Archive for November 5th, 2009


If thou of fortune be bereft,
And in thy store there be but left,
Two loaves, sell one, and with the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed thy soul
~Muslih-uddin Sadi

It’s always a thrill to see the tips of daffodils and tulips and other spring bulb flowers poking through the still-cold earth in the spring. But enjoying spring-flowering bulbs requires some advance planning. You have to get the bulbs in the ground in the fall before the big freeze-up!

Late in the summer, Veseys Bulb catalogue arrived in my mailbox. What a wonderful display! So many beautiful varieties to choose from! Tulips in stunning shades. Sunny yellow daffodils. Hyacinths and crocus and snowdrops and more, much more! I find enchantment on every page. But day after day goes by, and I fail to get my order in. Before I know it, I’ve missed another planting season. *sigh*

I had been planning on planting some bulbs around my daylily plants. Before the opportunity had completely passed me by, I finally picked up a few bags of bulbs at a local department store. Probably the quality of the bulbs is inferior to those purchased from specialty stores, but hopefully, they’ll still brighten the garden next spring.


The selection of bulbs was limited, but I was able to purchase a few different varieties of narcissus. I have long had a fondness for narcissus. While tulips offer vibrant colours, they are a bit more problem-prone. Squirrels love tulips. And tulips don’t multiply the way narcissus bulbs do. Narcissus are a good investment in a future filled with their dainty, fragrant blooms.

Narcissus jonquilla ‘Bell Song’ was introduced in 1971 by by the late Grant E. Mitsch. It features very pale yellow, almost ivory, petals and a trumpet fringed with pink. Jonquils are generally more sweetly-scented than daffodils.

Another pack offers a combination of Spring Green tulips and Narcissus ‘Hawera’. Hawera is a dwarf narcissus, developed in New Zealand and introduced in 1938. Spring Green is a creamy-white tulip with pale green feathering at the edges. This should make a very pretty combination.

Narcissus tazetta paperwhite is often grown as an indoor forcing bulb. However, the package assures me that these bulbs will do fine in the outdoor garden, so I hope they’re right.

Finally, I got a few tulip bulbs. They are labeled simply “Rembrandt Assortment”, which should mean the flowers are streaked with colour. Hopefully they will avoid detection by squirrels and it will be interesting to see what colour they are next spring. On the last few sunny days, I’ve got my bulbs nestled into place and can sit back now and anticipate spring.


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