Several weeks ago I received an email from Michelle Gervais, of John Scheepers flower bulb company (if her name sounds familiar it's probably because she was an an editor for Fine Gardening Magazine for many years). She wrote: "Would you be at all interested in a little box of surprises?".... and then broke it to me that those surprises were going to be bulbs...
I wrote back: "Bulbs...I have a love/hate relationship with them, but would love to give what you send a try — if they pass my test — what I don't like about bulbs is the requirement to let their foliage stick around, turning all brown and ugly. For that reason I don't plant bulbs, unless they're in a container I can hide after the flower show is over. If you've got ideas of bulbs that won't make such a ugly statement as tulip and daffodil foliage typically does then I'm all ears!"...Ya, you offer me something free and I get all persnickety...what can I say I'm a very choosy gardener!
As you've figured out Michelle was up to the challenge and that box of surprise bulbs recently arrived. After Lila inspected to see if they'd tucked in any dog treats (they didn't), it was my turn...
I've never planted species tulips and Michelle included quite a few, assuring me their foliage wouldn't be as obnoxious as the others. She also encouraged me to think of "regular, flashy tulips" as annuals (more on that below).
And wow! Yes please, Tulipa acuminata is insane, in a good way. BTW, all flower photos included in this post were lifted from the John Scheepers website. I'm sure they won't mind.
More species Tulips...25 of them!
I am no bulb expert but these just look pristine.
The description for Little Beauty says "cherry-red" — was that written for folks like me with an aversion to pink? I think these will be going in the front garden, where the plants I love for their foliage, but insist on blooming pink, live.
This is officially more tulips than I've ever planted. And I did go through a tulip phase in my Spokane garden.
Little Princess, "a T. hageri and T. aucheriana cross, this dainty, scented beauty is Spanish-orange with a yellow-edged, black center" — I think I'm in love with it from that description alone.
Turns out Michelle couldn't resist sneaking in a few regular "flashy tulips"...
The ones with big bulbs...
But you know what, I forgive her because LOOK! Tulip Rococo is a beauty, this is where her suggestion I treat them as annuals will come into play. Those beauties will definitely be pulled or cut and used in one of my spring In A Vase on Monday posts.
Are you starting to think all I got were tulips? Not to worry, there are alliums too...
Already sprouting alliums — like I didn't already feel the pressure to get out there and get these in the ground...
The description for Allium Forelock: "Forelock has 2"- to 3"-wide, globe-shaped flowers that grow to 3" around with an unruly tuft of white-tipped, mahogany-red flowers exploding out of the top of their heads. The wiry stems stage a wild dance of spath-tipped curly cues before gradually almost-straightening out and bursting into bloom from the top to the bottom of their floret-clustered orbs. The flowers first appear round, with green buds on the bottom, then turn totally mahogany-red with star-shaped silvery-white stamens. Its next act reveals the emergence of unruly top tufts after which they slowly transform themselves into seed-pod encrusted sentries."
Here's that "wiry spath-tipped curly cue" stage...
She also tucked in a few Allium schubertii.
Yay! I love them, but just haven't taken the allium plunge becasue of the ugly dying foliage. There's no better time to give it a try then when they just show up at your door, right?
There was one more bag to open, it had a Christmas-gift worthy feel to it, but there's no way I'm giving it away.
Apple-green to chartreuse yellow? Hell ya!
Look at that big happy bulb...
Cybister Amaryllis Evergreen is a knock-out.
Perhaps just the push I needed to "plant" a few Amaryllis this year, it's been awhile.
So that's my John Scheepers haul, 76 bulbs total that I needed to plant...(thank you Michelle and John Scheepers!).
But wait, I mentioned over 95 bulbs in the title? Ya, there are more. The kind Bonney Lassie recently offered up several lily bulbs on her blog and then went to the trouble to email me to ask if I'd like some 'Forever Susan' — of course I said yes. Not only did she pack them like a pro...
She also included a print-out so I'd remember what they were. Thank you Alison!
Rounding out my bulb collection? Ya, I still hadn't planted the crocus bulbs I got back in late October.
I've always been a little smug when others talk about all the bulbs they need to get in the ground — "ha! Not me, I don't play that game" — I guess that's come back to bite me, big time. Thankfully last Saturday was a glorious, dry, partly sunny day and these are all in the ground! I've also remembered another issue I have with bulbs. When they say plant them 6-8" deep...do you really dig a hole that deep? Really? Because I don't. Those might have ended up 5" under. I think I cheated a little on the 4-6" too. Hopefully they'll be forgiving.
Weather Diary, Nov 19: Hi 51, Low 35/ Precip .18"
All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.