Time to Order the Tulips!

This week I placed my order for bulbs, something I do every September. For me, placing this order is a kind of early fall ritual. It is also an opportunity to experience the sweet agony of choosing from among the offerings in the John Scheeper’s bulb catalog (so many bulbs that I want but cannot have).

'Early Harvest' are very early and very short.
‘Early Harvest’ are very early and very short.

Tulips are always the main course of the September bulb order. This year I am ordering seven varieties and 160 bulbs, all of them going into containers. All seven varieties were also in last year’s order, but I eliminated three varieties from last year that I found unsatisfactory.

These are the tulips I ordered:

'Keizerskroon' is an old Dutch heirloom variety.
‘Keizerskroon’ is an old Dutch heirloom variety.

Annie Schilder. A mid-season light orange Triumph Tulip.

Ballerina. A late-blooming orange Lily Tulip.

Couleur Cardinal. A scarlet-purple Single Early Tulip.


Early Harvest. A bright orange Kaufmanniana variety that blooms very early.

Keizerskroon. An red and yellow Single Early Tulip.

'Princess Irene'
‘Princess Irene’

Kingsblood. A deep red Single Late Tulip.

King’s Orange. A deep red-orange mid-season Triumph Tulip.

'Couleur Cardinal'
‘Couleur Cardinal’

Princess Irene. An orange-purple Single Early Tulip

As you can see, I’m into orange tulips in a big way. Basically I have one very early variety, three early, two mid-season, and two late-season.

Celandine poppy, grape hyacinth
Celandine poppy with grape hyacinth.

In addition to tulips, I’ve ordered 75 Grape Hyacinths (Muscari). That’s not a lot, I know, but they will spread. Of these, 50 are the straight Muscari armeniacum, and 25 are Muscari ‘Valerie Finnis’. While M. armeniacum is deep blue, ‘Valerie Finnis’ is a very light blue, so I think they will combine nicely.

The Grape Hyacinths will all go into the new Lamppost Bed, to contrast with all the red, orange, and yellow tulips elsewhere in the front garden.

'Valerie Finnis' Grape Hyacinth. Photo from www.johnscheepers.com.
‘Valerie Finnis’ Grape Hyacinth. Photo from http://www.johnscheepers.com.

Finally, I ordered some Allium aflatunense ‘Purple Sensation’, to be planted on the south side of the crabapple tree.

Are you planning to plant any bulbs this autumn?

47 Comments on “Time to Order the Tulips!”

  1. I beat you to it this year. Placed my bulb order in July within days of the Scheeper’s catalog arrival. Have gone mad for allium this year, although your tulip selection is very tempting, but I must be good!
    When you have planted your tulips in containers, what do you do with them? Leave them outside, or do you put them in storage somewhere and bring them out when the green tips show?

  2. After the Great Tulip Slaughter last spring, I’m only sticking a few Princess Irene into one pot with very sharp drainage. My free tulips from the Fling will be going into my newly redesigned front butterfly garden. I have a bucket of displaced daffs I have to deal with before I can even think about getting more bulbs. I love how colorful your choices are. 🙂

  3. Princess Irene and Ballerina are two of my favourites. I can get quite excited about tulips (and I don’t even mind all the planting!). Watching for their leaves poking out of the soil in spring is a yearly pleasure. You’ve got some gorgeous bulbs coming. I’ve been dithering, so must get on with ordering!

  4. I love your selections Jason! The Janesville Rotary Garden did a orangey combo out from of their peachy colored entrance with most of the ones you selected. Although I got there on the tail-end, a gardener could tell it had been over the top glorious! I love the quality and selection with Scheepers. My only complaint is they begin to send them when conditions are right. Invariably, for me here in central WI, that is a bit past any sort of good weather for planting them. Conditions can go from sugar to sh** in a heartbeat here without reprieve until May.

  5. A nice selection Jason. I always associate you with Tulips and the colour orange now you happen to mention it.
    I have no major bulb planting plans this autumn but did plant some new dwarf narcissus bulb. N. Baby Moon just yesterday.

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