Thursday, September 06, 2012

Daffodil (and allium and hyacinth and amaryllis) dreams

Now that Labor Day has rolled past, it's time to put away the white shoes, sharpen the school pencils, and order bulbs for the coming winter and spring.  Thankfully, I had the foresight to jot a few notes down about what to order on my garden goalroll at the end of the last season.  How else would I remember a pressing need for hundreds of allium "Ostrowkianum"--or even how to spell that plant's name?!

Since I pledged my deep commitment to daffodils a couple of years ago, I find myself each autumn trying to fill, enhance, and extend their springtime show.  This effort means searching on a half dozen variables--hardiness, bloom time, color, flower shape, height, light requirements--to find the perfect variety, or at least one that meets most of the criteria.  This year, I'm seeking a replacement for my sadly unrequited embrace of hoop petticoat daffodils: none of the 100 Narcissus bulbocodium conspicuus bulbs planted along the front walk came up.  Not a single one.  None.  In their place, I'm yearning for a very early white northern-tolerant miniature. The closest candidate to my daffodil dream date appears to be "Jenny," a short (that's good), zone 6 hardy (yes!), early bloomer (terrific) with reflexed petals and a slightly frilled trumpet (okay, why not?!) of ivory and pale yellow (meh, I'll settle).

So here's how the whole order is shaping up:

Tulip World
60 narcissus cyclamineus "Jenny" Planted 10/13/2012 along front walk in groups of 3 bulbs

Bluestone Perennials
150 allium "Ostrowkianum" Planted 10/13/2012 along front walk in groups of 7 bulbs

Brent and Becky's Bulbs
50 wood hyacinth "Queen of Pinks"

And for indoor forcing:

White Flower Farm
36 paperwhite narcissus "Ziva"
1 amaryllis "Royal Velvet"
1 amaryllis "Picotee"

Old House Gardens
5 hyacinth "Gipsy Queen" 
5 hyacinth "L'Innocence" 
5 hyacinth "Lady Derby"

Now, if one reliable supplier would just carry everything on my shopping list.  But that's too much to dream!

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