Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bulb lust—already!


Old House Gardens is making their catalog bigger and more alluring each year. Although I've already gotten catalogs from Brent and Becky's, John Scheepers, and McClure Zimmerman, this is the one that's caught my imagination. Usually I don't start fantasizing about bulbs until mid-August, when the garden begins to decline.

First, there were the daffodils. Now, I have no intention of planting any daffodils anywhere on my property ever again. Nonetheless, I'm wavering over such choice varieties as Irene Copeland and Inglescombe. They also have a bunch of tazettas they're offering to Southerners (Avalanche looked great), and I'm wondering if these can be forced much like the usual paperwhites. If so, then I might order some.

Then, the tulips. These I do order, but usually from less pricy companies. But why not try some of the wilder parrots: Estella Rjinveld, Amiral de Constinople? Nobody else has anything nearly as insane. So what if they'll only hang around a season or two.

I always turn to the lilies first. There is nothing particularly new here, but I do think I'll try some speciosum from Old House, as none I've bought elsewhere have had much of a scent. I should also replace the Black Beauties I tortured by ripping them out of the pond plot when they were pretty far along. They should come back, but who knows. One thing bugs me. Sometimes OHG does go too far in their catalog rhetoric. What's the difference between the Golden Splendors I have and their "rarest" Golden Sunburst? I didn't pay $8.50 each for mine, and that's about it. Otherwise, mine are just as "magnificent, "virtually indestructable," honey-gold," and "stately," as you can see above. So stop dissing my yellow trumpets, OHG.

They'll get my money all the same.

7 comments:

firefly said...

Could you recommend a good nursery for species Turk's cap? I planted three from M&Z and they're not doing all that well in spite of their reputed toughness.

One sprouted with a flowerbud on it and hasn't grown since the flower dropped, one sprouted and then died, and one sprouted and is growing okay, but maximum height is 8" tall and both survivors are completely dwarfed in a bed of glads and crocosmia.

I'm a little worried they won't come back next year because they can't get enough sun, and I like them. I wish I'd planted 6 or 9 instead of 3.

EAL said...

Which were they? Martagon? I have always found those to grow really well. They take a year or two to settle in sometimes. I think it took a year or two for them to get as tall as they are now (4 feet or so).

They do need some shade. Do they have that? I'm thinking not if they're with glads and crocosmia. I have them in a woodland-type garden, with hosta, sweet woodruff, columbine, and the like. They are woodland plants.

I have gotten these from MZ and I think Scheepers. maybe even The Lily Garden. I order lilies most years, so it gets confusing.

Brent and Becky's--a good supplier--has them too.

firefly said...

I should be more clear -- they're lilium pumilum, or tenuifolium. Coral lily or Siberian lily, and some places call them Turk's cap.

I just tried B&B and Bluestone and neither place has them listed.

The bed does get morning shade, but it's blasted with sun from noon to almost sundown. Does that sound like too much?

I do have a woodland-type area, and the lipstick red would liven it up considerably.

EAL said...

Oh yeah, I tried one of those. No luck whatsoever. They are the only lily I have killed. I think everyone stopped offering them because they SUCK.

I highly recommend martagons instead. they have better foliage--whorled.

Or try henryi if a bright orange will do. Or try Black Beauty or pardalinium, red ones both offered by Scheepers and OHG.

Or--if you want bright lipstick red--The Lily Garden has a Red Velvet turk's cap form that looks fantastic. And they are a great vendor.

firefly said...

+snort+ Yeah, I was wondering whether the "tenuifolium" had any relation to "tenuous" -- they certainly aren't burning any houses down with their growth habits.

Thanks for the suggestions -- I'll look them up! The only lilies in the garden are the roadside-orange daylilies that were here when I moved in.

Annie in Austin said...

I grew lilium tenuifolium years and years ago in IL - a Mountain Ash gave them protection from the midday sun but allowed morning and late afternoon sun. The Mountain Ash/Sorbus aucuparia rained down thousands of tiny leaves that composted in the beds over winter. It worked out well because they liked leaf mold.

The lily was interesting to grow, Firefly, and was easy to get back then - my friends used to order Dutch Garden stuff as a group to save money and that lily was in the old catalogs.

EAL, I'm enjoying your lilies a great deal! Just one clump of an oriental lily survives in my Austin garden so I gaze at blog photos.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Carol said...

I've never planted many lilies, but now I want to! Bring on the catalogs, I'm weak with envy on seeing all the lilies on your blog and others.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens