Sure it’s the middle of August, but now is when you want to think about planting bulbs in the fall. Online retailers are ready to take your order. I know because I just gave mine.

Tulip princess irene
‘Princess Irene’ Tulips

I ordered Tulips, of course. This fall I intend to plant most of the Tulips in the ground, rather than in containers. They’ll be in the Driveway Border, along the path to the front door. Also in several spots I’ve identified in the Parkway Bed. Whatever is left over will go in containers.

tulip couleur cardinal
‘Couleur Cardinal’

In making the Tulip and Daffodil selections, I used the book Colour Your Garden, by Jacqueline van der Kloet, who helped design the bulb plantings at the Lurie Garden.



The book lists a number of Tulip varieties that she has found to be more perennial than most hybrids. Fortunately, the list includes some of our old favorites. We ended up ordering 40 each of five varieties:

  • ‘Couleur Cardinal’, an Early Single colored red and plum.
  • ‘Princess Irene’, another Early Single, orange with purple flames.
  • ‘Ballerina’, an orange Lily Flowering Tulip.
  • ‘Helmar’, a tall Triumph Tulip with vertical red and yellow flames.
  • ‘Parade’, a Giant Darwin Hybrid with bright red flowers. Both ‘Parade’ and ‘Helmar’ are new to our garden.

We’re going to interplant the Tulips with Daffodils as an act of rabbit resistance. Rabbits and other critters can’t eat Narcissi, so we’re hoping that they will keep away if they are thoroughly mixed in with the Tulips on a 1:1 ratio. We used Jacqueline’s book also in making the following Daffodil selections:

Poeticus Daffodils at the Lurie Garden
  • ‘Hawera’, a diminutive Triandrus Narcissus with 2+ dainty yellow flowers per stem.
  • ‘Pheasant’s Eye’, a variety of Poeticus Daffodil whose white flowers have small yellow cups edged in red. Another plant I was compelled to buy after seeing it at the Lurie Garden.
  • ‘Sailboat’, a Jonquilla Narcissus bearing up to 6 white flowers with pale yellow cups. All 3 of these varieties are fragrant.

After ordering 200 Tulips and 200 Daffodils you might think that I was done, but you would be wrong. However, I won’t write about the rest of my bulb order right now, as I don’t want you to think I got carried away.

Have you placed an order for bulbs yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

Before closing, I just want to mention again that you can find me on instagram as @jasonkay3490.


32 Comments on “Not Too Soon to Order Bulbs for Fall Planting”

  1. I have ordered bulbs already, more than a month ago, actually. No Tulips or Daffodils, though, I’ve given up on them for now. I ordered Camassia ‘Blue Danube’, Fritillaria persica and Eremurus from Brent and Becky, and a couple of different Alliums from John Scheepers. I remember admiring ‘Couleur Cardinal’ earlier this year when I was looking through catalogs.

  2. Gosh, Jason, is it that time of the year already? I am wondering whether to do a mass-bulb order, or to leave it when things might be calmer (several years from now?). I’m actually starting to feel a little guilty about how much I’m spending on the garden (I didn’t think that was possible)!

  3. Your selections sound lovely. I wish I could have tulips, but am out of the tulip game for now because of our hungry deer herd.

    I love β€˜Hawera’; not only is it delicate, it also is a heavy bloomer and late, extending the season.

  4. I placed my order in May! LOL! Those two new tulips are new to me too, and the last daffodil is also one I haven’t come across before. I can’t bear to think of planting all those bulbs, but we will be rewarded… well, unless the mice and rabbits have it in for us. I don’t have rabbits here, but we do have hares. So far they have only nibbled at an ornamental clover I planted….

  5. Hi Jason … I ordered mine over a month ago .. we share some of the same in fact.
    Ballerina has always been a favorite of mine .. Antoinette .. El Nino .. more allium of course , being Purple Sensation .. Flaming Spring Green Viridiflora is eye catching to me …Lightening Sun, and Daydream hybrid Darwin tulip .. well I could go on and on but I think you have the idea. I love Spring bulbs !!
    Good for you with the excitement .. you made me smile πŸ˜‰

  6. I ordered 350 tulips in July. I told myself I must be nuts after ‘planting day’ last November, but I had to do it again. For me the tulips , however inappropriate they are for my climate, signal spring .

  7. You have reminded me that I must get a move on! Love your selection and will use it as a guide.Don’t do many tulips but will order more for the pots by the driveway. Will be planting lots of dwarf narcissus on the rockery for next spring, it will make such a difference.

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