Many plants that you see bloom in spring are from a bulb that you plant now in fall. We have one of the largest selections of spring blooming bulbs in the region and carry many of people’s favorites like snowdrops, tulips and daffodils plus many varieties that are a bit more unusual. Check them out!
And now for something completely different…….
Here are just a few samples of some the more unusual bulbs we carry:
With October lurking around the corner the Blood Lily or Dracula Plant seems like a fitting one to feature. It is probally the most well known of the arum family and is quite a bizarre plant to behold. This bulb grows around 3′ tall but has been known to reach a soaring height of 6′! Large Green palmate leaves are speckled in cream and give a tropical look to the garden in late spring. Then the truly bizarre ‘bloom’ emerges atop the plant, sometimes the leaves will die back as the ‘bloom’ emerges. The bloom is actually an inflorescence that is dark red. As it unfolds a black spadix appears in the middle that can grow in lengths of 1′-3′ long. Truly a specimen plant that will have your neighbours asking “What is that?!”
Ipheion ‘Rolph Fielder’
Ipheion Uniflorum “Rolf Fielder’ packs a bright punch for just how tiny it really is. It only grows 3″ tall in mid-spring, but makes up for it’s dainty height by producing masses of true blue blooms. If you have ever tried to plant a blue flower you’ll appreciate finding one that’s a true blue; as well the sweet scent is a welcome herald in spring. Due to it’s small stature we recommend planting this in the front of the garden as a border. To really appreciate the sweet smell plant it on either side of a garden bench or porch.
Fritillaria Uva-Vulpis is an exotic looking spring bulb that only grows about 10″ in height mid-spring. You may be familiar with it’s cousin the Crown Imperial Lily, Fritillaria Imperialis (which we have in the Lutea Maxima and Rubra Maxima variety) At a much shorter height the lantern shaped blooms of Uva-Vulpis are purple, almost bordering on a grey hue, with a yellow interior(which reveals itself as the flowers open).A great option for a smaller place in your garden to add a little intrigue.
You may be familiar with early blooming crocus but this gem is known as Winter Aconite ,Eranthis Cilicica, and is one of the earliest blooming spring bulbs ( it actually blooms in February and can peak through light snow). Part of the buttercup family the blooms are bright and cheery, a sight for sore eyes as winter comes to an end. Leaves emerge bronze and then turn green before the flowers emerge. At a height of only 2″ these bulbs are ideal for naturalizing and will be prolific in your yard.
Also known as Saffron Crocus this bright purple tiny flower adds amazing color to fading autumn gardens. You read that correctly, this crocus blooms in fall not spring. You can watch this flower open in the sunshine and close at night or on rainy days.As if blooming in the fall isn’t enough you get the added bonus of being able to harvest your own saffron. Known as the most expensive spice in the world each flower can produce 2-3 stigmas, these stigmas are saffron. They look like small red threads, harvest them delicately and dry them to add to savory dishes.
Colchicum ‘The Giant’
Also known as the ‘Naked Lady’ or ‘Autumn Crocus’ this bulb is another one that blooms in fall. This colchicum is like the Benjamin Button of the plant world as it’s bloom cycle seems to move backyards. Flowers emerge in fall sans its leaves. Leaves appear in spring and die in summer and then it blooms again in fall to start that cycle again. As an added bonus you can leave this bulb on a windowsill and it will bloom as is!
Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
Here are just a few bulbs that put a new twist on old favorites:
Most people are familiar with the tulip, a well known gardeners staple for spring blooms. If you have ever struggled to time tulips to bloom at the same time in different shades or just want an interesting mix in your yard this tulip will not disappoint. As this tulip blooms it adds a wide variety of colors to the garden as some bloom all white or all hot pink, some are white mottled with hot pink dots, some come out striped and some are so evenly divided it’s hard to tell which color is more dominant. It is part of the Triumph Tulip family so these blooms are borne upon sturdy stems at 16″ in early spring.
Hyacinths are a very traditional garden bulb as the dewey flowers come in rich shades of purple, pink, white and blue. Nothing can quite beat the smell of a deep purple hyacinth in the garden…until now. This brightly colored hyacinth knocks the socks off of your traditional hyacinth. Each bloom is mostly orange/peach in color with yellow edges. As the bloom matures the yellow margins become thicker. Plant these among tulips for the unbeatable fragrance of a hyacinth in a not so traditional color;expect it to emerge in early to mid spring at a height of 8-12″.
We’re not in Kansas anymore. Another garden staple daffodils are now offered in many color options, it’s not just your grandmothers yellow. We often get people asking if they can plant Paper White Narcissus in their garden and sadly you cannot not( they will not survive our winters outdoors). The Toto Narcissus is the closest thing you will find to a Paper White Narcissus. With dainty white blooms Toto blooms very similar to a Paper White, the only difference is that Toto is a dwarf daffodil. A great addition to your garden in early spring; they only reach a height of 6″.
Jerry recommends planting this bulb for something interesting in your garden. With giant leaves, towering heights and extra large globular blooms this bulb adds dimension and is magnificent in a garden as a statement. This is the largest and most densely blooming allium out there; its blooms can reach 8-10″ in diameter. It can grow to be 3′ tall and blooms in late spring; try planting in a mixed border or among peonies.
Tete a Tete Narcissus
For a man who has planted over a million bulbs Tete a Tete Narcissus are an oldie but a goody. Rob knows you can depend on these little garden gems to perform year after year; in fact they get better as time goes on. Great at naturalizing in your garden these dainty little yellow daffodils have tiny blooms on stems that can reach 6-16″ in height in early spring. These bloom for long periods as each plant shoots up many stems; all producing blooms at different stages. Truly a great long-lasting daff.
Early Spring Blend
For a fool proof spring garden we have some great pre-mixed bagged bulbs. One of our favorites is the Early Spring Blend ;this mix boasts an amazing selection of deep red tulips and assorted crocus. As the name implies this will bloom in early spring, they only get about 6-10″ in height. Dig a hole and scatter these bulbs, how easy is that!
Double Duo Narcissus
Plant another one of our great mixes alongside the Early Spring Blend for later blooms to create a long lasting blooming spring garden. These snow white double Narcissus bloom in late spring on sturdy stems of about 10-15″ ; they have frilly pink and yellow centres for an added color burst. Lightly scented they are great in the garden, in pots or even as cut flowers for your entrance way. Plant one of our mixes that bloom mid spring with the two mentioned mixes for a complete spring garden.