|Springtime at the Red House|
|Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation' is one of my earliest bloomers, coming up with the crocuses at the end of February.|
If local stores do not have the color or type of bulb you are looking for, you can order them online. I order many bulbs at Brent and Becky's Bulbs. Their selection is amazing (they have over 200 different types of daffodils alone) and many of the bulbs I've gotten from them are more like doubles. If you want to see reviews of any online stores, you can find them at Dave's Garden, a plant and garden store review site.
|Narcissus 'White Lion' with Narcissus 'Sweetness'|
If you are looking for critter-proof bulbs, Narcissus (also known as daffodils) are the easiest to grow, and they tolerate my heavy clay quite well. Allium needs better drainage than my clay is currently affording, but they are more critter-proof as well. Hyacinth bulbs are toxic to animals, and Snowdrops are supposed to be critter-resistant as well. (I do not make any guarantees, however, especially when it comes to squirrels!)
As far as non-critter-proof bulbs go, Crocus grow well in this area if you can keep them away from the squirrels and voles. (Let's not talk about those 100 crocus bulbs that 'disappeared' even after I covered them with netting and mulch.) Most Tulips are considered to be an annual here in the Southeast, as they need a cold winter to flower reliably. I have tried growing them in outdoor planters to keep them colder with some success. You can also dig them up after their foliage dies and store them in cool dry place for replanting in the fall. Species tulips are more likely to be perennial. Tulips do need good drainage, and be aware - they are very tasty to many critters.
|Red tulips in an outdoor planter. They came up again, but deer and rabbits often ate the flowers.|
|I had many crocus planted in the gardens at my last house. Animals usually left them alone, probably because they were so close to the house.|
For more Northern gardeners, you want to plant bulbs about six weeks before the ground freezes solid so that your bulbs will have a chance to develop a nice root system before the winter.
|Narcissus 'Queens Day' with a few tiny Crocus chrysanthus 'Ard Schenk'|
So enjoy bulb shopping!
(And let's not tell Mr. Red House how much money it's possible to spend on bulbs, okay?)
|Ooo, maybe I'll try growing Ranunculus from bulbs this year?|