Saturday, April 10, 2010

Where will it end?


When I first started ordering spring bulbs about nine years ago, I was all about the tulips, the bigger, the better. Then I discovered species tulips, miniature daffodils, erythronium, and other smaller bulbs, plants that are not only charming but are more likely to come back year after year.

Now I have a yard full of all kinds of tiny bulbs—as well as a growing collection of hellebores (top)—and I love the dainty flowers, especially the two-tone species tulips like clusiana, humilis Persian Pearl, and orphanidea flava. But it’s time to move on. Now I need to collect all the spring bulbs that have interesting foliage. It’s much harder and likely to be much more frustrating, but here we go.


For the last 4 years, I’ve been growing erythronium Pagoda, which is very hardy with subtle mottling on the lush foliage. Last year I planted the revolutum, which is a West Coast native. It has more pronounced markings, though I find the blooms kind of weak.


And I’m very excited about the Greigii Donna Bellas that are coming up now. Talk about foliage interest—these have vivid purple and green markings that are supposed to last for 3 months. We’ll see, but they look good now. What other spring bulbs have awesome foliage? There must be a few others.

10 comments:

Carol said...

You are a bulb enabler of the highest order. I must get that Greigii Donna Bellas this fall. MUST.

Leslie said...

Where will it end indeed! But in the meantime you keep discovering intriguing bulbs.

susan morrison said...

This post as well as others I've read on your blog are really making me curious to see your garden. (Looked to see if you have one of those cool 'My Garden' links but no such luck. Me neither.) Anyways, partly curious because my impression is that your garden is small and seems to favor spring bloomers. Makes sense as I assume in a harsh winter zone the arrival of spring must be a joyous event - but what do you do the rest of the growing season? Overplant the bulbs?

Bangchik said...

Years of gardening allows us to look for something good, and lasting.. ~bangchik

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I agree with Carol. You are an enabler. Intersting plants. Must haves.

STEPABLES said...

Great blog! I was married to a bulb salesman and having bulbs in the garden is like Christmas in March to me. Little plant packages with a little happy surprise in each one! Bulbs make a garden a joyful experience. Species tulips and miniature daffs are the best!! Early bloomers, interesting foliage and come back year after year. I love mixing them with our little creepers in the ground and in containers.
Too bad more people don't use bulbs in their garden...I really think they are missing out on one of life's little gifts of spring.

EAL said...

Susan,

I do have a small garden, but there are separate areas. The area where I plant bulbs is very shady in summer and has a lot of ground cover, hostas, and other spring perennials. But I do have some posts that show overviews of the garden areas. I'll put them in "perennial posts."

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

You ARE a wicked enabler. I'm okay with that, though. I just ordered a whack of yellow longiflorum lilies, and some yelloween orientals too. I felt the need for more yellow and more fragrance in the garden. It just happened.

Layanee said...

This is addiction of the highest order. Order more that is. Love the Greigii foliage.

Cindy, MCOK said...

Here's to its never ending!