Tulips, yea! Spring flowering bulbs are in at the Farmers’ Markets and this year the farmers are trying something new, at least new to me because I haven’t seen this before. They are selling the flowers with the bulbs still attached, rather than selling as cut flowers. I think it’s so smart and the flowers definitely last longer. I plopped them in a vase with glass beads, quick and easy, and so pretty….
The paperwhites are coming along. I’ve had the pots stashed away since I constructed them at the end of October, but I finally added water to them on Sunday in the hope of having flowers by the new year.
The paperwhites I planted under gravel in the front garden came through like gangbusters!
Paperwhites beat gravel
Paperwhites remind me of springtime in Germany where we lived for three years. Bulbs would come up everywhere in parks and other public spaces. It was such a treat after the cold, gray winters.
My naturalized bulbs have been popping up all over the front yard.
These bulbs worked hard to be here!
These hardy paperwhites came up through the gravel so I decided to try to replicate the effect in another corner of my garden.
The clean look of bulbs eventually popping through the gravel will be striking.
The rest of the bulbs went into various containers for my holiday blooms. I will place these containers in a dark, cool corner for another few weeks, then add water to get them started.
I found most of these containers at garage sales.
I like the look of this container with the different layers of rocks and glass.
Executing a little design adds a nice touch to forcing bulbs.
Sunset’s blog, Fresh Dirt, ran a nice article about forcing paperwhites for Christmas. Except for the bulbs I planted under the gravel, all my bulbs are being grown in water. The Sunset article focuses on planting in soil. Either way is fine but when the bulbs grown in water have finished their cycle they will be thrown away, having completely depleted themselves during the process. It’s a small price to pay! If you plant your bulbs in containers with dirt you can plant them in a corner of the garden for next year. I would probably throw a little bone meal into the hole to provide a little sustenance while they are resting in their new home. Then next year, some new little surprises popping up in the yard. In the meantime, we still have this year’s bulbs to look forward to!
What is a bulb? Never gave it much thought until the subject came up in Flower Show Judge school.
1. True Bulbs – The true bulb has five major parts. It contains the basal plate (bottom of bulb from which roots grow), fleshy scales (primary storage tissue), tunic (skin-like covering that protects the fleshy scales), the shoot (consisting of developing flower and leaf buds), and lateral buds (develop into bulblets or offsets). There are two different kinds of true bulbs:
– Tunicate: bulbs shred or peel off layers (tunicate layers) – daffodils, onions
– Scaly: individual toes that sprout and can be planted individually – garlic is a great example of this.
2. Stem Tuber – made up of nodes and internodes, does not have a basal plate and does not have a protective tunic covereing. Buds appear all over the surface of a tuber, then develop into stems and roots. Irish potatoes are a perfect example of this, as are anemones and oxalis.
3. Tuberous Roots – actually store nutrients in their roots instead of enlarged stem. Buds develop at the top of the root. Examples of tuberous roots include sweet potato and dahlias.
4. Rhizome – grows horizontally under ground. Lots of grasses develop this way, as well as iris. Rhizomes are infamous for being invasive and spreading like wildfire.
5. Corm – is a compressed bulb, very similar to true bulbs in that they have a basal plate and a protective tunic skin, but the major difference is that there are no visible storage rings if you cut it in half. Examples are watsonia and gladiolus.
Alright, now plant those summer bulbs!
They are in at Trader Joe’s and I just couldn’t resist.
Daffodils always look spectacular!
This flower is stunning and I’m always surprised when they started blooming because I keep moving the bulbs around and can’t remember where I planted them so – SURPRISE! Each bud lasts a day, but they put out multiple buds so you get a pretty good payback for very little effort.
The freesias are blooming in full force in my front yard but it only lasts about 2 weeks looking this good. The fragrance is so strong right now!