Georgia Magazine - October 2009 - (Page 34)

Packed with promise Dig in bulbs for spring blooms BY LYNN COULTER COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, KELLY MARTIN utumn temperatures are a signal to gardeners that it’s time to bury some treasure in the backyard. But instead of hiding a stash of coins or gems, fall finds us tucking paperyshelled bulbs and homely corms and tubers into the ground. Bulbs—a word we’re using for anything that acts like an underground storehouse for flowering plants—are a great value. Usually easy to grow, your biggest challenge will be making room for all the cheerful daffodils and tulips you want in your garden. A host of golden daffodils Narcissus, the genus name for the flowers we commonly call daffodils, have inspired growers to experiment with new flower shapes and colors for decades. Approximately 400 to 600 different kinds of Though tulips are considered perennials, Georgia gardeners may need to treat them like annuals and replant each year.Try mixing them with pansies and forget-me-nots. “daffs” are currently sold on the commercial market. You could say they’re the real gold you’ll want to find in your garden, because they’re long-lived and multiply easily. Daffodil specialists Brent and Becky Heath, who run a third-generation family business on their farm in Virginia, Above left: For maximum effect, plant blue and cultivate thousands of daffodils purple grape hyacinths in masses. Also known as each year. One of their fav- Muscari, these small bulbs are actually members of orites is a bulb they developed the lily family and naturalize easily. Use them to borcalled ‘Double Smiles,’ a yel- der your garden, or try them in containers. Above: low daffodil with a rich fra- Ice Follies’ daffodils are recommended for Georgia grance. The flowers are lush gardens.The flowers have a frilly yellow cup that and full, like camellias or roses, fades to a creamy white color as the blooms fade. with a sprinkle of reddishorange or dark gold on the petals. crocuses (Crocus), which dot the They’ll tolerate sun to partial shade landscape with splashes of neon purand average dry soil. Best of all, deer ple, lilac and yellow, or Muscari, also called grape hyacinths. and rodents don’t like their taste! White summer snowflakes (LeuBecky sounds like a proud mothcojum aestivum), which resemble er when she talks about another of their creations, ‘Derringer.’ This attrac- lilies of the valley, complement any tive yellow flower with a bright color scheme. Each petal is tipped orange cup belongs to the jonquilla with emerald. Try planting them in division of narcissus, and also has a masses, especially near woodland sweet perfume. According to the areas. They take sun or shade and Heaths, it likes the “hot, baking sum- bloom from April to June. mer sun.” Other daffodil varieties that grow nicely in Georgia include ‘Ice Tiptoe through the tulips Tulips can be tricky for Georgia Follies’ and ‘Baby Moon.’ gardeners. They bloom beautifully at first, but it can be difficult to get them Semiprecious bulbs While everyone loves daffodils, to come back year after year. Scott Kunst, of Old House there are less-familiar bulbs that Gardens-Heirloom Bulbs in Ann deserve a spot in the garden, too. Socalled minor bulbs may have smaller Arbor, Mich., says that tulips come blooms, but they’re inexpensive and from parts of the world where summers are dry, and they often fail to quick to naturalize. For an early start in spring, try re-bloom if grown in poorly drained GEORGIA MAGAZINE COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, UNACERILLA COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, KALDARI

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - October 2009

Georgia Magazine - October 2009
Picture This?
Festival Guide
Special Energy Report
Treasures in Tennessee
My Georgia
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
Cookbook of the Month

Georgia Magazine - October 2009