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.