Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I'D RATHER BE GARDENING: A Few of My Favorite Spring Bulbs

It's 3:00 a.m. on a crisp fall night in October and rather than lay in bed wide awake, my mind whirling with its usual cacophony of thoughts and ideas, I thought "What better time than now to write about spring bulb planting."

Brent and Becky's Bulbs, Gloucester, VA

In my Zone 6 garden I usually do my planting around mid-November (soil temp. must be under 55 deg.) I often split a large order from Van Engelen with a friend, which is a great value, or for smaller orders I purchase from their sister company, John Scheepers. But recently while visiting my local garden center I had the good fortune to find the bulbs on this year's wish list.

So what follows are a few of my favorite bulbs, most of which I've grown, starting roughly by bloom time.

SPECIES CROCUS (crocus tommasinianus)

Following are a couple of "species" crocus varieties which I choose because squirrels supposedly don't like them so I figure that gives them an advantage.

Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Meneerke_bloem/Photographic_Collection_2b

Photo: BloomingBulb.com


Of course daffodils are on my list! I don't think there is an easier or more pleasurable bulb in the world and squirrels don't like them either. I usually grow varieties that naturalize well and I like to plant them in large numbers for greater impact.

Brent and Becky's Bulbs, Gloucester, VA

This year I intend to plant them directly in the lawn rather than a mulched bed. Here is my list of favorite naturalizing daffodils:
Dutch Master
Ice Follies
February Gold

'Tete-a-tete' daffodils
I especially love the little Tete-a-tete daffodils.

'Tete-a-tete' daffodils with viola.
So lovely with little violas planted around them. If I could only have one variety of daffodil,  'Tete-a-tete' would be it.


'Gravetye Giant' Snowflake
Said to be the "big brother" to the Snowdrops, Gravetye Giant Snowflake boasts larger blooms than the species Snowflake.

Brent and Becky's Bulbs
After touring the gardens at Brent and Becky's Bulbs a few years ago, I fell in love with their large drifts of Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum). This will be my first year growing them and I just learned that they prefer moist soil, even boggy areas, so I'm not sure how well they'll do for me here.


Allium 'Purple Sensation'
Here you can see Allium 'Purple Sensation' growing at my former home, along with the little heirloom shrub rose 'Midnight Blue'.

Allium 'Gladiator'
And here is the taller Allium 'Gladiator' that I planted last fall here in my new home. I think it needs some "companions" so I may add pretty white Ornithogalum magnum as well as more tall bearded iris in this bed.

Well, hopefully I've inspired you by this small list today! Of course I do have other bulb varieties on my favorites list, but I'll have to save those for another day. As a working artist, I am in the midst of my busy season right now so I'm afraid gardening and blogging are having to take the "back burner" for awhile.

I have been very, very busy in my studio creating lots of new jewelry designs to add to my Etsy shop, which I will begin listing today.

New Bracelets by Cynthia Crane's Pottery!

New necklaces by Cynthia Crane's Pottery!

I would love to know YOUR favorite spring bulb selections, so please do share them in your comments below!

That's all for now friends! I think I'll go back to bed and get a few more hours sleep because later on, well, you know ....



Carol Roll said...

Lovely pictures love the gravetype snowflake flowers especially

great new jewelry pieces!

Trina Autry said...

I absolutely love spring bulbs! I think my favorites are Hyacinths. I really miss living in the country and being able to garden. Maybe one day. Please plant a bublb for me, Cynthia!

Mary Ann Potter said...

Hooray! Spring! It's okay if we skip most of winter, you know. Last year's ice storm was icky. We lost a 40-ft. cedar tree, and I had to cook on our soapstone wood stove for awhile.

I enjoyed this post. Such beauty!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What wonderful flowers! Unfortunately for me, they won't grow down here. I'll enjoy them in your lovely VA gardens.

Your jewelry line is gorgeous, whimsical, colorful.

Happy Creating and garden dreaming/planning.


The BUTT'RY and BOOK'RY said...

I have three words for this post "OOOO AHHHH OOOOOO"!!!.....(or is that three sounds)? Well anyways..."oooo ahhhhh oooo" ;-)
Lovely lovely Miss Cynthia!!!
Blessings and warmth Linnie

Vicki Boster said...

Beautiful photos!! The spring blooms are just stunning-- as beautiful as fall is-- I'd so much rather be almost spring, these photos make me long for spring blooms. Yes-- time to plant now!!

Beautiful jewelry--- omg-- stunning!

Jeri Landers said...

Love those bracelets, really sweet just as I imagined they would be. I purchased a mass planting of Daffodils which includes a mixture of at least a dozen different narcissus with staggered bloom times; this was 2 years ago. I love the way they multiply every year and just get better.

Cindy said...

Such lovely pictures, I'd rather be gardening as well, but I can't be two places at once. I lost a great deal of bulbs and 3 shrubs, grape vines and clematis to the many many mice that over ate because of the long Winter last year. Oh to be so organized to get all listed on Etsy, great job

Betty from My Irish Cottage Home said...

I love lilies of the valley since I was alittle girl, but also tulips. I have not planted any at this home, but hope to at the next house. I do have one tulip that comes up every year and it amazes me. It is in a place you would never think of a flower growing. On one side of our home the dirt is so dry that it is like dust at times, but come every spring one red tulip comes up.

Linda said...

I didn't realise you had an Etsy shop....it is gorgeous! I have just popped over there to give it a ♥.

Hedgerow Rose said...

Cindy, love that photo of the alliums with your heirloom roses. How beautiful. It makes me long for spring to get here!