Don’t miss out on early spring bloom! Photo: landscapeontario.com
If you intend to plant bulbs for bloom next spring—tulips, daffodils, squills, hyacinths, crocuses, etc.—or autumn-flowering bulbs—autumn crocuses, colchicums, etc.—, it’s time to get a move on!
True enough, a certain choice of bulbs will show up in your local garden center in mid-September … but not necessarily the varieties you want. My local garden centers seem to offer mostly 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.
Late August or very early September is really the last minute for ordering your bulbs. By the time the order is received and processed, then shipped to you, it will already be planting season. And the really choice and rare bulbs will be selling out soon, if that isn’t already the case.
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. In Europe, think of De Jager and Sons, Avon Bulbs or Rare Plants.