It’s been a rough year over in Holland, where the business of flowers and bulbs is a huge component of the economy. Unprecedented heat followed by heavy rains and flooding, combined with labor shortages due to COVID, made the bulb harvest and export very difficult.
But our shipments of flower bulbs finally arrived and are out for sale! A few stragglers are in transit to us right now. We have a splendid assortment, including lots of exciting new offerings and plenty of classics.
Our Saffron Crocus and Autumn Crocus (C. speciosus) bulbs should be planted NOW, or as soon as possible, to get blooms this fall. Once established, purple Autumn Crocus, which is perfectly hardy and forms long-lasting clumps, usually pops up and blooms in October. Blooms will last longer if they receive some afternoon shade.
Saffron Crocus (C. sativus) usually blooms here in November! Saffron Crocus can be enduring, but performs best when planted in a location that bakes in summer and when divided and replanted every few years. They are grown for their delicate beauty and, of course, their fragrant scarlet three-parted stigmas that make the world’s most expensive spice. Yes, you can harvest the stigmas by cutting only the stigmas with a nail-scissor and drying them. Then they should be stored in a small glass jar or in a tin. It does, however, take a lot of flowers to make an ounce of saffron: 13,125 ‘threads’ (dried stigmas)! Fortunately, each bulb will produce multiple flowers.
Our list of bulbs is long this fall, and we hope you will appreciate having many new choices! We have added gorgeous bulb combos that pair varieties that bloom together and make a perfect picture, like the floriferous ‘Endless Sensation’ Narcissus duo, ‘Mother & Daughter’ Daffodil duo, ‘Low-Growing Bouquet’ species tulip blend, and botanical Iris ‘Fraternal Twins’, which pairs kindred blue-violet and red-violet rock garden Iris!
We’ve brought in more Allium (Flowering Onion) varieties, large and small, and all guaranteed to support bees of many species from early spring to summer. You’ll find many new deer-proof Daffodils (Hillstar, Golden Bells, Yazz, Teal, Cornish King, Blushing Lady, Central Station) along with our old favorites. And Tulips large and small, early, midseason and late, and all perennializing. Hyacinths attract us but repel deer, and we have the most popular colors along with forcing vases for indoor growing and gifting.