Disappointing results in year 2 with Darwins
I do not have much experience with bulbs so I asked around on the forum for bulbs that have a better chance of being perennial. We don't have time or resources to plant bulbs as annuals.
We love tulips and we chose Giant Darwins from a very reputable bulb company. The first year was great....of 50 planted, we had about 49 come up and bloom. Year 2 was not so good. Honestly, part of our problem was that some of them were eaten when in bud. It was really hard for me to tell how many were eaten in bud and how many just didn't bud. We probably had 20 blooms in total.
Another area of our yard is very wooded (under trees that leaf out later) and had a couple of dozen tulips inherited with the house. We pay these no attention whatsoever and they are of a very mixed variety. Some of this, some of that. They come up EVERY year. No faltering. This is very strange to me as the Darwins are supposed to be so much more reliable.
We have alkaline clay soil. What do you recommend?