The practice of planting spring-flowering bulbs is a lesson in patience. Selecting little brown lumps to place in your garden and then patiently waiting, sometimes forgetting about them throughout the winter, until they can bloom come spring.
Jodie Bross of Glenwild Garden Center in Bloomingdale, NJ says:
“The idea of the bulb is so nice: patience and being kind to yourself, giving yourself that downtime. It’s OK to draw in and not be out there all the time, beautiful. Bulbs are also a good lesson to slow down and let things happen at their own pace.”
As Jodie so eloquently states, we there is opportunity to learn from nature, and sometimes those lessons are best learned by getting your hands in the soil experiencing nature’s wisdom first-hand.
The good news is, it’s not too late to start the new pattern of sowing the seeds (or in this case the bulbs) of your intentions for spring. As long as the ground is not too cold to dig, Jodie said spring-flowering bulbs can still be planted into December. The important thing is that they have a resting period during the coldest months of winter before the warmth of spring urges them to sprout.
Colorblends.com, the wholesale flower bulb resource for professional landscapers and avid home gardeners, offers 84 professional grade tulip blends, as well as daffodil, crocus blends and hyacinth blends. Based in Bridgeport, Conn, they sell direct to landscape professionals and consumers at wholesale prices, with a minimum order of $60.
“Creating dramatic tulip and daffodil blends is not as easy as it might seem,” said Colorblends president Tim Schipper, a third-generation bulbsman of Dutch ancestry. To get things right, his team must consider the compatibility of candidate varieties’ flower colors, shapes and textures, plus their heights and garden performance. Synching bloom times is particularly tricky.
Elizabeth Reiner, from NJ said she, “Tends to choose my plants by height, then figure out how colors will complement each other when I’m planning my budget.”
She also warns to follow directions carefully as far as planting depth. Otherwise, your bulbs could sprout during a warm snap and end up with frost-blighted leaves and not as many blooms.
Kim Schillaci from FL, can’t always wait for Spring for color and brightness. “I force bulbs for the winter so I have pots of flowers around the holidays,” she said.
Forcing bulbs to bloom works with their energy, encouraging them to bloom sooner than they would if outdoors.
Jodie’s favorite thing about bulbs is that, although the warmer weather launches her business into the busy season, and even though as a gardener, she’s busy with spring clean-up, bulbs are easy to enjoy because they’re already done. It’s like finding a ten dollar bill stashed in a coat pocket for a rainy day, she said…
Planting spring-flowering bulbs now is a great gift to yourself, and a simple pattern of self-indulgence that is easy to begin.
NJ Event – October 18th at 7PM at Hillcrest (Hillcrest Community Center 1810 Hillcrest Road, West Milford, NJ 07480) we’ll be presenting a workshop on Fall Bulbs and Winter Gardening, provided by the Dig In grant program. Here’s the description: “A burst of spring blooms requires planning in the fall. Participants will learn how to plant fall bulbs, the best varieties of their garden and how to prepare a bed for a winter crop of garlic. Season extending techniques of row covers and cold frames as well as cover cropping” will be included.
Instructor Shaun Ananko gave us an excellent presentation on this last autumn, and we hope this year lots more people will come out to learn more about these great and fruitful skills.