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. The title made me laugh. I so understand that sentiment. I hope you get the birthday gift of help – what a lovely present for a gardener.

    Happy Birthday from another Libra (Oct 10th)!

  2. 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.

  3. 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! 🙂

  4. Beautiful flowers – hope they do well for you, Jason. And happy birthday for 2 days from now … hope you get the presents you want.

  5. Hooray for helper “coupons”! I ask for them on a regular basis. All your tulip choices look wonderful. Sorry you can’t plant this weekend. I never have success with tulips in pots, although I’ve tried your method. HBTY on Sunday!

    • I’m trying something new with the pots this year, we’ll see how it works. I’ve generally done well with overwintering pots with bulbs but last year – not so much.

  6. First off, Happy Birthday and may you have many more. 🙂 A little manual labor would be a great gift for a gardener. Hope he’s reading your post. But, now I have to ask where do you put all these containers to overwinter?

  7. Happy birthday for the 8th October! I am enjoying our new tulips this spring, (some lovely soft orange-coloured ones) and I think mass planting of them sounds lovely…enjoy the planting when it happens..

  8. Sounds like your spring garden will be lovely! My bulbs from Colorblends came a couple days ago, but I haven’t got them planted yet. Hope you have a happy birthday!

    • My tulips arrived today and I’ve started on planting them. It does feel too warm but given my schedule I feel I have to go with it.

  9. 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:)

    • Yes, it’s a relief that we’ve recently gotten enough rain to soften the ground. I hope we have more normal rainfall through October.

  10. 200 bulbs….is that all? 😉 Loving Ballerina. And I completely agree – I love gifts of labour…or mulch 🙂

  11. 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!

  12. Happy almost birthday indeed. I hope you get all your birthday wishes, even if it seems your bulbs are arriving late – I concur, I hate when that happens. I admire your tulip tenacity.

  13. You did good getting them ordered early. I hope your son is able to help you get them planted. It it fun to have help. It makes a chore go so much faster. Have fun.

  14. Happy Birthday!! Definitely time to put your son to work … he’ll be seeing tulip bulbs in his sleep.

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. Look at that, today’s the big day! Happy Birthday. Hope you were able to convince someone to volunteer as cheap labor.
    I think spring is going to look excellent when these all get to growing!

  18. I do hope they arrive soon and your son helps you plant them. They should make a marvelous display! Have a lovely birthday, I hope everyone spoils you.xxx

  19. 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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