, the rabbits will get the leaves or the deer will much the buds. My scilla is spreading nicely into the front lawn, so it needs no help from me. The only thing I'd like more of is snowdrops, but those are supposed to be divided & moved "in the green." I'll spread some of those around some more next spring.

  • terrene
    15 years ago

    Thanks Digger dee, that's it on both bulbs. These are both aggressive little buggers and they're spreading a lot.

    So please explain to me why someone puts bulbs in the middle of the grass? The previous owner planted these little blue flowers, crocuses, daffodils, etc. in the middle of the grass. Well, amongst other questionable places - like the middle of Vinca minor in full shade.

    So what's the reason for putting bulbs in the grass? How do you avoid cutting down the foliage (or blooms)? To me it just looks weird, especially in the middle of the Zoysia grass that the PO also planted which looks brown and dead all the way until May.

  • gottagarden
    15 years ago

    I plant daffodils in the lawn around trees. That way they don't take up any garden space and it's much easier to ignore the yellowing foliage. I just don't mow that area for 6 weeks after blooming. I love seeing the daffs in the spring in the lawn! I also plant very deeply with tree planting bar.

    I've ordered from Brecks with their coupon, and their bulbs have been fine. Much better than anything from (ugh!) Plantron. And please DON'T buy from Walmart. After several years I've learned that their purple lilies are really red, their blue anemones are red, their pink glads were orange, etc. Completely WRONG labels, zero quality. You really have no idea what you're going to get.

    I love anemone coronaria - everyone who visits when they are in bloom wants some. Also allium purple sensation - beautiful blooms that come back and are ignored by all the critters.

    I'm getting more spring bulbs every year.

  • aachenelf z5 Mpls
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    I love both of the little blue things and also love the way they spread.

    Just to clarify, the Brecks coupon is for $25. I don't have to buy another $25 and it can also be used to pay shipping costs. I did take them up on the same offer a few years ago and received some lily bulbs. I was totally satisfied with those. If I pick from their catalog correctly, I could get the whole order for free or maybe a dollar or two of actual cash.

    I'm really only looking to add a few bulbs. For one thing as already mentioned I HATE PLANTING THEM!!!! I can not think of a more boring and tedious fall task. Let me rake leaves for a week straight before I would want to plant bulbs. A few I can deal with, but not dozens. Since I also have a small yard and garden, a few clumps of things here and there would totally satisfy me.

    I really wish I could add more tulips, but those freaking squirrels do it to me every year. When I start seeing just a bit of color in the tulips I have, I rush out there and pick them all. If I don't the poor little heads are scattered all over the ground.

    I think you've all convinced me to try Daffs again.
    Maybe in the past I did plant them too shallow since as already stated I hate digging those holes. I should be able to deal with a couple of dozen.

    K

  • cbs_z5_ny
    15 years ago

    Have to second lacyvail's suggestions of 'Hawera' daffs. In my garden, the large-flowered daffs generally end up flattened by late snows, with foliage that lasts through July. I had about given up on them, in favor of smaller bulbs. Then I discovered Hawera last fall - they were wonderful this spring - stood up to spring snow, nice color, easy to hide foliage. Will be putting in more this fall.
    -Caroline

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    15 years ago

    Terrene, I plant crocus bulbs in my lawn. They bloom quite early (as I mentioned above, I often have blooms in February) and by the time the lawn is ready to be mowed, the foliage is either gone on its own or ready to be mowed down. Anything bigger or later to bloom, I wouldn't plant in the lawn. But IMO, the crocus really do look lovely scattered throughout the lawn in early spring.

    Kevin, if you can get $25 worth of free bulbs, then you might as well go for it! That is, *if* you want to plant them, lol.

    All you guys complaining about planting bulbs reminded me of a funny story. I used to help my friend in her garden before she moved away. One fall, we were very excited because she had like a dozen bags of huge, beautiful daffodil bulbs to plant, along with some smaller bulbs. Like me, she likes her daffs along the edge of the woods and in her shade gardens. Neither place is easy to dig in, as I'm sure you all know.

    Well, by the time we got to the last few bags, there she was, sitting on the ground, digging this hole. Suddenly she said, "The h*ll with it!" I look up, and she dumps the whole bag of at least a dozen bulbs into the hole, which was way too small. Then she piled up the dirt and said, "I'm done".

    We sat there on the ground laughing so hard we were crying. Best thing? The bulbs came up beautifully the next spring!

    :)
    Dee

  • Donna
    15 years ago

    You've all said it all as to the joys and agonies of spring bulbs.Here are just a couple of notes that have helped me enjoy them more. They are great underplanted among deciduous shrubs like hydrangeas. They bloom before the shrub leafs out and the shrub foliage helps to draw your attention away from the rotting foliage. I have my hydrangeas underplanted with leucojum. It works like a charm. I underplant my roses with daffodils. I prune my roses pretty hard each winter and the daffodils are planted so thickly among them you can't even see that there are roses bushes there. But again, in the spring, the roses get going and hide the dying daffodil leaves. Ditto for day lilies (plant right in between the plants), and hostas, (plant right up to the crown. Snowdrops and Eranthis do well there.). The beauty of this is you won't be digging them up because you won't be digging that close to your shrubs.
    I also give a big vote yes for Hawera. It's such a lovely soft pastel yellow and its foliage lasts no time. I have it planted thickly in the bed around my mailbox where lantana grows over it all summer long.
    If you can grow Campernelle up north, you should really try it too. It's an heirloom bulb with dark green rushlike foliage and a wonderful scent. It's usually my first one to bloom, sometimes as early as the first ten days of February. (I am in Mississippi, though.) The blooms last a long time in the cool weather and the foliage is usually nearly done by the time "real" spring gets here.
    As to ground covers, I planted 600 daffodils in mine last fall just because I believe the foliage will be nearly invisible among the groundcover as it begins to ripen. (And I could certainly relate to the dig a hole and dump the bag in by the time I got done. Never that many again!:)

  • shapiro
    15 years ago

    Hi! Terrene: Both Chionodoxa and scilla are great in the spring. Planting in the grass is what people call "naturalizing" bulbs. It means making them look like they just grew there...naturally. This is used with small bulbs, like crocuses, and the two mentioned above. The foliage is about the same size as grass, so when the flowers are finished, you can just leave them there and let the bulbs go to seed, which will mean more in years to come. The best way to naturalize bulbs is to throw them down and plant them wherever they land. That way, they won't be in "rows".

  • pam_whitbyon
    15 years ago

    Dee, loved your story about the bulbs all going into one hole! I can picture it so perfectly.

    My bulb planting is now pretty basic. Daffodils. I don't have any luck with tulips - I've planted a hundred at least, at this house, and about 5 grow into short green things with no bloom.

    At the last house I lived in, I wanted to make a good impression at the front of my cute little house, so went out to buy hundreds of tulips. I didn't want the yellow/red ones that everyone here has, so I studied the colors for ages because color is very important to me... and I badly wanted to be different from all the other neighbours. I finally found just the right shade of pink and away I went with about 200 bulbs. The next spring, about 10 of them came up... and they were all red and yellow.

    So now I buy $7 bunches of tulips from the grocery store, and plonk them into a vase on the kitchen table. AND I GET TO PICK THE COLOUR!

    I'm tempted to try hyacinths this time though, can't resist the fragrance.

  • chris_ont
    15 years ago

    I don't plant them any more:

    1) Squirrels
    2) Don't like the chore of planting them
    3) Old foliage hangs around forever
    4) Can't figure out how to amend my beds or move things around without constantly disturbing the bulbs. And I amend/move a lot :)
    5) Did I mention squirrels?

    That said, spring bulb flowers are absolutely lovely. They're just not for me.

  • gottagarden
    15 years ago

    Pam whitbyon - I'll bet you got those wrong-colored, sickly bulbs at walmart!

  • pam_whitbyon
    15 years ago

    LOL, gg... I got them at a place called White Rose - which was indeed the Wal-mart of garden centres here in Ontario. Whaddya know.... they're not in business any more ;)

  • david_5311
    15 years ago

    Well, I have lived in my new garden through 2 springs, through only one fall bulb planting seasson. And the only bulbs I have so far are hitchhikers -- a clump of snowdrops that moved with the ball of a transplanted tree, and a few scillas that just somehow found thier way.

    Having said that, I ordered about 1000 bulbs from a wholesale place for fall planting. I hope I can find a HS kid to plant them for me since the bad effect on the back is a huge negative to planting bulbs

    I DO like daffodils. Mainly at the far back of borders where they show up in spring but their ugly long lasting foliage gets covered up by lots of shrubs and large foliaged perennials way in front of them. Also interplanted with daylilies, which does really work when you plan for it. Hawera, yes indeed, one of the classiest. Actaea (N. poeticus), which grows in not-so-well-drained soil. Daffodils do NOT get eaten in my experience. Ever. The only thing they need is fairly sparse planting the first year and a handful of fertilizer every year or so.

    My favorite minor bulbs are snowdrops and Chionodoxa. For me, Chionodoxa is a softer on the eyes lavendar blue, and it has the huge advantage that its foliage dies back fast. It seeds and spreads. Can be planted with any perennials and will take care of itself.

    Scilla I like to look at, but only in old gardens in my town where it has naturalized, NOT in my own. It blooms fast, is a beautiful electric though slightly *difficult* blue, and then the foliage is lush and has way too much presence. I would strongly advise against planting it. Give it to a neighbor, or a friend across town, even better.

    Winter aconite is sublime under witchhazels and is a light desirable seeder. Winner.

    I like tulips planted in clumps in large perennial borders, especially the tall late ones. They look so great in May among emerging clumps of perennials. 'Groenland', rose with green and white stripes, a favorite. I use them as annuals and rip them out when the flowers are gone.

    I have gradually gotten more interested in hellebores, pulmonarias, corylopsis, and other sources of early spring color than bulbs.

    I would like crocus a lot if the animals (squirrels and voles) did not even more. I do like the fall crocus, esp C. sativus.

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    15 years ago

    david, I love winter aconite also, but haven't been able to get it established. I also love the fall-blooming crocus, and love the reaction it gets from folks walking in the neighborhood!

    :)
    Dee

  • david_5311
    15 years ago

    I had trouble getting winter aconite going too. I had a friend who taught me some tricks years ago which helped:

    1. soak the bulbs (corms I think) overnight before planting.
    2. Most important, after the plants bloom the first year they will set seed (which is obvious even to me, a non-seed person). At that point, scatter the seed in the general area you planted the first bulbs (you can do this by just flicking the old flowers, kicking them, whatever you want -- have fun...). After a couple of years of doing this you will have a pretty good little colony develop.

    My own impression is that they don't like the soil disturbed and will settle in much better if left alone (a problem if you are a gardener who is constantly digging and changing things, like me).

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    15 years ago

    Thanks for those tips, David. Maybe I'll give them another shot. Another excuse to buy more bulbs this fall, lol!

    Dee

  • aachenelf z5 Mpls
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    I use to be a Betty Davis freak, so who remembers the name of the movie where at the end she's planting bulbs (tulips I think) and everything starts going dark? If I remember correctly she had a brain tumor and this was the end of the road for her. A very teary moment for sure.

    I need to get some of these movies again from Netflix. They're great fun.

    Kevin

  • donn_
    15 years ago

    Dark Victory, and they were Hyacinths, her husband's favorite.

    " I must help you plant them. You see, they're his favorite flower. You dig the holes, I'll put them in. I want to very much....You will water my flowers, won't you, Ann?"

  • goodhors
    15 years ago

    I would have a VERY hard time if there were no bulbs to look forward to. I like all kinds.

    I am another who plants bulbs in the lawn. I saw it at a house I passed often, thought the daffs looked especially cheerful on the green. I like being surprised when they pop out into bloom. I always buy mixed daffs, so I have an extended bloom time, from early to late spring. I also have Crocus in the lawn to enjoy. We just mow around them, the lawn doesn't get that tall unmowed, only looks a bit patchy for a while until the leaves brown up.

    For any one planting bulbs, I would recommend the Bulb Hound for putting them in with. I got mine at Home Depot for about $20. Much better built, solid, good steel, not sheet metal. The handle opens the digging cup to drop the dirt out, you don't have to keep cleaning the tube. The foot bars to push down into hard soil are solid, don't bend even if I jump on them. For naturalizing, putting bulbs in odd spots, this tool is superb. Still less expensive than those from catalogs. I added a WHOLE LOT more bulbs to the yard after finding this tool!

    My dogs are quite busy keeping the squirrels moving, so I have less problem with them digging up garden things. A small busy dog might be a varmint problem solver for some folks!

    Scattered mothballs in beds help where new dirt is showing help somewhat. New dirt is a real squirrel attractant, they love digging in it. I try to keep all bulb papers picked up, cover new plantings with shredded leaves or mulch, so squirrels are not attracted newly dug dirt.

  • alina_1
    15 years ago

    What a great thread!

    Could someone tell me about bulbs and mulch relation: can bulbs grow through mulch?

    I had some bulbs planted in pots and I love them! This year I will have "real" beds finally. I am going to plant some evergreen and decidious shrubs and some perennials. I will use Lazagna method (maybe slightly modified). I will cover the beds with thick layer of mulch.
    Can I plant bulbs with shrubs and perennials? Will they find their way through mulch or it will suppress them?
    The bulbs I have ordered are Species Tulips and Daffodils mostly.

  • aachenelf z5 Mpls
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Thanks Donn - Dark Victory is was. Loved it! Now how on earth did you come up with that exact quote????

    alina - Yes, you can plant bulbs with mulch on top. If you leave it on over winter, it probably will delay the flowering since the soil won't be able to warm as quickly and the bulbs will not come up as early. Some people remove their mulch in early spring and then reapply when the weather gets warmer.

    You are going to love your species tulips! They have a charm totally unlike the big hybrids. IMO they are also a lot easier to care for and the foliage usually dies back sooner than the regular tulips. Many will also self-seed, so depending on which ones you ordered, you could have lots and lots more in a few years.

    Years ago, I started out with maybe 10 Tulip tarda bulbs and now they grow in every part of my garden. I didn't move any of them, they just self-seeded everywhere. I don't mind at all since they bloom early and the foliage disappears early.

    Kevin

  • alina_1
    15 years ago

    Thanks Kevin!
    I hope species Tulips will perennialize for me. They are charming indeed!

  • donn_
    15 years ago

    Google, Kevin, Google. I knew the name of the movie, and found the quote with Google.

    It looks like I severely underestimated this fall's bulb order. I have several new shade beds, and didn't take into account all the shade-loving bulbs I'll need.

    The order spreadsheet is up to 2,410 so far, but it may get moderated by the boss. We'll see. She loves the spring bloom as much as I do, so she may let me slide. Besides, she doesn't have to plant any of them.

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    15 years ago

    Wow, if my husband wanted to order 2,000 bulbs and he would do the planting, I'd place the order for him!

    :)
    Dee

  • aachenelf z5 Mpls
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    OMG! The thought of planting 50 bulbs makes me tired and makes my hand hurt. 2000 bulbs!! I would probably need a slow drip, gin iv to even get my mind around such a task.

  • donn_
    15 years ago

    I showed her your post, Dee, and she agreed. I just placed the order:

    200 Puschkinia libanotica alba
    100 Allium triquetrum
    100 Anemone blanda 'White Splendour'
    200 Chionodoxa gigantea alba
    50 Corydalis solida
    500 Crocus tommasinianus 'Lilac Beauty'
    10 Erythronium pagoda
    100 Galanthus elwesii
    100 Galanthus ikariae
    100 Geramium tuberosum
    100 Hyacinthoides 'White City'
    50 Leucojum aestivum
    200 Ornithogalum nutans 'Silver Bells'
    100 Scilla siberica alba
    200 Muscari botryoides album
    100 Narcissus 'Baby Moon'
    100 Narcissus 'Sundisk'
    100 Narcissus 'Minnow'
    2,410

    I'll be busy this fall.

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    15 years ago

    Glad I could be of assistance, donn!

    You know, when you actually look at the list, it really doesn't seem like much, does it...?

    :)
    Dee

  • nycefarm_gw
    15 years ago

    For those of you who hate the declining foliage of dafs, just braid the leaves together, they are less unruly...

  • ladychroe
    15 years ago

    Can't get enough of them. After Thanksgiving they all go on sale and I snatch 'em up cheap. I don't mind planting in the cold. It's the last thing I can do for the garden before it goes to sleep.

    {{gwi:10950}}
    My Garden Gallery

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    15 years ago

    Sad to say, I have become less enthusiastic about bulbs. I also find no one here at our house is thrilled to get the job of planting the bulbs. BUT, I also have the same problems as chris reports. The squirrels dug up and ran off with all the crocus I spent all that time selecting and planting last fall, not to mention paying for. Not one bloom this spring from that planting. Very disappointing. Since then I have heard you can sprinkle cayenne pepper around the ground and the bulbs in the hole, but I just don't have the motivation to try it again this year.

    I added daffodils to a lot of beds the fall before last and now I wish I hadn't. The foliage for the past two years has hung around for months. There is a LOT of foliage too because I put in a good amount. In some areas away from the house, I don't mind as much because it is at a distance and I am not up close looking at it every time I go outside. I keep trying to find a perennial combination that would hide the foliage, but the usual daylily, hosta recommendations just don't work for me, where I placed my bulbs. There are too many of them to braid the foliage.

    I wanted to dig some of them up this fall and move them...but then the other problem chris mentioned...'where are they?' I already ruined a couple of bulbs in the front when I was trying to dig out a clump of lily of the valley that I decided I wasn't keeping any more. I do move and dig pretty frequently too.

    I was thinking maybe I should try some of the smaller bulbs that have less obvious foliage when they are finished. I don't mind the crocus foliage and I wouldn't be without it....but, I just wish I could figure out a way to grow bulbs without these issues. Or find a different spring bulb then I haven't tried yet, that doesn't have these problems. I'd really like some that work in the lawn that I wouldn't be disturbing and that by a certain time in the spring I could give them a haircut and that would be the end of them.

    Anyone have any suggestions for bulbs that I would be happier with?

    :-)

  • livingdedgrrl
    15 years ago

    I won't buy from a catalogue unless they have a flat shipping rate. Brecks and Springhill NEVER offer me that, and their prices are outrageous. I do, however, buy from Michigan Bulb all the time. About half of what's in my garden came from there...and Mich. Bulb gives me a flat shipping rate, so I'll use their buy $20/get $20 coupons and no matter how much I order, the shipping is always the same. They also have great deals on their B1G1s (or buy quantity, get quantity). I've had a few plants that died...called Mich. Bulb right up and they sent me a replacement quantity of what I originally ordered. So, if I got 3 lillies and 1 died, they send me 3 more, so I end up with 5 growing altogether.

    Now, as far as the spring bulbs go, yes, I too have given up on the tulips because of the squirrels. However, I still buy bulbs. Mostly Hyacinths and Daffodils, Crucus, maybe some Alium. My daffodils are HUGE and they're taking over! (that's a good thing)...only problem is...during the rest of the summer, I can't never seem to remember where I planted all of those dang bulbs!! ):)~ (good thing bulbs like it deep)

  • leslie197
    15 years ago

    I use lots (think thousands) of spring bulbs because it is cold here. When my soil is still cold & mucky and unworkable - I can have sheets & ribbons of color from all the minor bulbs (and the big ones a bit later too) - deep blue, light blue, bright cheery yellow, white, white with green blotches, pink, purple, checkered...give me color, lots of color, anything but dry brown twigs. Sure the foliage is messy, but why have a 5 month garden, when you can have a 7 month garden. :~))

  • entling
    15 years ago

    prairiemoon - get Galanthus elwesii. The squirrels don't bother it & you'll have the earliest flowers around. When we have a warm fall, this can bloom as early as December, but it usually doesn't start blooming til the end of January. I sometimes dig under the snow & find it blooming. Because it's so early, the foliage tends to die back fairly early also. My squirrels also don't bother scilla siberica. If you want daffodils without the leafy mess, try 1 of the minis.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    15 years ago

    You know I forgot that entling...I did purchase some daffs that were supposed to be in that mini category, maybe 12", but once they came up, I could see right away that they were not as small as I needed. Also, the foliage was really thick and large for minis. You are right, what would probably make me happy, is to dig out the bulbs in the areas that are driving me crazy and put them on the other side of the yard, where they will just really add a lot to what is already there. Then I can buy some new minis and just place very few in strategic spots closer to the house.

    I do love Galanthus, where do people usually plant these? In the shade beds?

    Thanks entling. :-)

    leslie...you are right of course, despite the mess the foliage makes the alternative is no bulbs and therefore waiting longer to see something bloom. If the foliage is hanging around for 2 months though..in that two months it is making a mess of another planting that I won't enjoy as much. I guess I am just at the point of needing to find a way to disguise the foliage, which is really possible, I just made a mistake in where I planted them and what I planted near them.

    So, in the end, I really do LOVE bulbs! lol I will have to make the extra effort to get them to work out for me, that's all.

  • vtandrea
    15 years ago

    It's a lot of work, but what I do is plant clumps of tulips all along my driveway in a raised bed. If the squirrels leave them alone (this year I'm putting them in a chicken wire cage), I have a gorgeous display in the spring. After they're done blooming and only stems and browning leaves remain, I dig them up and store them in my shed, foliage and all. Then I can plant some annuals in their place and recycle the bulbs again in the fall. This has resulted in some tulips lasting several years and I'm not looking at browning foliage. In a large raised bed under my living room windows, I put all the bulbs from previous years that were kind of puny when I dug them up. The bulbs usually get larger after replanting. After they're finished, I heel them in at the edge of my vegetable garden. That means I have to remember to dig them up again in the fall. I guess this is Yankee thrift or masochism, I don't know which.

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    15 years ago

    "...I guess this is Yankee thrift or masochism, I don't know which..."

    LOL, Andrea! Too funny!
    :)
    Dee

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