Old House Gardens
From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
Though preservation is our mission, bulbs drop out of our catalog every year.

Sometimes it’s because the harvest was too small. Sometimes it’s because they’re widely available elsewhere and don’t need our help. And sometimes it’s because we’ve lost our only known source due to severe weather (cold, drought, etc.), health problems (a debilitating stroke), or economic woes (small farmers are always at risk).

The good news is that, in time, we’re often able to return these bulbs to our catalog. So here’s a list of many we’ve offered in the past. For an alert the moment they’re available again, subscribe to our free email newsletter. Or to find a similar bulb, try our easy Advanced Bulb Search.

Fall-planted:     Crocus       Daffodils       Hyacinths       Lilies       Peonies       Tulips       Diverse

Spring-planted:     Cannas       Dahlias       Daylilies       Gladiolus       Iris       Diverse

Page 1 of Diverse Fall: Lost Forever?        1
Allium moly, GOLDEN GARLIC, 1596
You can protect your home from witches with this ancient allium, or just enjoy its starry yellow umbels blooming with the first iris. It’s been a favorite in country gardens for centuries, and as Louise Beebe Wilder wrote, “Miss Jekyll admired and grew it, and that in itself is enough to give it a place in the best society.” Lily leek, yellow moly. 8-12”, zones 4-7. Last offered in 2006. Widely available elsewhere.
Camassia leichtlinii, CAMASSIA, QUAMASH, 1853
The intrepid Lewis and Clark were awed by meadows full of this glorious Northwest native. It’s tall and easy to grow (though not for dry sites), with spikes of starry, blue-purple, late-spring flowers that bees love. 3 feet, zones 4-7S/9WC, from Holland. Last offered in 2008. Widely available elsewhere.
Fritillaria imperialis ‘Aurora’, AURORA CROWN IMPERIAL, 1596
In 1629 Parkinson put this tall, dramatic flower on page 1 of his mammoth florilegium, noting that “for its stately beautifulness, [it] deserveth the first place.” Brought to America by the early colonists, they became so popular that by 1820 the Prince nursery of Long Island was offering 22 different kinds. Best in rich, very well-drained soil. 3-4 feet, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2013. Widely available elsewhere.
Fritillaria imperialis ‘Lutea’, YELLOW CROWN IMPERIAL, 1665
Crown imperials are woefully under-appreciated today. Yellow ones like ‘Lutea’ grew in Williamsburg by 1739, and the Prince nursery of Long Island listed 22 different kinds in 1830. Their height is dramatic, their skunky smell soon fades (we actually like it), and our bulbs are big and superb. To get them to return, give them well-drained soil. 3-4 feet, zones 5-7. Holland. Last offered in 2002. Widely available elsewhere.
Fritillaria persica, PERSIAN FRITILLARY, 1582
Strange and stylish, this great fritillary has been in US gardens since at least 1830. Angular, dusky-purple bells cluster on 24-40 inch stems over wavy sage green leaves – very Japanesque. Give it full sun/part shade in rich, well-drained soil. Zones 5b-7, from Holland. Last offered in 2003. Widely available elsewhere.
Galanthus nivalis ‘ATKINSII’ SNOWDROP, 1875
With two books about them published recently and the British absolutely ga-ga over them, snowdrops are being collected like rare antiques. Here’s perhaps the world’s finest. In 1891, James Allen praised it as “second to none” and in 1956, E. A. Bowles ranked it above ALL others. Taller than most, with long, shapely petals, it blooms very early and increases eagerly. Zones 4-6, estate-grown for us in England. Last offered in 2002. Available elsewhere.
Muscari botryoides, ORIGINAL GRAPE HYACINTH, 1576
For 400 years this was the grape hyacinth, but today it has all but disappeared from the bulb trade, shoved aside by the modern M. armeniacum. What a loss! It’s cold-hardier and — maybe best of all — bluer than armeniacum, much more vigorous than its wimpy white form ‘Album’, and its leaves are upright and blissfully sprawl-free. 6-8”, zones 3-7S/9WC, from Holland. Last offered in 2012. Sadly this 400-year-old garden classic has gone “commercially extinct” in the Netherlands. We’re searching for another source, so please keep your fingers crossed!
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