THEY’RE ONE OF SPRING’S best garden performers: flower bulbs. But what if your daffodils have no flowers (or very few), or the animals dug up or ate your tulips and you want a solution for the future? A springtime recap of bulb-growing basics, to answer some of the most common flower-bulb questions I’m being asked right now: [read more…]
Flower bulbs can be layered into perennial gardens and under deciduous trees and shrubs to create extra interest in the same space. I recommend animal-resistant bulbs, in particular, from Allium to Narcissus, Eranthis and more, so deer and rodents don't steal my show.
I DON’T GROW A LOT of tulips, but the ones I do grow—for cutting, one of spring’s great treats—are mostly multi-flowering, or bunching tulips, where each bulb produces a little bouquet of flowers, not just one. See how the single stems divides into three or four blooms, above, in showy ‘Red Bouquet’? If you have room for more tulips this fall (and tulips can be planted late, so there’s time), think about trying these generous souls. They’re a little hard to track down, but worth the hunt. Some help: [read more…]
I HAVE NO INTEREST IN CANNA FLOWERS–in fact, I cut them off–but oh, those leaves. There is no better one to my eye than Canna ‘Musafolia,’ a.k.a. Canna ‘Grande,’ a banana-like canna (hence the name ‘Musafolia,’ since banana in botanical Latin is Musa). I’ve grown the banana canna, which came to me as ‘Grande,’ for many years, and never seen a flower, anyhow–until this oddball season of much heat and little rain. [read more…]
I CAN FEEL FALL COMING, with recent nights in the 50s, so I’m reminded: order flower bulbs. My top 7 tips to help you shop smarter for these important members of the garden cast: [read more…]
NEXT TO CANNAS, which are about the easiest non-hardy bulbs or bulb-like plants to carry over year to year carefree in the cellar, I’d have to say that Eucomis bicolor, the pineapple lily (Zones 7 or 8 to 10), is winning me over for its similarly cooperative nature and long season of showing off. I enjoyed the potful that a friend gave me so much that this spring I ordered a dozen bulbs, and put three or four in each of several 12-inch containers. From the first purple-spotted leaves and stems to the crazy flowerheads, above, a winner. How to grow, and overwinter, Eucomis in pots.