September 24, 2012

Fall Bulb Orders for Winter Bloom

If I ordered all the bulbs I'd like for forcing and for spring bloom, we'd not afford to eat for most of the winter. I look long and hard and make many comparisons before I actually order. A bit of cash needs saving back for impulse buys in town, too.

I ordered the following this weekend:

Amaryllis: Elvas, white with red brushstrokes, Nymph, a double white with traces of red brushstrokes  and Benfica, a dark red. Deciding on colors is so hard for me. I want them all.

Appleblossom Amaryllis last Christmas

I wanted pink Appleblossom again. It is usually easy to find in the big box stores. I'll take a chance on getting one that is properly labeled if I find them. One year I had all the same brilliant peachy orange color, Exotica, which was exciting but not really a Christmas color.

Hyacinths: Blue Jacket and Gipsey Queen, 15 of each. Gipsey is an orangey pink that is so pretty and Blue Jacket is a dependable forcer. Delft Blue did best in some Clemson trials one year . I've had equal success with the blues.  These will be refrigerated as soon as they get here for about 10 weeks of chill before they are potted.

Delft Blue, chilled and potted to bloom for Christmas, 2011.

I never met a Hyacinth I didn't like, and I've planted a huge number over the years in all colors. Some are still with me. I gave away many as forced blooms in the dead of winter.  Eventually they do disappear and need replanting but those in well-drained locations with lots of compost will last for years.

This vendor, which I shall not name until I get the bulbs and see their beginning performance, did not have Blue Delft. I admit to being swayed by a 25% discount this early in the season. The discount is for new customers. I found few reviews of this company but they were linked by what I consider a reliable blogger.

I kept back two Amaryllis from last winter in the pots in which they grew. Late in August, I put them in the tool shed in the dark. The bigger one still has some green leaves, however floppy. The other suddenly shot up a new shoot: leaves, not a bud. I brought it out and watered it and put it in a bit of shade in the greenhouse. That pale shoot is turning green. I may pull it from the pot without disturbing the roots, add some fresh potting soil and slip it back in place. Potting soil tends to settle.

I'm still drooling over Daffodils and Muscari in catalogs. White muscari that came in a mixed package at a big box store last year were magnificent additions to pots of Violas. they've already put up new foliage and it isn't even fall. Muscari make good markers for bulbs that come up in spring, so you know not to plant more on top of last year's if you are forgetful.
I do not think you could plant too many.
It's a while until time to plant daffodils here, so I can review all my previous bulb photos and dream and make lists right on up to Thanksgiving. My all time favs are Ice Follies, Hawera, Juanita, Tete-a-tete, Sailboat, Ice Wings and February Gold.  Maybe I need some more imaginative selections, which may be forced on me by sold-out vendors of the ones I wanted.

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