The other day I was driving through Edmond, a suburb of Oklahoma City. With kids, I’m always driving here, there and everywhere. I passed Ace Hardware on Broadway and 15th, and I casually glanced over. Out front, I caught a glimpse of bulb boxes on display. I didn’t have much hope there would be anything worth buying this late in the season, but what the heck, I thought as I pulled into the parking lot.
Surprise, surprise, there were all kinds of wonderful bulbs you usually don’t see in retail stands in Oklahoma. Not only that, but a sign showed they were half price. I stocked up and decided to do the lower garden in a mix of these.
Instead of the scatter method, I dug big holes and dropped the larger tulips and daffodils within. I tucked them in with a bit of soil and then added the smaller bulbs on top covering them with less soil because they are so tiny. Sometimes you can simply push them into the disturbed soil.
Here’s hoping it’s all very pretty. Remember that all of these bulbs bloom at various times so it won’t be as if a color wheel threw up in the garden. There will be subtle changes instead. Having written that, I admit my garden is really, never very subtle. It kind of screams “COLOR,” and that’s the way I like it, uh huh, uh huh.
Dance with me here.
Whoops! Got carried away there for a moment.
I must be rejoicing because the half-price bulbs were so cheap. I bought a lot. Here’s the bulb roundup:
- Thirty Tulipa fosteriana ‘Concerto,’ a white, very early tulip, short.
- Twenty-four T. ‘Juliette,’ a lovely Darwin tulip with flames of pinkish red, mid-spring.
- Six T. ‘Upstar,’ a pink double, blooms late–that was all they had of this one.
- Twenty-five T. ‘Van Eijk,’ a pinkish Darwin type with reddish flames.
- Fifty T. ‘Negrita,’ a mid-spring blooming Triumph tulip.
- Twelve T. ‘Pieter de Leur,’ a lily-flowering type, late spring.
- Twelve T. ‘Claudia,’ another lily-flowering type, late spring.
- One hundred Puschkinia scilloides ‘Alba,’ a small white heirloom good for rock gardens and up front where you can see it. blooms early spring.
- One hundred twenty-five Allium sphaerocephalon, drumstick alliums, my favorites because of their slender blue-gray foliage and swaying purple and white heads. If you can buy only one allium bulb, these are the best. They will return for at least two seasons if your soil is dry during winter, but they dislike wet feet. They are also small and can be tucked in everywhere.
- Eight A. aflatunense, a larger globe allium. I hope it punctuates the space. However, things don’t always work the way I envision them.
- Six A. christophii, another larger globe allium; late spring blooming.
- One hundred twenty-five Ixiolirion tartaricum, lavender mountain lily, a diminutive little blue flower hailing from central Asia and which probably likes its soil dry.
- Twenty-four, twelve each of Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’ and ‘Barr’s Purple.’ These are the Tommies, and I’ve planted some in this garden in previous years. They multiply.
- Twenty Narcissus ‘Ice Follies,’ an early spring daffodil, white with a light yellow cup;
- Five N. ‘Flower Record,’ a large-cupped, mid-spring-blooming, daffodil. I could only find five of this one.
- Seventy-five Chionodoxa luciliae, glory of the snow, blooms early spring. It’s originally from Turkey and likes dry soil.
I did add fifty bulbs of Narcissus ‘Fortissimo’ from Van Engelen I purchased earlier in the season to the mix so there will be a lot of yellow. Can I just say the bulbs from Van Engelen are huge with lots of doubles? A great value even if not half price.
Stay tuned. The next post in this series is about the front garden which has its own color scheme.