Autumn is my favorite time of the year. There are so many things I like about fall: the golden glow of the sun, the crispness of the morning air, and the beautiful colored foliage just to name a few. At the nursery, what I like the most is the arrival of the bulbs. Tulip, Daffodil, Crocus, Hyacinth and more bulbs arrived today. Since I order them perhaps it makes me more partial to them. Or is it because I like them that I continue to order them? Either way, I get a little zing in my heart the day the bulbs arrive.
There are many boxes to unpack, almost like unwrapping birthday gifts. Inside the boxes is a wealth of brown orbs just waiting to get planted so they can put on a spring fireworks show. They look so inconsequential. It is hard to believe that something the size of a golf ball can shoot up 24 inches and blossom with a stunning, goblet sized flower. That particular bulb is the Pink Impression Tulip. Truly an amazing sight to behold. This particular variety is considered a perennial tulip, meaning you will get more than one year of stunning blooms out of the thing. Now not all of the bulbs grow quite so dramatically, but I think just the promise of surprise and joy they bring in the spring is what captivates me. I enjoy coming upon a patch of flowers in my garden that I don’t even remember planting. And so many of them are so charming.
I plant at least one new variety or type each year, just to see what it is like. In the fall of 2010 I planted Allium christophii (Star of Persia) and Tulipa sylvestris (Florentine or Woodland Tulip). I planted two allium amidst my Stella D’Oro daylilies. They truly looked like fireworks when they bloomed. Also, they were a hit during the tour of my garden in June. I was so pleased with their performance that I am planning to add 3-5 more this fall. The Tulip was an understated gem. The yellow flowers looked wild and they lasted a long time. Our spring was pretty cool, so I cannot state with total confidence that they are always long flowering. But they made me happy when I looked at them and happiness is worth every penny spent.
It is nice to know what other staff members at Garland Nursery like. Karen’s favorite tulip is Black Parrot and I made sure to order that variety in this year. She also picked out Tulip Green Star (a lily-flowered hybrid) when she looked through the bulbs today. Erica likes the Alliums, too. She says they are structural and impressive. Also, she likes the fall blooming Crocus and Colchicums. It is so lovely to have a pretty lavender blossom poking up out of the ground in September or October. They bloom without leaves (those appear in the spring) and they are delightful. Last year I planting a Colchicum by the name of Waterlily. It is a double flowered variety. It sure was pretty. I have single ones and true autumn crocus in my garden as well. My husband likes Daffodils. I’m going to have to find him a particularly nice type to plant in a pot. So far, I’ve only received 7 varieties, but by the end of next week there will be a lot more to from which to choose. If fragrance is important, you can’t beat the Hyacinths. I really like their aroma. It’s funny, I don’t like the smell of Paperwhites, but I love Hyacinths. I have met other people who are just the opposite. To each his own. I enjoy the Hyacinths outside. They come in a variety of colors, my favorites being the deep blue of Peter Stuyvesant and the purple of Woodstock. If your prefer yellow, white, orange, pink or light blue you’re in luck because they are available in all those colors, too.
So the nursery has received the major order of bulbs from one supplier. We still have another supplier that will be delivering in the next 10 days. I’m hoping for Friday but we’ll see. Either way, by the end of next week we will be knee deep in little orbs of delight and you’re invited to come shop for your promise of spring.