Consider this your bulb-buying reminder, nay warning. Now is the time to buy bulbs to plant for fall. If you want tulips, daffodils, purple hyacinths, blue chionodoxa, fritillaria in cream, orange, yellow or even dusky purple, you need to order now.
Otherwise, you’ll be sad in November when you sit down to the computer to order bulbs, and see “sold out” on every website.
Order now my friends.
Check out some of my bulb archives for ideas. I’m a bulb nut, and it shows.
Personally, I’m the mix and match sort. I love sprinkling these beauties throughout the garden and just letting “nature” create a tapestry. At least, I pretend Nature does, and the truth is, over time, some bulbs like daffodils will return in abundance, while others like hybrid tulips usually don’t. Before long, with my help every year, the tapestry of color changes.
You can also plant bulbs in pots. I did this last year because I didn’t want to dig holes for tulips. Here’s what I discovered. It worked, but I found that the tulips, unless placed in partial shade, bloomed out too quickly in a spring heat wave. I may not do that this year unless I find tulips on sale. I do love a good bulb sale.
Instead, I think I’ll go for a color palette of reds and purples in the front garden bed. Added to this will be yellow narcissus that return each year. It will unfold however it likes. I may also still put pots in the front garden. That remains to be seen.
As for the garage border, I went the easy route there and just chose the Scheepers hybrid tulip mixture. The mix of sherbet hues made my heart flutter. These tulips are all offspring of Mrs. John T. Scheepers, one of the finest single late tulips around if you like yellow. Yellow happens to be my daughter, Megan’s, favorite color.
Late tulips seem to perform best in my Oklahoma garden. The collection includes: ‘Avignon,’ ‘Camargue,’ ‘Dordogne,’ ‘La Courtine,’ ‘Renown’ and ‘Roi du Midi.’ There’s no shame in letting the seller mix your tulip colors for you. This combo should look great with white ‘Thalia’ and the other narcissus growing in this bed. There are also lots of other later bulbs that will bloom after the flush of tulips. I can hardly wait. Longfield Gardens is sending me Tulipa ‘Suncatcher’ which is supposed to change color as it ages, and Muscari Armeniacum to try.
Also, don’t forget about forcing bulbs. I’ve written extensively about forcing bulbs indoors, and I think it’s one of the best ways to have a little spring before spring even thinks about showing its sweet face. I bought two varieties of Narcissus tazetta, ‘Erlicheer’ and ‘Early Pearl‘ from Old House Gardens to force, along with the hyacinth forcing and exhibition collection from John T. Scheepers. I had a tremendous amount of fun forcing hyacinths on glass vases last year, and I can’t wait to use my bulb vases for paperwhites that don’t stink. I love ‘Nir’ tazettas too. They smell heavenly.
One more thing–if you want some amaryllis (Hippeastrum) that are outside the box at your local nursery, and in colors other than red, it’s time to order those too. Brent & Becky’s Bulbs have a large selection of amaryllis. I ordered several double white amaryllis this year because I asked Siri to make a note last December and remind me in August. I was inspired by Pinterest boards with white amaryllis surrounded by green moss and other plants. I can see these with creeping sedums. They will be a bright ray of sunshine in my dark, wood living room this winter. I can’t afford skylights in there yet, but I can definitely buy a few bulbs. Here is my Bulb Forcing Pinterest board for your own ideas. I also have one called Bulb-mania. I can’t fathom why.
All of these will arrive at their appropriate planting times. Definitely tell the seller if you’re planning to force some of them though. They will ship these earlier so that you can refrigerate them. By ordering early, you take the guesswork and panic out of the equation. Next spring, you’ll have your own pictures of blooming loveliness. Buy bulbs now.