One of the earliest harbingers of spring are flowering bulbs, which people and bees all seem to welcome. One aspect of bulbs that may be underrated is their scent. Many bulbs are fragrant, bringing an added dimension to their enjoyment. Some of our most fragrant bulbs include:
- All Hyacinth varieties
- Iris reticulata Blue Hill, Carolina, and Harmony
- Lycoris squamigera
- Narcissus: ‘Ziva’ Paperwhites (for indoor bloom), Chromacolor, Dutch Master, Geranium, Hawera, Heart to Heart, Pheasant’s Eye, Sunlight Sensation, and Thalia
- Tulip Brown Sugar, Oracle, Little Beauty, Norah, and Princess Irene
You’ll notice that the majority of our 2020 selections glow in jewel tones, and an ample number possess delightful scents. Here are a few highlights from our list.
Our favorite dwarf daffodil for naturalizing, Jetfire is unfailingly bright and cheerful in the garden, with reflexed vivid yellow petals and an orange trumpet atop stems 8-10” tall. Jetfire is early-blooming as well as exceptionally long-blooming, tough and adaptable (it even prospers at gravelly Harlequin’s in an unwatered garden!). Plantings will increase rapidly to form showy colonies. Plant the bulbs at a depth 3 times height of the bulb, spaced 4-6″ apart. Jetfire is cold-hardy to Zone 3, deer and rodent-proof, and is also good for forcing indoors.
Tulip ‘Oracle’ – NEW!
This very striking, new variety crowns its strong, 14-16” stems with very large, bold red flowers with sunny, glowing yellow bases. Oracle is fragrant, too! On sunny days, the flowers open fully, displaying their distinct and large yellow centers. Like other Fosteriana tulip varieties, Oracle blooms early, has large, substantial flowers that hold up well in weather, and performs year after year if left undisturbed and uncut. Oracle makes a great companion for Daffodils and Dutch Crocus.
Botanical Iris ‘Blue Hill’ – NEW!
Blue Hill is an outstanding recent introduction. This sweetly violet-scented little gem has good-sized saturated blue flowers with darker blue and prominent yellow blotches on the falls. Flowers are held on strong 4-5” stems, and each bulb will produce a succession of blooms over a couple of weeks in late winter.
Botanical Irises form beautiful, floriferous clumps and can be divided every 3 or 4 years to maintain vigor. They mix well with other late-winter/early-spring flowering bulbs and are ideal for the front of the border, rockery or container planting. Hardy to Zone 4
Botanical Tulip ‘Norah’ – NEW!
Little Norah has exquisite, pointed petals, glowing deep pink accented with coral and violet hues, and a contrasting bluish black base. In addition to its bold coloring, this fragrant dwarf species tulip blooms low to the ground(3-6”) and attracts spring pollinators. Norah will naturalize in the border or rock garden, giving a repeat performance every year.