Friday, September 11, 2009

Planning ahead for spring...

[Photo: Galanthus nivalis.] It's still summery these days, but it's also time to order bulbs to bloom next spring! Since last year I really wanted more early blooms, I've ordered I've also ordered
  • Phlox paniculata 'Katherine' because I've really been taken with all the phlox I've seen in others' gardens.
  • Iris x hollandica 'Blue Pearl', because I have a sentimental attachment to irises. My parents had a massive collection of bearded irises when I was growing up, and I was originally planning to order 'Victoria Falls' which is described as "cobalt blue". Luckily before I ordered it I checked the photos of 'Victoria Falls' at Dave's Garden, and found out that while it is pretty, it certainly is nowhere near the deep blue shown in the catalogue! So I went with the less nostalgia-inducing but much cheaper and bluer Dutch irises.1
  • Cyclamen hederifolium (hardy cyclamen, cyclamen à feuille de lierre) because I really wish I had some new flowers to look forward to in the fall, instead of just watching everything slowly go dormant or die.

What are you planning for spring?

  1. The worst example of a plant being radically different than the sellers' photos that I know of is the 'Replete' daffodil which is advertised as "rosy pink", with matching photo (presumably photoshopped) when it is actually peach (click the link to see a comparison of the catalogue photo with the actual flower). The moral of the story is if a plant is advertised as having a very unusual colour, be sure to check out photos taken by ordinary gardeners who are not trying to sell you something. I don't know why people lie about what colours plants are; all it will do is alienate their customers when they inevitably discover the truth. 'Replete' is a very pretty peach daffodil; why not advertise it honestly as such?


  1. I've already purchased my first bulbs last weekend -- Princess Irene Tulips. I already have some and love them. I usually plant around 500-700 bulbs each fall of tulips, crocuses, and daffodils. Most unique bulbs don't make it, either our winter is too harsh for them or the animals eat them.

    I am also planning more veggie beds.

  2. I agree with you about flower colours. Many don't turn out to be "as advertised." Blues and reds seem to be the biggest empty promises.

    However, I've also found that individual cultivars can be variable in colour. So because I'd seen it before, when you wrote 'Victoria Falls' I thought: oh, that's a nice one.

    Looks like you've got a great spring ahead of you. Keep us posted on the results.


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