Friday, March 21, 2014

The Minor Bulbs

It's not just thousands and thousands of daffodils poking up through the ground as winter gives way to spring. There are also a plethora of minor bulbs spread from one end to the other of the wild cultivated gardens. The minor bulbs are purchased and divided with the same enthusiasm Bulbarella devotes to the daffodils. More is better. It's that simple.

There are some hyacinth. Not a whole lot because they tend to shrink in size and vigor over time and aren't very good about multiplying. Making more is an element of purchasing decisions.

There are chionodoxa, big and regular size. The smaller species type set seed and spread rather well.

The last few years have seen an attempt at the species tulips. Regular tulips have next to no return abilities and are tasty varmint food when found by any number of bulb eaters that live in these parts.

The species tulips do spread and are better at perennializing. The varmints still find them tasty though and patches of them have disappeared. An attempted solution to this problem is to plant them with the poisonous daffodil bulbs to fake out the bulb eaters.

The Spanish Bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica, form a veritable carpet in large swaths of the wild cultivated gardens. They are prolific self sowers. Bulbarella helped them along for many years by gathering and spreading the seed. No need for that anymore. They come in blue, pink and white.

Alliums of all kinds get tried on a regular basis. A few varieties have successfully established themselves into perennial colonies. Many others don't fare so well. They bloom once or twice and disappear. Shade and competition are the most likely culprits. Then again the varmints may have a taste for spicy bulbs.

Puschkinia are another tiny little bulb that self sow rather generously. There are other minor bulbs. The snowdrops are the first to bloom and first to fade. Scilla, fritillaria, muscari, ipheon and ornithogalum can be found out there too.

All these tiny, not even six inches high flowering bulbs are a main reason why the chop and drop of the remnants of the Lush is such an important maintenance chore. They are so much harder to see when lost in a forest of standing dead sticks.

The hellebores have joined the earliest spring bloomers in the last several years. Before there was no desire to plant things that bloomed before the return from wintering in warmer climes. I'm here all winter and had  plenty of reason to start the season earlier. Plus they have all been free plants. Hellebores seed like mad too. My overflow has landed in Bulbarella's garden and she has been coming back to the mountain earlier. Now she can enjoy them too.

We still wait for the main show of the Bulbapaloozathon. Now is the time of the crocus. The opening act is in full swing.

There are crocus every where.

While we wait for the 10,000 daffodils, rising slowly in a cool spring.


Lola said...

All sleeping bulbs have a secret. The beauty of them awakens our senses. Love them.

Christopher C. NC said...

The bulbs are certainly a good way to start things off while waiting for the world to turn green again.