I Don't Mean To Cause Any Bulb Panic, But...

I don’t want to panic anyone, or create anything like the “seed stampede” that seemed to go on this past winter, when garden bloggers across the land and between continents were making a big fuss over seed catalogs.

Those were fun, crazy days, weren’t they? We encouraged and coerced one another through Twitter and blog posts to order early so no one would be disappointed by a big “Sorry, Sold Out", when they clicked on the link to buy seeds for that special tomato, the one that would make their garden the best ever.

And now it is time to do that all again, but this time with bulbs for fall planting.

Yes, I’m ordering bulbs tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, definitely by the end of the day on Sunday. I’m not going to risk a “Sorry, Sold Out”! I got that a few times when I ordered most of my bulbs in September last year and I’m not going to have that happen to me again. I’ve learned my lesson. By the weekend, I’ll be ordering all kinds of bulbs, bulbs like:

Species Tulips: I bought a few Species tulips last year but remember well that some of the ones I really, really wanted were sold out by the time I placed my order. I want the species tulips because they are smaller and are supposed to be easier to naturalize around the garden. Plus, I’m tired of those big bright hybrid tulips that end up like annuals, one spring wonders. Give me the species tulips!

Allium: I have a few allium in my garden and enjoy their blooms, which last quite a long time, especially if you just let the seed heads dry on the plant. I think they are pretty and have some in my garden even now in mid-summer. So this spring after visiting Chicago at the end of May for the garden bloggers’ annual spring fling, and seeing a lot of allium in bloom, I decided I need more, too. A lot more.

Quamash: I had never heard of this flower, Camassia leichtlinii until I saw it blooming at the Chicago Botanic Garden. But now that I’ve seen it, I’m planting it in my garden.

Minor Bulbs: There’s a whole world out there of what they call the “minor bulbs”, including Star Flowers, Ipheion uniflorum; Striped Squill; Puschkinia sp.; and all kinds of Irises, like Iris reticulata, which blooms almost before Crocus in my garden. These are all welcome in my garden for their uniqueness and I want more.

Indoor Bulbs for Forcing: To avoid the affects of GRTH (gardeners reduced time with horticulture) this winter, I’ll also order bulbs now for indoor forcing, like Narcissus, Amaryllis, Hyacinth, and whatever else calls out to me from the Internet.

And I’ll order some crocuses, too, just because they bloom reliably every spring.

Ah, spring! I’m planning for it now in the middle of summer. I’m planning for a big display of blooms, inside and outside, and buying my bulbs early before the ones I want are sold out.

I just hope my early bulb ordering doesn’t panic anyone or make you feel like you are behind if you aren’t ordering your bulbs now, too. This is just fair warning that I am ordering mine, and “last one to order” gets a really ugly Amaryllis from the grocery store!


  1. By dang, it is never too early.
    Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Great advise Carol. I sure wouldn't want to be the one with the ugly amaryllis. tee hee.

  3. I havent received any bulb catalogues yet. I definately want some species tulips and some more alliums. I have camassia but they arent that happy in my garden. Will also probably go for some specie daffodils as well.

  4. I should have already ordered my bulbs, back when I could see where I would plant them. I want tiny Daffodils that don't leave a big foliage mess after they bloom. I don't want an ugly grocery store Amaryllis either - I fell in love with the graceful small flowered ones.

  5. You are Miss Organized for sure. Love your entertaining and informative posts!! Bulbs? I do so want some crocus..

  6. Even having the word, the very word 'panic' in the blog title has me nervous. I'm panicking now, where are those catalogues!!!

  7. Maybe this year I'll order something from the catalog. Our yard is lacking in the bulb department and those alliums are calling!

  8. After planting and planting bulbs last fall, I'm not sure I'm up to the task again. But I did notice some bare spots last spring that could use some pretty bulbs...and, of course, I must plant some allium!

  9. Already ordered my bulbs, but I will also check the after summer sales to see what might be going for a good price. I so wanted the giant alliums, but the prices were too high for my budget. gail

  10. I already ordered the few I'm getting but you make me want to look again...maybe I need a few species tulips too...

  11. I could totally leave the daylilies you mentioned in your last post (I'm just not a daylily girl, I guess) but the species tulips? NOW we're talking! ;)

  12. I'm with you on the species tulips. I have red ones that have bloomed and expanded for years and years. And thanks for the reminder about the quamash!

  13. You will love camassia, it is a reliable performer and quite beautiful. The native Americans used the bulb as a food source, but I have never been able to bring myself to destroy any of my replicated bulbs to eat them, just as I have never been able to go out and pick day lilies for the table even though they are reported to be delicious.

    I'm probably going to have to skip ordering bulbs this year, much though it pains me. I need to put that money into shrubs and perennials for the new beds we built this spring. Alas, no new daffodils for me this year.

    Maybe you could publish your shopping list so those of us who are passing this year could get a vicarious thrill looking them all up.

    Looking forward to GBBD.


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