I want my damn bulbs!

At the beginning of September, before we left for Japan, I ordered bulbs from John Scheepers. Partly this was out of fear that upon return I would be in a jet lagged haze, causing me to forget this essential chore. Also, I didn’t want the bulbs to arrive late in the season.

2015-05-09 15.42.55
Tulip ‘Princess Irene’

We are trying some new things with this year’s order. First off, we’re only ordering 5 kinds of tulips – 40 of each – all to be planted in containers. Last year I ordered at least 8 varieties, but this year I’m going for more of a massed effect.

The five varieties included our all-time favorites: ‘Couleur Cardinal’, ‘Princess Irene’, and ‘Ballerina’. Then there’s ‘Suncatcher’, which I planted last year for the first time and I’m still figuring out how I feel about it. Finally, there’s a new-to-me variety called ‘Fostery King’, which I ordered partly because it has such a classy name. Fostery King has a kind of Shakespearean ring to it, whatever it might be.

2015-05-09 15.45.11
Tulip ‘Couleur Cardinal’

‘Couleur Cardinal’ and ‘Princess Irene’ are both Single Early Tulips, while ‘Ballerina’ is a Lily Flowering Tulip. ‘Suncatcher’ is a Single Late, and ‘Fostery King’ is a Triumph Tulip, which makes it sound even classier.

This year I am skipping the very early tulips, like ‘Keizerskroon’ and ‘Early Harvest’. I love them, but they have broken my heart one too many times by succumbing to a combination of early thaw followed by hard freeze.

2015-05-11 09.13.40
Tulip ‘Ballerina’

In addition to Tulips, I also ordered some species Crocus – 200 C. chrysanthus ‘Goldilocks’ and 50 ‘Blue Pearl’. Yes, I know that almost all Crocus varieties could be easily renamed ‘Squirrel and Chipmunk Chow’.

However, these Crocuses are going into the pots with the Tulips, where they are easier to protect. They will provide early blooms, plus their foliage will function as an underplanting to the Tulips. There should be enough for about half of the Tulip pots, the remainder of the pots will get my usual underplanting of Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima).

Finally, I’m going to try my luck with some Camassia quamash in the concrete fountain base that’s been converted into a planter. I’m hoping they will tolerate the moisture that comes from being left over winter outside and uncovered.

2014-04-06 13.18.28 yellow crocus
Clump of yellow crocus.

I was really hoping my John Scheeper’s order would arrive this weekend. That’s because the next two weekends are going to be very busy – first with a family wedding and then with work stuff. However, I just got an email informing me that my order should arrive next Monday. Drat!

So it’s going to be a little crazy getting the pots ready for winter. And I haven’t even mentioned the 200 Daffodils that are coming from Colorblends. (Free Daffodils! Yay! Thank you, Garden Bloggers Fling!)

White daffodils
Daffodils at the foot or our silver maple.

One possible solution would be to ask my older son (the other one doesn’t live in town, sadly) to help me with the pots as a birthday present. Free labor makes an excellent present, and my birthday is October 8th. I should make sure he hasn’t gotten me something else already.

Never too early to start obsessing about your spring bulbs!

That’s all for now.

61 Comments on “I want my damn bulbs!”

  1. I’m always ready to hear about tulips! I bought mine locally this year in a DIY store, not so much choice but I was able to buy them at the end of August and put them in the fridge; I’m hoping I might be able to plant some up to flower at Christmas. Now that would be an achievement.

  2. Oh, wonderful tulips! I got my order already but had forgotten all about it! I must start thinking about planting too. Hey, your birthday is the same date as mine! Have a great day, even if you can’t spend it planting your bulbs! 🙂

  3. I received an email yesterday that my bulbs are supposed to arrive today. Perfect timing as the rain we’re getting will finally soften up the ground so I can plant them. But now you’ve reminded me I meant to order more Camassia–darn! Wonder if I can request a rush order:)

  4. So true about the squirrels and chipmunks; I think they watch as you plant and rise early the next day to dig them up! I created all new planting beds in front this summer and there are so many holes from the critters that they look like Swiss cheese! I have about 40 tulip bulbs to plant and would rather take 40 lashes! I hate planting bulbs so I’m in awe of your ambition!

  5. Ha, it’s good to know that someone else obsesses about bulbs too! (I actually started ordering bulbs in May, believe it or not, but I am a little daffodil crazy…) That’s too bad you couldn’t get it early with all that’s going on! Happy birthday – definitely use that to your advantage!

  6. Happy Birthday, and I hope you get those bulbs planted! I would think your son would be happy to help you as a birthday present. Your selection is lovely. I look forward to seeing them in your planters next spring!

  7. Hello Jason, it’s bulb planting season here and I’ve lost track of what’s been received, what’s been planted and what I am still waiting for. This year’s mass-bulb planting is much smaller than last year but I’m already looking forward to the spring display and wonder whether I’ll notice whether last year’s planted bulbs have divided and spread.

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