Summer bulbs, spring bulbs

February 11th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

A few early bird narcissus got whacked by the deep freeze, but the later bloomers weren’t flustered. As always, the established Narcissus ‘Erlicheer’ in the front bed led the parade. I treasure its sweet fragrance.

Narcissus 'Erlicheer'

The ones I planted at Thanksgiving are just starting to open.

As always, the Leucojums are sending out a few scouts to make sure the way is clear for the rest of the gang.

Leucojum flowers early spring

This year I’m going to buckle down and divide even more for other spots in the garden. I fell in love with them driving through an old neighborhood one cloudy, cold February day.  I put on the brakes when I saw these little clumps of tiny white blossoms, dripping above tidy green leaves that ringed the trees. I sat there for long minutes imagining the gardeners who planted them years ago, maybe before I was born, and what their lives were like then.

I don’t know if my Narcissus ‘Gigantic Star’ will be around that long, but a two-year-old under the backyard Chinese pistache claims first yellow this year.

Narcissus 'Gigantic Star'

On winter damage:  Aside from the demise of a few agaves, I’m amazed that it’s not so bad after all. The thryallis is brown, but a scratch on the bark shows green. I’m not chopping it down for a few more weeks, though. I’m glad I did cut back some of the Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’ a few weeks ago. They are already fluffy, so I severely cut back the leggy one in front. I tidied the evergreen sumac and the Barbados cherries and snipped the cenizo and the silver germanders.

This weekend, I’ll prune and fertilize the roses, adding some Epsom salts to the mix for a magnesium boost. I’ll continue cutting out fried fronds from the butterfly iris (Dietes), already showing new growth.

I’d already cleaned up the mushy crinums, but last weekend attended to the new society garlics. I thought they were goners, since they’d barely noted their new address before the blast hit. But they’re already spurting.

When people ask me when to plant bulbs, generally they’re thinking of spring flowers. But bulbmania doesn’t end in April!  This week on CTG, Tom meets with Chris Wiesinger from Southern Bulb Company to keep it going through summer with bulbs to plant starting in mid-March.

Can’t you imagine how this Hymenocallis ‘Tropical Giant’ will cool you down once it’s hot again?

Hymenocallis 'Tropical Giant'

And what about this Crinum ‘Ellen Bosanquet’?

Crinum 'Ellen Bosanquet'

Crinums are big standouts to catch your eye from a distance.  They need a little room.

Crinum Ellen Bosanquet in garden

But even in tiny spots, or to accent a perennial bed or gravel walkway, you can attract attention with rain lilies, like Habranthus robustus.

Rain lily 'Habranthus robustus'

And Zephyranthes grandiflora.

Rain lily 'Zephyranthes grandiflora'

Daphne looks ahead to autumn with an ornamental perennial grass to plant this spring, Muhlenbergia capillaris ‘Regal Mist’. It brings foliar dimension to your garden all spring and summer, and sends you a bonus to flavor your fall garden color. She also explains what it means to side-dress, a term we often hear, but what in the heck does it mean?

Pink muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris 'Regal Mist'

Since it’s not too late to plant nutritious mustard greens, Trisha shows off some of her favorite varieties, including Asian varieties, Mibuna and Mizuna, and Tendergreen, a cross between spinach and mustard. Check out her recipes, too.

And here’s the buzz on an event in Maxwell, hosted by Reid’s Nursery. Just 10 minutes east of Kyle and San Marcos, Christine and Bill Reid have a great nursery committed to organics and hardy, super plants just for our region. You’ll meet them soon on CTG. In the meantime, if you’ve wanted to know about bees, head out on Feb. 20 at 1:30 p.m. to “Get the Buzz on Beekeeping” for tips from the San Marcos Area Bee Wranglers. (And bee sure to check out events on our website & submit your own!)

And whatever your schedule, you can always watch online!

Until next week, Linda

  1. 14 Responses to “Summer bulbs, spring bulbs”

  2. By Diana on Feb 11, 2010

    I’ll have to watch for more bulb ideas – I love the idea of planting until March. Those crinum photos are lovely. I have one and it’s never done anything. Maybe I will learn what to do with it! Your bulbs are lovely.


    Linda reply on February 11th, 2010 7:35 pm:

    Hi, Diana! Does your crinum get some sun? I’m sure it does, duh. Give it time. They take a few years & then explode! I have lots of babies that have yet to bloom. In a couple of years, I bet you’ll be surprised. Maybe even this year after all the rain! Your garden up next week on CTG–can’t wait for you to see it!


  3. By Linda/patchwork on Feb 11, 2010

    Sounds like lots of good things going on with CTG, this week. I always look forward to your shows.

    I’ve been afraid to prune anything, yet. I do know I can prune the Autumn Sage, and the cenizo. I planted a butterfly iris in the fall. I’m not sure it made it. My new Thryallis made it, I hope. Daffodils I planted last winter are up, but no blooms. They’re out in the deer grove, and got little water last summer. Maybe that’s the reason. Lots of green, no yellow.

    There is SO much work to do around here…if it will just dry up enough.


    Linda reply on February 11th, 2010 7:38 pm:

    Linda, you are wise to wait, as I am on many things. Be patient on the butterfly iris. On daffodils, it so depends on the variety. Give them a few weeks; many of my bulbs are up but are later bloomers. And they’d much prefer dry summer conditions than wet ones or irrigation in our soils. The one I showed bloomed earlier than the rest. I bet you’re good to go! Yes, lots of work to do, but I’m not complaining about the rain. Remember 3 months ago and we were praying for it?


  4. By Pam/Digging on Feb 11, 2010

    Your signs of spring have got me itching to prune and see what’s what. I haven’t cut back a single plant yet, not one. But if the rain will quit I’m going to have to get out there. After all, Valentine’s Day is the usual time for me to start pruning.


  5. By Cindy, MCOK on Feb 13, 2010

    I too have been eager to get into the garden and start working. Five minutes outside convinced me it can wait! Dang, it’s cold out there. 44 degrees may sound balmy to folks up north but it sure doesn’t feel that way to me!

    Your Erlicheer Narcissus are lovely. Mine were just planted this season so it will be a while before they come into their own, I think.


  6. By Annie in Austin on Feb 13, 2010

    Saw the show at 4 PM, Linda – now want Hymenocallis! My hybrid Amarcrinum have bloomed repeatedly, but several varieties of passalong Crinum went through 3 summers without a clue as to what their flowers might be like. Maybe this will be the one?

    Your Erlicheer really are early – and scented makes them sound even better.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose


  7. By Jenny on Feb 14, 2010

    I managed to catch the show yesterday and was busy taking notes on the summer bulbs. I only have the native white rain lilies so the pink ones really caught my eye. As to my fresias- I think they were lost in the frost. I’m also pretty sure my society garlic is gone. There may be a spot there for some summer bulbs! Thanks for the show and Happy Valentine’s day.


  8. By Amy/GoAway, I'm Gardening! on Feb 14, 2010

    Hi, Linda
    What a pretty post! I am going to have to write down the names of the bulbs to remember to plant in my garden. I love the second photo of the Leucojums. I think those are a definite must!


  9. By Flower Delivery Dublin on Jul 18, 2010

    I am from Ireland and just came across your blog (which I think is great)
    I love this post’s flower photos – they are fab.
    excellent garden and flowers


    Linda reply on July 19th, 2010 3:50 pm:

    I look forward to keeping in touch with you!


  10. By Brian Marconi on Aug 11, 2010

    I came across your site by chance while researching a new site build for one of my clients and I am very impressed with the content of the site and the quality of the images.


  11. By Tigard Oregon Landscaping on Nov 28, 2010

    I am curious about the ornamental grass you are calling Daphne Richards. What is the botanical name for that? It’s very confusing because the plants I am familiar with that are called “Daphne” are not ornamental grasses and don’t look anything like that. To me, that looks more like a penisetum grass.


    Linda reply on December 2nd, 2010 4:53 pm:


    Sorry for the confusion! It is Regal Mist. Daphne is the photographer!


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