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Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Posted by kato_b z5 NEPa (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 3, 12 at 10:55

I keep looking at catalogs and websites for bulbs.... I've put together orders at the lily garden, Brent and becky, and van engelens but didn't go through on placing any orders. I know I'll just leave them unplanted until the snow flies and the guilt finally overwhelms me. Plus I have a bunch of stuff to replant and move.... But new stuff is always so nice

Anyone else facing these issues? I'm trying to remain strong but on the other hand maybe I should be a little more proactive in helping the economy. Maybe I'm actually being selfish when I don't buy new plants....


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Oh yeah, I am right there with you. I have the Scheepers catalog next to bed and I fall asleep most nights dreaming of tulips. But my real weakness is Costco. I innocently walk in needing to buy cereal and cheddar cheese and the next thing I know I've got 200 bulbs in my cart. They are so easy to buy and of course they come in multiples of 50 so it adds up fast.

I almost always find time to plant them, but in recent years the Costco bulbs have been duds so I will have to try to resist them.

Instead I will do a Scheepers order. I have a new bed that is just about finished so I am pondering what bulbs it needs. I am a tulip addict but we have heavy deer traffic. I am vigilant with the deer spray but I'm not sure I want to continue that ritual. Or at least not expand it.

We lost thousands of daffodils to narcissus fly, so I am pondering alternatives to tulips and daffodils. I love allium and scilla and species tulips... I could go on.

So yes, I do try to resist somewhat but this will be a good year for bulb planting I think. I just love bulbs and never intend to to too hard to limit myself!


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Karin, since you are another northern gardener, consider reticulated iris. I've gotten them from Scheepers and from Brent and Becky's bulbs. Mine are planted in a sheltered spot along the foundation and they are the earliest plant in my garden most years, often in March. Because temperatures are still cold to cool when they bloom, they last 3 weeks or more. Foliage is 1 1/2' tall and grassy and comes up after the blooms before dying back midsummer, but not as thick and homely as dying daffodil foliage, so keep that in mind when placing them. The flowers are less than 6 inches tall and come in various shades of purple.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Hmm... that is an excellent suggestion. I have a small clump of them near our front door and I just love them. So a bigger planting of irises might be ideal. I agree, their foliage is not a problem at all - rather discreet compared to many bulbs.

Thanks for the idea!


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I'm surprised the costco bulbs were duds, but it's not the first time I've heard that. I used to come home with Sam's club bulbs which were nice but it was always hit or miss with what you got.... not always what the label promised.

I also have narcissus fly problems here. Not only do they kill off the daffs, but also snowdrops and snowflakes, lycoris and amaryllis (that are outside for the summer). They are a real pain and one of the few bugs I am trying to kill off totally. No luck yet though.

It's cooling off next week. I may start planting and if I finish early maybe I'll reward myself with an order or two. Of course I'm sure I'll pick up one or two things here and there anyway.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

  • Posted by socalgal USDA z10 Sunset z24, (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 8, 12 at 21:39

I'm helping the economy. Last year I tried to economize by waiting for the Van Engelen sale, but by then they were out of most of the bulbs I wanted. So this year I've already placed orders with Van Engelen, McClure & Zimmerman, and Bulbsdirect. Since I live in a mild climate, a large portion of my refrigerator will be taken up with tulips for 2 months.


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Buy the bulbs - there is nothing, nothing so sweet as the deferred pleasure of knowing the horrible winter has ended when that green fuse of new bulbs sparks into life. How can you even consider going into winter without some new ones?


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I think you'll find the bulb dealers are wise enough to not ship bulbs until the soil temperature for the region they are shipping, is cool enough to begin planting what they ship.

No responsible store will stock bulbs until they can be planted with assurance they will grow next spring.

The soil temperature is, at this time, much too warm to even think about planting---just because the weather is so nice to work out of doors.

When the soil temperature is below 45º - 50º that is time enough to begin bulb planting.

Cool days....does not speak of a time to think plants know it as well. Ground loses its temperature over a long period of time....not overnight. Just because Ma Nature produces clouds and keeps the sun from shining down on us, is not to be construed as though the soil is aware of it too.
To plant now...of course, you wouldn't find a bulb to plant.
But if one was to think about re-planting what they already have in the ground....then be sure there is no delay...dig up....replant instantly.
And water it well.


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The wife likes mums on the porch in autumn, so innocently enough I went out today to my favorite garden center to buy a few..... Picked up two little samplers of tulips. It's one of those real nurseries with the loose bulb boxes, so I carefully picked out ten bulbs of each and took them home. I did start replanting bulbs last week so I figured what better reward than a couple new ones.... I'm going to ignore the fact that I have two big buckets full of tulips that need replanting. This extra 20 bulbs is like picking up a candy bar at the checkout. It doesn't count.....

If I buy the 'lawn of dreams' crocus sampler from van engelen, that will count. But since they perennialize I can consider it an investment.... Not like the tulips.

I never considered the fact they may sell out, I should be careful. Also a crocus lawn is more a purchase for the kids, kids love a lawn with dandilions and other flowers. If I DON'T buy these crocus I wonder if I'm really being the best parent I can be? That's something to think about. I know I've made some mistakes here and there.... Can I really risk another one? I should probably just be responsible and do the crocus lawn. It will be the perfect spot for hiding Easter eggs next spring.


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this post cracked me up: I'm very proud of myself for only buying a dozen tulips so far this season. I'm holding out for Van Engelen's sale, but the tulips are the irresistables that might sell out - tulip Viridchic (sp?) and design impression (striped leaves!). Last year I scored at the Van E sale - even China Town wasn't sold out. The only problem was planting 500 odd bulbs in one weekend when we'd already had a little snow... ;)


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I finally bought my bulbs! I have some new beds and also one bed near the house that got a total do-over. So this gives me some space for fresh bulbs.

I ordered them from Scheepers/Van Englen. I waited a touch too long because they were out of Green Star which looks to be a white version of Virichic. I have had Virichic before and it is super cool. Great for cutting, but a bit expensive, especially because it didn't return at all the following year (most of my tulips do).

I am trying Design Impression this year. I love all the Impressions and they perennialize reliably for me.

Another new favorite is Orange Emperor. I planted a handful of these a few years ago and they are a real standout. So I got some of them for planting and some for the cutting garden.

We had lows in the teens this morning and it's still in the low 20s right now. So a little chilly to plant bulbs. But maybe this afternoon or tomorrow. It will be fun to see some new tulips next spring.

Kato, how did you make out with the crocus lawn?


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Lows in the teens!!! Yuck! We might get frost tonight- I hope not- but nothing that cold.

I missed the crocus. This weekend I broke down and went to their website to buy, but it said sold out. It's probably better this way since I'm not moving too fast in planting other stuff. Hopefully the kids will understand.

Of course there's always after thanksgiving clearance sales.... If its a warm fall I may break down again in a month or so, even though I don't have too good luck with late crocus plantings....


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Sorry that you missed the boat on the crocus. I know what you mean about that probably being a good thing.

The cold weather here also brought some fresh snow and this was celebrated by all. We've lived here (Montana) for 13 years and this is the first time we went all the way through Sept without snow in the mountains. So we were all happy to see the beautiful snow last week, even if that meant the end of the outdoor veggie crops.

I made great progress on bulb planting. I'm filling up a new bed so the dirt is soft and fluffy and the plants are well-spaced and there are no weeds. Oh if only gardens stayed like that for more than a few minutes!

This bed has a pink theme going so it will have a series of pink tulips: Albert Heijn, Little Beauty, Mariette. Followed by a few big alliums for good measure.

I do wish I had gotten more of each variety, but I am trying not to make this bed overfull as all my others are. We'll see how long that lasts.

I have still managed to avoid Costco bulbs, mostly because I have not been to Costco at all. I know it will be strongly tempted, especially when they go on sale. But I had better finish planting what I have before I ponder additional acquisitions. :)


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Karin let me know if you want to give daffs a try again. I have some extras that need homes and since I'm fighting bulb fly here I can't guarantee they are fly- free. I would hate to send them to someone and infect their plantings, but since you are in the same boat......

The pink tulips sound great, I hope you post photos when they bloom. I should do the same!


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I've never heard of narcissus fly before - ugh! Knocking wood... At least you have those nice fluffy beds to console yourself. Planting goes so fast under those conditions! And the pink should be awesome. I filled a bed last year with Angeliques, China Towns and muscari, and it was beautiful. I'm going to at least try to leave it alone this year and see how well it comes back.

I patted myself on the back too soon: I couldn't quite resist pulling into the garden center last weekend and left with 20 mixed white daffodils and ... um... 64 muscari. But they're small - they don't count! - and they're necessary to mark the spots of the other bulbs which don't put up shoots in fall. :) Got them all in, with the pink tulips, at the feet of my baby dogwoods. At least I've learned to plant one spot at a time.

I'm still holding out til the big sales for crocus but it sounds like that might not give them enough time in the ground before spring? I've planted them unsuccessfully late before but blamed it on the spot (nasty clay soil + lawn; too wet).


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That's genius to plant muscari as a marker! I'll be poking them around to mark daffodil clumps next summer before everything dies down. At least that will save a few bulbs from being speared with a pitchfork when I'm cramming in more things!

Late crocus plantings give me trouble. Maybe since they are planted shallow they freeze before having a chance to root in well. I guess a nice thick mulch would help.


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I inadvertently chopped a lot of bigger bulbs before realizing the dual function of muscari! My own fault because I can't resist adding more bulbs, but still.

How late do you figure is too late for your crocus? I bet that's my problem with snowdrops as well, but maybe mid-October should be ok. (Of course, this means buying more bulbs...)


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Rigelcaj,

Your combination of Angelique, China Town and Muscari sounds exquisite. That is exactly my taste. I think Angelique is pretty close to a perfect tulip. I also really like the green tulips and next year, gosh darn it, I have big plans for some parrot tulips. I have seen them used to magnificent effect in public gardens.

Kato, I'm tempted by your daffodils... but I wonder if I just let all my daffodils die, then I can try them again in a few years? I figure the more I keep planting daffodils the more I prolong the pests. That said, I don't know what is the best tactic. I haven't done any reading up on the matter. But I sure would love to have a million daffodils again someday!

Tomorrow is my day for getting the rest of the bulbs in the ground. I'm definitely looking forward to a day in the dirt!


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Oh Karin, not to tempt you, but have you seen Green Wave? Maybe with Fantasy, and a few White Parrot just for contrast? ;) I really need to recycle my Scheepers catalogue - but not til after the big sales.

Happy planting!


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No don't tempt me! I love those! I started planting my Spring Green this morning (in the spot where I had hoped to put Green Star but they were sold out). I realized that I wish I had a lot more of them. Worst of all, I need to go to Costco and I have been so good at avoiding that place up until now.

So maybe I will have a gander at the bulb selection...

Next year I am going whole hog with bulbs in another do-over bed. I'm going to pack it full of white bulbs and then use Flaming Parrot as the grand finale. It is going to be brilliant! But I have a long way to go before I'm there. I'm rebuilding the whole bed and the process will begin next week with a delivery of some very special stone. But I can totally picture the bulb ensemble right now, even though it will be a full a year before I can plant them.

We'll see how I do at Costco this afternoon!


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Question for those who use van engelen... did you already get yours? I don't need to prechill here in the PNW so they said they will wait to ship until after Oct 20th. Bulbs have been out in the stores for almost 2 months now. All my neighbors have their bulbs planted. Why do they make you wait. Maybe i should tell them I need to prechill sheesh! I don't want to get stuck planting in our constant wall of water and cold winds.

Also, (last year) I planted 1000 crocus in a 10X10sq ft patch. "Lawn of dreams speacial". They bloomed in late February and because of the different varieties the display lasted over a month. Just be sure to plant where people will not walk through your lawn.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Question for those who use van engelen... did you already get yours? I don't need to prechill here in the PNW so they said they will wait to ship until after Oct 20th. Bulbs have been out in the stores for almost 2 months now. All my neighbors have their bulbs planted. Why do they make you wait. Maybe i should tell them I need to prechill sheesh! I don't want to get stuck planting in our constant wall of water and cold winds.

Also, (last year) I planted 1000 crocus in a 10X10sq ft patch. "Lawn of dreams speacial". They bloomed in late February and because of the different varieties the display lasted over a month. Just be sure to plant where people will not walk through your lawn.


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Why does it double post on me? I am sorry.


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Mmm, spring green. So elegant. How'd it go at Costco, Karin? ;) I was busy planting 2 apple trees. Was supposed to be one, but I met an orphan, and you know how that goes. Translation: 2 new little beds for bulbs.

Kristie, I'm sorry I'm no use on the van engelen timing. I get the critical stuff locally, then indulge myself with VE when they're super cheap. Suffice to say I plant in adverse conditions. :) I planted in Nov last year and was thrilled. I think my (late ordered) bulbs arrived the weds before thanksgiving. But it was a little cold!


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All this talk of bulb plantings and tulip colors has me wanting to put in more stuff. I always liked the look of single tulips planted sorta thinly throughout a perennial bed.

Karin I hope that works for you as far as the bulb flies go. For some reason, even though I didn't take bulbs with me, I've had bulb flies follow me through three moves.... grrrr. Watch out for substitute food, they like to eat snowdrops, snowflakes, amaryllis, and lycoris too :(

Kristie I bet you could call and ask them to send them now, they have the bulbs and are probably just looking at a zone map to figure the best shipping date out. I like to plant early too, hate the blowing winds and cold soil..... although I've procrastinated into blowing snow and frozen soil crust.


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Well I got all but 8 of the bulbs planted yesterday, but I really didn't have that many (fewer than 100) so it's not such a huge accomplishment. I used to follow Tasha Tudor's advice and do everything with bulbs in multiples of 100. It certainly makes a stunning impact to have wonderful drifts of them. But with deer eating all the tulips and narcissus fly dining on the daffodils, it's hard to achieve that look right now.

But that's OK. The last 2 summers have been spent doing major rearrangement of my beds to reduce maintenance from perennials and numerous self-seeders. This summer was all about infrastructure to create a new side yard after an addition on our house. Next summer will include a do-over of one more bed, and then all my effort will go into prepping for the garden tour. So, big drifts of tulips have not been a priority in the last few years but maybe once the dust settles after next year I can return my focus to bulbs.

One of the great things about gardening is that there are many different elements to focus on and keep your attention. Never boring!

Kato - that is discouraging to hear that narcissus fly has been so persistent for you. I will keep an eye on my snowdrops.

I did fine at Costco. Much of the bulb display was blocked by other merchandise so there was only so much I could reach without really embarrassing myself. :) If I had found allium or green tulips I would have gotten them, although I was tempted by a blend of Angelique/ Mt. Tacoma/ Blue Spectacle, and also by a bag of red and white striped triumph tulips. But after recalling last year's disappointment at poor growth, I put the bags safely back on the shelf and proceeded to the bakery area to ponder the oversized pumpkin pies.

After Costco, when I was planting my Scheeper's tulips in the cutting garden, I was pleased at how big and fat they are. Now that is why I am loyal to Scheeper's!

Rigelcaj - yay, apple trees! Better yet, apple trees with narcissus Thalia at their feet.

Kristie, I agree with Kato's advice. They ship at a time when it has already cooled down in your zone. I imagine they could ship them earlier if you ask.

If Thanksgiving weekend is snow-free, I am often found outside planting last-minute bulb purchases. Sure, it's cold work, but since there is a warm meal waiting it makes it OK. This year I suspect I will be doing stone work right up until everything gets buried in snow. Any kind of vigorous garden work pairs well with cold weather since you have to work hard to stay comfortable. I like that.


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I have to ask - if you're planting 100 bulbs, how strictly do you stick to the "6-8inches apart" or whatever the recommended spacing is? I just planted 600+bulbs but only 10-30 of each variety and I was having issues spacing them apart correctly. I can't EVEN imagine trying to space apart 50-100 bulbs!

Also, I am bookmarking the websites mentioned as having fall sales. Any others? As much of a pain as planting all of these was, my list of wants keeps growing haha

As for the muscari tip - brilliant! I had some left over so now I know what to do with them.


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Karolina,

I think the spacing is pretty flexible. In my cutting garden I space them just 2 inches apart in the row, but then there is a foot or more between rows. They do just fine.

I can only speak from my own experiences, but when planting a large amount of bulbs, I dig a sinuous trench and pack it full of bulbs. But I space out the drifts throughout the garden. It also helps that I have very large gardens so they swallow 100, 400, 1000 bulbs easily.

Anyway, I wouldn't sweat the spacing too much, especially with tulips since they don't spread much. With daffodils they will form clumps over time so you'll want to allow them more room.


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I'm pretty casual about spacing too. Along my (ridiculously) long picket fence, I've planted daffodils sparsely, in couples, because I know they'll turn into clumps over time and I don't mind waiting (and I'm lazy). In the house gardens, I freely pack them in, especially with tulips, which are only going to be good for a couple of years anyway.

I've got thalia and pink tulips (surprise!) at the feet of my old apple tree (they're gorgeous), but may just do tons of crocus for these guys, because trimming the grass with scissors to let the foliage die on the others got very old very fast! Crocus at least can be mowed in fairly short order.

I'm proud to say that I was at the garden center yesterday to buy bulbs for a friend and managed to resist buying a single one for myself. (The 4 orphan roses someone gave me which have yet to be planted may have something to do with that). I'll say it, Karin: mmm, what to plant at their feet? :)


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My bulbs are coming!

species crocus mix (200)
anemone de caen (50-adding to existing bed)
Iris Katherine Hodgkin (100)
Iris Harmony (100)
galanthus ikariae (50)
Puchkinia alba "white squill" (100)
tulip praestans fuselier (50)
Narcissus little gem (100)
narcissus pink wonder (10)
calochortus venustus (50)-grew wild in back yard as a child not far from where I live now. I am indulging my inner child ;-)

Now if they would hury up and get here!


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I have already planted 70 anemone bland, 120 daffodils, 65 tulips, 50 allium purple sensation and 32 hyacinths. I went to the Freshco with my sister last week and she grabbed a box of daffodils. Did I refrain? NO! I grabbed 10 more daffs for myself. She is a bad influence.


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Rigelcaj, what did you decide to plant beside your roses? I was out of town last week, so I'm sorry I didn't furnish any ideas. But if you still need ideas... maybe some cute species tulips? Have you ever tried Persian Pearl? Angelique is another idea, with a border of grape hyacinth perhaps. Oh, or white Emperor tulips - those are just amazing and really long lasting. I could go on! I'll look forward to hearing what you decide to do.

Kristie - you went in whole hog! Nice work! You have a lot of delicate and interesting bulbs there, so you will get a lot of interest and enjoyment from them. You'll also get a nice spread of blooms over a couple of months, so that will be nice.

Happy planting! (once they arrive)


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The roses are momentarily naked, and may stay that way, because I'm likely to mound them with my horse's only contribution to the project. :) Besides, I don't know what color they are, and I'm still reeling from last spring's horrible juxtaposition of yellow daffs and pink bleeding hearts. Pink & yellow ? Ugh !! Ah we'll: daffs for cutting !

Where is that van engelen sale email?! I'm being good, but dying!! :)


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Karin,

I live on 1/3rd an acre of mature landscape (60yr old rhodies, dogwood,western red cedar, whitchazels, massive abelias, lace leaf maple and a sequoia with a 19ft diameter 4.5 feet up)
I have a lot of ground areas under and around these plants with boulders and log hardscape which would be perfect for the smaller more subtle bulbs. I get lots of rain for 9 months, then bone dry for three months a year. Most of these types of bulbs will last a long time in my climate.


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bleeding hearts and yellow daffodils are some of my faves.... I have them but not on the same side of the house. I say buy what you like, but have enough distance between and in a different setting so you can enjoy each without being distracted by the other.


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Ah, me too, Kristie! I just don't like pink and yellow together. When I planted them, I thought the daffs would be done when the bleeding hearts bloomed - nope! Ok, regroup! I need to mark the daffs so I can move them, and replace them with whites. Fortunately I have plenty of room for yellows.


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I agree that bleeding heart with yellow daffs is not ideal. But a late white daffodil like Thalia or Poeticus would be lovely and would capture all the soft prettiness of springtime.

Kristie, your yard sounds magical! It sounds like there are interesting pockets and vignettes around the shrubs, trees and boulders. Perfect for pockets of interesting bulbs. Lovely!


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It does sound like an interesting spot Kristie, and like you said perfect for little bulbs here and there.

I resisted a bulb display today. I hope I'm not coming down with something. It was kinda worrisome, an entire nursery at 50% off and all I got was a raspberry and 10 fritillaria melaegris(sp?).... maybe I'm going to be in trouble when the thanksgiving clearances start, I don't know.

Maybe I'm done?

I guess I would be if it was purchased bulbs only but I still have a couple hundred tulips in the garage that were dug this summer. I should really be dealing with that right now.
Frank


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I would have a real hard time resisting any 50% off plant sale. I have been avoiding all of my usual plant haunts. My husband has been doing the shopping lately...I cant just walk by them (its terrible) I told him I would not buy any bulbs except what I bought at van engelen. I figure once I get everything planted I will realize I don't have room for anything else. I too worry about the after thanksgiving sales. I am sure I will find some little "precious" late in the game....

Then of course you have the spring planted bulbs coming out early march. Then the cycle progresses to the annuals and perenials. Lather rinse repeat lol.....


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Just like budgeting anything else: I set an amount that I allow myself to spend on bulbs (usually something like $100). I only buy from the catalogs because I get better options and I wait until I have a bunch of coupon offers so I can select the best coupon(s). This year I preordered really early from two different companies and ended up spending $119.07 including shipping and handling. I went overbudget by $19.07. (not bad)
What I got for the money:
12 mixed color Darwin hybrids
8 "Copper Image" double late tulips
12 mixed-colors Parrot tulips
6 "Havran" deep purple Triumph tulips
6 "Evergreen" green Triumph tulips
5 "Zampa Parrot" Parrot tulips
6 "Tricolette" three-color tulips
20 "Color Magic" color-changing Triumph tulips
5 "Woodstock" hyacinths
3 "Delft Blue" hyacinths
8 "Geranium" daffodils (I got 11 in the package +3 bonus!)
4 "Josephine" oriental lilies
6 saffron crocuses (yes saffron, as in the spice)
10 fritillaria aka checkered lilies
and a 3 piece collection of three types of foxtail lilies - 1 cleopatra, 1 bungei, and 1 shelford pink

All bulbs arrived huge and healthy, except one of the foxtail lilies which has a little mold which I will scrub off and with soap and water and perhaps soak in chamomile tea and garlic water to ward off future mold.
I'd say I did really good for the money spent. It pays to buy early and use coupons.
I also got replacement bulbs for two things that didn't do well last year: "Black Hero" tulips and a "New Leaf" iris
I am SUPER excited.
(All that said: I feel like I did go overboard a little. You can also limit yourself to an item number like "I will only buy three packages" that way you don't overwhelm yourself. In the spring I limit myself to buying things in small quantities and I am not allowed to buy anything new until the last purchase is in the ground.)


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That doesn't sound like overboard - it sounds pretty restrained and responsible, and I bet it'll be gorgeous in the spring. Saffron crocus, huh? I'll be interested to hear how those do, and whether you use the saffron! Have you had geranium daffs before? They tempt me - anything fragrant does, but I was disappointed in Thalia in that regard, so I'm suspicious.

I'm now constantly watching my email for the van engelen sale one...


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The saffron crocus are supposed to be fall bloomers and they sent them with the rest of the stuff so they got put in a couple days ago, which is kinda late. But my North Carolina climate is rather mild so I am still betting they will bloom. I have never tried the geranium daffs before, so I am excited to see how fragrant they are. Just regular daffs before. I only accidentally sliced one with my shovel in this year's digging (doh!), but that is not too bad.
I will try to post pictures. Pictures speak a lot.


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Well? Has the Van Englen sale come out yet? Any more late season temptations for you guys?


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I haven't seen anything on sales from VE yet, and I'm going crazy (and constantly looking at my email)!

I did succumb to a 20% off single package (8) of Pheasant's Eyes, because I rarely see them on sale and love them. I have no idea where I'll put them (which will not, of course, prevent me from buying a few hundred bulbs from VE if they ever do go on sale...).


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uh oh. I wonder if Bantam got hit by Sandy? It's not on the coast, so hopefully it was ok.


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I am soooo glad I had them ship them out to me early. They would still have them if I let them ship them on their schedule. I hope all my east cost friends are holding up ok. You have all been through so much.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Kristie - Are you interplanting the irises Katherine H. and Harmony? Just wondered. They seem as though they would look glorious together. I love the look of both of them, particularly the abundance of spots on the falls of Katherine H. I really like that you pushed me to learn more species names. It is fun to know both the Common and the Scientific names of things. Do you know if your Puschkinias are scilloides or libanotica? Just wondering. I don't have any experience with squill, but it is fun sometimes to get into the details of things. I also like your mix of classics with more rare varieties. It should be a lot of fun to see next spring. (Thanks for teaching me that shellflowers are actually Calochortus [venustus]) :)
Kato/Rigel - So much for completely strict budgeting for this fall's plants. I went to buy more bonemeal when my last container ran out and found myself face-to-face with a random bag of German irises that was the very laaaaassst of the bunch sitting all by their lonesomes on a shelf. It just so happens they were the same kind, "Open Sea", at a house that I rented a couple years ago but had to move away from and never got to see the blooms on the ones that I planted. I felt that that last bag was destined for me so I bought them. Ah well. I picked up a houseplant too. One that I once gave as a gift and was delighted to see that it bloomed constantly for the person that I gave it too - so I thought I could use one too.
Dianne - Girl. That's a lot of hyacinths if they are the large kind. Your yard is going to smell amazing. And I have never grown decorative aliums before. Let me know how they do/what sort of conditions they like :)


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

11/1 and still no VE sale emails - can this be right?! Have I fallen off the mailing list? I know I said I was going to be responsible but I didn't really MEAN it.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Two things: first dont worry, second you still have a bit of a wait. Both van engelen and Brent and Becky's usually don't do their big sale until black Friday.... Except one sad year when I think I was so obsessed I got an order in on thanksgiving. Unless I only thought it was thanksgiving, maybe I sat by the computer so late the calendar rolled over while I was online.

In any case get the wish list together and hang in there.

Not to encourage bad behavior, but some late planting tips are
-put some potting soil and pots aside in a warmer area just in case things freeze early
-potted bulbs overwinter well in cold frames, unheated garages, and dug in next to a warm foundation
-hay bales stolen from the neighbors trash make a good freeze fighting mulch for late plantings.
-as long as the ground is unfrozen you can plant
-keep a whole bed ready for planting and snow and ice free by covering the soil with bags of leaves.... again check neighbors trash, but make sure the bags really contain leaves. Also FYI it's considered poor form to return bags to your neighbor if you're not happy with the leaf quality or mixed in trash...
-planting in pots and then planting the pot and all and then covering with mulch is a great way to overwinter and then still be able to move them around in the spring.

Hmmm. I guess I've taken advantage of quite a few late season sales over the years :)
Frank


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Thanks, Frank! The image of someone sneaking over to the neighbor's leaf and hay stash in the middle of the night is a great one.

This conversation has been a source of all sorts of information useful in indulging my bulb addiction.

I'll just add a little. ;) For keeping ground unfrozen - and I've been told by a reputable nursery that you can plant up til the ground freezes - another great option is a black contractor's trash bag of fresh horse manure, with the secondary benefit that if you have somewhere to store it til spring, it should be composted and ready to go (says the one who mulches things other than bulbs with the stuff straight out of her horse's stall, so feel free to add several grains of salt) (but I have yet to kill anything). My giant sycamore conveniently mulches all along my picket fence, so I'm good in the leaf mulch dept. Maybe a little too good...

If I take up yoga or something, will patience in the matter of bulb sales become easier?! Happy Friday, everyone!


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Poppy, I did not plan on putting the iris Harmony and katherine hodgkin together. I kept them separate for the most part although in some places they are intermingled. I have them in my border planted with enough space between the flowers to help show off their interesting shape. Spaced out small clusters and some singles to look like small drifts. Then I have the odd miniature daffodil or snowdrop or crocus patch. I wanted it to look more natural. I love the look of the more subtle bulbs. I don't really have a theme except that I buy what I like. My color palette is blue/purple, white, yellow and red. I don't let that limit what I buy, it just seems that those are my common colors.

I finally got mine all planted between the rain clouds. Now they are all settled their homes for the long grey winter.

I see that you have an interesting collection of tulips. How long do they last for you? I bought a "species" variety thinking that I may get a couple of years out of them. What has been your experience with your tulips returning?


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Honestly, last year was my first time doing tulips in a while. I used to plant them at my Mom's house when I was younger, but I remember them dwindling year after year with the parrot tulips being especially lazy about reappearing. I did dig up and store last year's bulbs in the crisper though and they did really well in there over the summer. By the time I replanted them they looked as fresh and good as the new ones I bought. So it will be interesting to see if they pack as big of a punch as those fresh from the nursery. I also planted a bunch of their bulblets so it will also be interesting to see if I have some smaller flowers on those and how much those have grown when I dig them up again. I love the idea of increasing my supply with careful cultivation. Seeing how I have so many different varieties now I think that maybe the next couple years I won't buy any and I will just see how well I can get the ones that I have to reproduce and expand my drifts from there. (Though this may or may not work as soon as next year's catalogs hit my mailbox XD


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Careful poppy, I've been digging and replanting my tulips and although it is a bit of work, you might end up with a few extra tulips in a couple years.

Something happened last year that caused a bunch to die off early and leave me with small bulbs.... And the march-April drought stunted the others... But I still had way more to replant than I needed. Always better to be safe than sorry though.


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Bulb buying

FYI Scheepers has 20% off selected (very tempting) collections... It's something new this year since typically they don't have a end of year sale.

I didn't even start a shopping cart. We'll see if I can say the same to v engelen and b and b.


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More

The whole Van Engelen site is now 20% off.... Don't know if that's it for the year but it might be. I thought they usually went to 40%, but maybe only after thanksgiving and maybe not this year. Looking at their prices I don't know how I ever resisted the 40% off in years past, 20% is tempting too..... Must......re.......sist....


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Ha - I saw that as well, but I'm resisting for the moment. I thought I resisted til 50% last year. I'm sure they'll get me in the end though.

Good luck to everyone else - and let us know when (we know it's not "if") you succumb.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Try your local big box stores for discount bulbs. Our local Walmart has bulbs 50% off, and their prices were already very good. Tulips 12 1/2 cents, crocus 10 cents, for example.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Try your local big box stores for discount bulbs. Our local Walmart has bulbs 50% off, and their prices were already very good. Tulips 12 1/2 cents, crocus 10 cents, for example.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

And - another one bites the dust in the resistance dept. However, thanks to this little support group, I think I demonstrated great restraint. I limited myself to $100, excluding shipping, and got :)
100 King of the Striped crocus (for the base of the dogwoods)
100 Flower Record daffs (for somewhere not involving pink)
100 February Gold daffs (for somewhere that can involve late pink! Base of apple trees, maybe)
100 Don Quixote tulips (base of apple trees - go pink!)

Amazingly, I resisted Green Wave, but only because it wouldn't go with the Don Quixotes that I really wanted. I do wish I had more muscari tucked away somewhere, but I'll cope.

How'd everyone else do? Happy Thanksgiving!
Chris


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Nice choices, that will look great come springtime!

I also fell off the wagon to the tune of 99.99. So I kept it under 100 even with shipping. :)
I'll post a list this evening, right now I'm trying to pretend it didn't happen and I don't have several hundred more bulbs on their way....


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

funny


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

They're small bulbs sue, it really just sounds like a lot. Crocus go in quick and I owe it to my kids to liven up the lawn a bit.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

8 dollars of crocus can't be much right? That's like one shovel full of dirt and youre done!

100 CROCUS�TOMMASINIANUS $7.65
250 CROCUS�SPECIES�GRAND�COLL $16.20
100 GALANTHUS�ELWESII $24.15
100 TULIP�SCHEEPERS�HYBRID�MIXTURE $23.40
100 THE�PRINCELY�TULIP�MIXTURE $19.50

200 tulips..... Dont know what I was thinking there, but the scheeper mix should look good in front of the brick of my house, and the princely mix I can just pop in here and there around the yard.

In order to put the tulips in front of the house I should dig up a couple more feet of lawn..... Probably should have done that before ordering. Oh well. Maybe it will stay warm for longer than just the weekend.


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Heh heh (evil laugh)

Sue I dare you to post how many new bulbs you've added this year :)


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Photobucket

Later. Don't have an actual count yet of what all is new this year. Many cultivars (about 250) are replants that I dug earlier this year.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Heh heh. Keep up the planting!

I just saw Brent and Becky's is at 50% off...... I should be prepping planting sites for what is already on its way, instead I'm going to go over to Brent and Becky's for a quick look-see.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......
well...I gave in. Could no longer resist. I ordered 16 daffodil cultivars.

What was I thinking with all that I have left yet to be planted?

Photobucket


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

I forgot to add (since I am an enabler) the link below to the Brent and Becky 1/2 off bulb sale. It runs until Dec 3rd. The full price is shown, but once you click Order Now their system will start your order and it will reflect the discounted price. Shipping cost is based on the pre-discounted prices.

Sue...hoping to get to play and plant today. It is up to 40 degrees already!

Here is a link that might be useful: Daffodils on sale


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

On the subject of extra stuff: I just today harvested a bunch of seeds off my deep purple torenias. I listed this info on the seed exchange forum and if you want some just be one of the first four people to tell me so on THAT listing. The seeds are tiny and won't need a bubble mailer so they are totally free. Let me know on that listing and not on this one. I figured I would tell you guys since I talk to you the most.
Laters! (and yeah, I ended up buying a huge bag of daffs for five dollars from a local greenhouse that was trying to get rid of extra stock, so that is one more notch in my extra-stuff belt)


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Well, everything's tucked in, just in time for snow this morning. I love when nature waters for me. I ended up buying 50 muscari at full price just so I'd have them for the beds under the apple trees with the Don Quixotes and white daffs, and succumbed to a pile of 50% off bulbs at the feed store to the tune of another 100 or so random daffs (mostly yellow; anything that said it was fragrant), dutch iris (one blue/yellow mix and one just that spectacular blue) and blue and yellow hyacinths.

I caught myself reading the David Austin Roses catalogue last night, so guess I'm really done with the bulbs for the year. ;) This has been a fun thread: let's do it again next year!


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

I think I'm done ordering too... bulbs that is! Maybe the next thread could be "must not order roses" Over the next couple months I'll go through the rose, dahlia, lilies, annuals and vegetables phases, thinking I have the time and space to go nuts with each of them. I'll try and last at least until March with those.
Thanks for the seed offer Radiant, those torenia look nice, but being that I just found homes today for some of last winter's seedlings.... I should probably show restraint (like I'm a poster child for that? LOL)

The Van Egelen order came today. They really look great and everything is sprouting, itching to be planted. I was going to go do some things at a neighbor's, since I thought the bulbs weren't coming today, but then got lazy and stayed home. Good thing. The order got here and I had enough time to plant the tulips before calling an end to the Holiday vacation (we had Monday off too). SO now it's the crocus and snowdrops... plus the extra daffs I don't really want but just can't toss...

I may pot up the snowdrops. Don't exactly know why, but they're one of my favorites, and if they're potted up I can keep them in the cool part of the garage and check up on them as much as I want.... I feel a little self conscious going out in the crappy spring weather and crouching down all over the yard to check them all out (multiple times a day :). The neighbors already have labeled me "the thinker" probably due to the standing around with a shovel and a homeless transplant one too many times. Maybe fellow gardeners can relate... or at least understand a little.

Off to not think about any more bulbs.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

I love snowdrops too, which makes no sense to me, because they're white, and by spring I'm SO done with white in the yard. But they're such little charmers.

It never occurred to me to be self conscious about checking the progress of my bulbs every day. Actually, it's not even just bulbs, but also the peonies, lilacs, apples, rhodies. In short, anything that may be doing something. And I do it all year long. And I talk to them. And pat them. Yeah, huh, probably the neighborhood lunatic, now that you mention it. So be it!


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Finally.... a plus one on my parenting record.
The crocus lawn is blooming right on time for Easter. It's a little sparse but after a Saturday afternoon egg hunt my daughter and one of the neighbor girls spent about an hour picking crocus and delivering little bouquets to the neighbors.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

green grass would have been a nicer backdrop.... oh well. Between picking and rabbits I can't imagine they'll last long, but I would never deny a child a crocus. A peony maybe, but not a crocus.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Kato,

I too have a crocus lawn. I planted the lawn of dreams special 5 different type of tommies. The rabbits and squirrels dont touch them at all. The display lasted a month as the different varieties filled in. This year I also bought species mix from van e. I planted them in clumps around the yard. Rabbits and squirrels loved them (and dutch iris) but left the tommies and dwarf iris alone. What i did notice about the species mix (what I think you have) is that the bloomed over a much longer period. Once i thought the were done, another variety would pop up. More like a 2.5 month display. I would imagine you havent heard the last of your crocus lawn.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

There are a few left and like you mentioned there are still a few sprouts which haven't bloomed yet. Plus ones which were mowed down a week or so ago are now blooming as if nothing ever happened, so I haven't given up yet. I think because the Tommies are mixed in with the others they do get nipped off, but I also saw a few nipped but not eaten. Maybe they do have a nasty taste which keeps away the rabbits and squirrels!
Two and a half months is a nice stretch. I wanted to get the lawn of dreams at first but didn't act in time and it sold out, so this collection was the next best thing. It sounds like you are pleased with your lawn?


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

Is there a way to share picture in my facebook album? If so I have lots of pictures. I think it turned out well for the second year. I a have been keeping a photographic journal on FB.


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RE: Must..... Not...... Buy...... Bulbs......

I was hoping someone knew how to share the pictures but I guess not. Maybe you have to friend everyone? Lol


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