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August Is the Time to Order Fall Bulbs!

20170809A Longfield Gardens
For beautiful spring flowers, you have to order bulbs in the fall. Photo: Longfield Gardens

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!

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Always finding the same old bulbs in your local garden center? Mail order sources will vastly broaden your horizon! Photo: iBulb

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 FarmsBotanus, 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!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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