Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Plan for Spring Flowers

Here in Northern Virginia, we are definitely feeling fall in the air. It came on pretty quick and caught me a little off guard. The lower temperatures mean one thing for me: planning for spring. And so on Sunday, I found myself on the Fairfax County Parkway (where the changing leaves are beautiful, by the way) heading to Merrifield Garden Center to buy bulbs. I was delirious with the selection they offered. While most people were buying in mass quantities for their landscape gardens, I was buying for my containers.

I've noticed that the selection of bulbs at nurseries and the big box stores is very plentiful now and there is a wide variety to choose from so if you would like to have some tulips or daffodils or hyacinth ready to greet you in the early days of spring, I would suggest buying now. But depending on where you live, you still have lots of time to plant. I don't think I'm going to plant mine until the end of November. If you have containers that are in a spot easily accessible to squirrels, I would suggest waiting as well--especially if you plan to grow tulips. Otherwise you may come outside to find your pots dug up and the bulbs missing.

I will post more on this topic of bulbs later on but for now, just know that you can plant them in your outside containers. Larger pots are always better and if you tend to get really cold temperatures, you can always cover the top of the soil with mulch and wrap the pot in bubble wrap (or something similar) to provide a little more insulation.

Shown at the beginning of this post is a handful of daffodil bulbs. Merrifield had about fifty different daffodils to choose from. Who knew? The other two pictures I'm providing show a healthy bulb. When you buy them, make sure they are plump and firm. Toss back any bulbs that are dried up, or are mushy or moldy. Then stash them away in a cool, dark place until you are ready to plant. Stay tuned....


Louise said...

What are some of the bulbs you bought? I just recently planted some Hyacinths in a container. I wasn't sure if they can survive zone 6 winter so I just planted one pot.

Miriam said...

Hi Louise: So far, I've bought three different kinds of bulbs: Double Narcissus Flower Drift; Tazetta Narcissus Geranium; and Tulip Turkestanica. You can Google these to see what they look like and I also recommend going to the White Flower Farm website (www.whiteflowerfarm.com) to see the vast selection of bulbs they have available. You may be able to do better pricewise at your local nursery but their pictures give you a good idea of what you'd be getting. Let me know what you decide on. By the way, I think your hyacinths will do just fine. They are hardy to zone 4.--Miriam