If you intend to plant bulbs for bloom next spring—tulips, daffodils, squills, hyacinths, crocuses, etc.—or autumn-flowering bulbs—autumn crocuses, colchicums, etc.—, late July or August is the time to send in your orders!
True enough, a certain choice of bulbs will show up in your local garden center in September … but not necessarily the varieties you want. My local garden centers seem to offer almost only Triumph tulips, for example, yet they’re short-lived bulbs and I prefer perennial tulips (botanical tulips, viridifloras, Darwin hybrids, etc.). And they sell the same crocus varieties year after year, whereas I want ones I don’t already grow. Plus, they offer no rare bulbs at all, just run-of-the-mill varieties.
For a reasonable choice of bulbs, I have to order from a bulb specialist. And if you’re a serious bulb gardener, you’ll eventually find yourself in the same position.
For an eye-opening choice of bulbs, Canadian gardeners can try Fraser’s Thimble Farms, Botanus, Phoenix Perennials or Veseys. Americans will find a wide range of choices at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs and Longfield Gardens.
Have yourself a great bulb shopping spree!