Mostly likely, the largest planting of bulbs that I ever did was at our old house, under a large maple tree. It was the fall of 1999, our first fall in Wisconsin, and I was bursting with our second child. The bulbs were something I could easily do – sitting on the ground and digging in the dirt – without becoming short of breath. We were rewarded the following spring will over 100 daffodils blooming in our front yard under that big ol’ maple tree. It was lovely!
Daffodils are among my favorite bulbs. This year I have been investing in some new varieties of spring bulbs to add to our gardens. I cannot seem to stop myself from buying them. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I purchased a bag of 30 ‘Unsurpassable’ yellow daffodils at a local home store. At the time, I also got a bag of two ‘Gladiator’ alliums that supposedly can reach to 60 inches in height!
My next bulb purchasing adventure was online. I decided that I am going to force paperwhite bulbs with my garden club students at North Woods this year. Again, this is one of my favorite lessons and activities. I think I forced bulbs with the students at Evergreen all but two or three of the 13 years I taught that group. Since going into classrooms for presentations at North Woods has been part of this job, I wanted to buy enough paperwhites that some of the classes could have a lesson as well. Bulbs are fascinating and students can easily witness the growth of the plant if they are forced without soil, using a clear plastic cup.
In year’s past, I purchased a box of 25 paperwhite bulbs at my local Sam’s Club store. Despite looking, I haven’t been able to buy them there in the last few years. So last year, I ended up buying some other types of flower bulbs over the internet and was severely disappointed. Some of the bulbs arrived moldy and although I only had five garden club students I believe just one of them ended up with flower blooms from the bulbs we forced. Supposedly the bulbs had already been cold stratified but given the results of our planting, I highly doubt it.
Sam’s Club still did not have paperwhite bulbs this fall in their store, locally. But, they did have them online. Unfortunately, after attempting to order them three times and experiencing “technical difficulties,” I ordered some from an Amazon seller called, Easy to Grow. Hopefully, they are healthier than the bulbs we received last year.
Next, I saw bulbs from Holland in one of our local home improvement stores two days ago. One of my biggest regrets about my trip to The Netherlands in 2016 was coming home without any bulbs! What was I thinking?!
Anyway, despite not shopping for bulbs, I still ended up buying five packages of them! Since I love daffodils, I bought some of the white “Mount Hood” variety.
Then, I fell in love with the salmony color of a Darwin Hybrid Tulip, aptly called Salmon Van Eijk. This totally coordinated with another Daffodil with a Salmon colored trumpet named Salome.
Next, I moved on to Alliums. I picked two more varieties to go with the Gladiator variety I had picked up two weeks ago. Now, I’ll have three types of Alliums all of different heights, next year! (I hope they grow.)
Tomorrow is supposed to be at least 60 degrees again. I aim to get the bulbs in the ground! Did you know you can plant fall bulbs right up until the ground freezes? You can! I don’t think it will take me that long; there’s only 81 of them! I look forward to getting my hands in the dirt and sitting in the sun for one last time this year! Next spring, I’ll be glad I did!