Emailed October 16, 2008. To subscribe, click here.
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Friends of Old Bulbs Gazette
Old House Gardens, 536 Third St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103, (734) 995-1486
"In all the recipes for happiness I have ever seen, 'something to look forward to' has been given as an important ingredient. Something to look forward to! How rich the gardener, any gardener, is in this particular integrant! For always [s]he looks forward to something, if it is only the appearance of the red noses of the peonies in the spring or the sharp aromas that fill the air in autumn after the frost has touched the herbage."
-- Louise Beebe Wilder (1887-1938, "America's Gertrude Jekyll")
It's Not Too Late to Order for Planting this Fall!
Are you kidding? We have lots of wonderful bulbs still looking for good homes and we're shipping till November 7!
Save 40% with Our "We'll Bounce Back/Economic Stimulus" Sampler
Gardening teaches us optimism, and despite the economic storm sweeping the planet these days, we know sunnier days will come again as surely as spring itself.
To help you through these dark days, we've put together our special new "We'll Bounce Back/Economic Stimulus" sampler. For $30 we'll send you at least $50 worth of fabulous bulbs that we simply have too many of this fall. Likely choices include 'Little Witch', 'Queen of the North', and 'Maximus' daffodils, 'White Henryi' and Formosa lilies, 'Diana' and 'Columbine' tulips, giant snowdrops, and Crocus tommasinianus 'Albus'. Actual choices will depend on what we have the most of when we fill your order, but you can be sure you'll get at least $50 worth of wonderful heirlooms that are guaranteed to thrive in your area.
This sampler is for zones 5, 6, and 7 only, and only while supplies last. So vote for optimism and order yours now!
Hurricane Ike Survivor: 'Rubrum' Lily
Our condolences to all of you touched by Ike's devastation! Here's one happy report from our good customer Stephanie Murrey-Alonso who lives in Pearland, just south of Houston:
"One of my 'Rubrum' lilies had just started blooming a day or two before Hurricane Ike hit us, and the next morning when I walked out there was one flower on the stalk still untouched by the Cat 2 winds. It was the most beautiful thing to see after such a ferocious storm. Your lilies are the best, and hurricane resistant, too!"
Do Animals Eat Your Bulbs? Try These!
For a quick list of bulbs that animals rarely eat, click the "Animal Resistant" box at our easy Advanced Bulb Search.
Daffodils and snowflakes (Leucojum) are usually completely animal-proof, and other bulbs that most animals won't touch include alliums, Camassia, glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa), Colchicum, Crocus tommasinianus, winter aconite (Eranthis), crown imperials, snowdrops (Galanthus), hyacinths, Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides), Ipheion, grape hyacinths (Muscari), silver bells (Ornithogalum nutans), and Scilla siberica.
Tulips and lilies, unfortunately, are a favorite on most animal menus. For tips on keeping them safe, see "Protecting from Animals" in our online Planting and Care.
Another Southern Voter for 'Gravetye Giant' Snowflakes
Our long-time customer Peter Schaar of Dallas writes:
"I'll second Richard Devine's praise of Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant' for hot, stressful climates. Mine that I got from you have been my most reliable and productive spring bulbs, reliably blooming in late February regardless of the weather. Hooray for GG!"
Martagon Lilies "Worth the Wait" Says Garden Gate
Though wonderful -- and newly stylish again -- martagon lilies can disappoint gardeners because they're often slow to reestablish themselves after transplanting. Here's some advice from Deborah Gruca in a Dec. 2007 Garden Gate magazine article titled "Worth the Wait -- Six Plants for the Patient Gardener":
"Good things come to those who wait. It often takes more than five years for martagon lily to start blooming in your garden. [OHG note: That is definitely the worst case scenario!] But you won't mind the time once you see a mature clump of dozens of plants with up to 50 of the 2-inch, downward-facing flowers on each stem! . . . .
"The large mass of flowers makes an impact in any sun to part-shade garden. The sturdy stems hold whorls of deep green leaves and don't require any staking to keep them standing tall. Mark the spot where you plant the bulbs so you don't accidentally dig them up -- sometimes the plants don't emerge for a couple of years after planting! [OHG: Again, this is an extreme.]
"Tip to Hurry It Along: Buy the biggest plants or bulbs you can find [OHG: Ours!], but more importantly, once you plant them, don't disturb or move them."
Now Online: Extended Info on 8 Bulbs of the Year!
Only our most exciting bulbs are crowned Bulb of the Year. For a list of all 16, visit our brand new Bulb of the Year page. Click on the "Learn more" links there and you'll be taken to our original press releases announcing eight of the winners, each full of information we just can't squeeze into a catalog description. You might get so inspired you'll want to put together your own Bulbs of the Year sampler. Enjoy!
What Do Abyssinian Glads Smell Like? Part 2
Our good friend Larry Rettig of the Amana Colonies in Iowa writes:
"I just read your latest newsletter and had to run right out to smell the Abyssinian glads I ordered from you this spring. Definitely an angel-trumpet-type fragrance (Datura), perhaps tending a bit toward its relative, Brugmansia. All three are blooming at the moment, so it was easy to make a comparison."
Does your nose agree? Email us your fragrance-description!
This Month in the OHG Archives: Daffodils
Stinky narcissus, DaffSeek.org, daffodils for hot climates, the destructive bulb fly, Ukraine's Valley of Narcissus, and more – you'll find them all in the Daffodils Archive of our new, easy-to-use Newsletters by Topic. Why not grab a cup of coffee and take a look right now?
Did You Miss Our Last Newsletter? Read It Online!
September's articles included back-dating 'Kaiser Wilhelm', tulips in Mississippi, the "Heirloom Gardener" blog, picking daffodils in Illinois for a nickel a day, the sent of Abyssinian glads, and more. You can read all of our back-issues -- by date or by topic -- at oldhousegardens.com/NewsletterArchives
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