Saturday, October 16, 2010

Coming Attractions: Next Spring in Josie's Garden

Bulbs arrived from John Scheepers last week and I have a bunch of them in the ground already, with the rest slated to go in tomorrow. I was really happy with my bulbs from Scheepers last year, so I'm looking forward to this year's bounty. I have three main gardening goals for the fall-through-spring.
  • Pull and store dahlia tubers. I had a really depressing dahlia crop this year, which is totally my fault for planting them in less than ideal sun, but I am hoping I can get some tubers out of it and try again next year. Thinking about planting them in a new garden bed
  • Plant spring bulbs closer together. I'm really bad at estimating distance and length, so I planted my bulbs too far apart this year. I have a better idea of how close I can put them and I think it will produce a better result. All the blooms were very pretty, but I saw a lot of my neighbors and my Mom planting much closer together and I liked that look much better.
  • Actually pruning the shit out of the wisteria this winter. I often forget to prune it, and it's completely out of control. I'm mildly concerned about it hauling off our house or an unsuspecting neighbors' to the woods to digest it.
First up is a lovely pink narcissus called Precocious. It's a Grant Mitsch hybrid and is quite large for a narcissus. I think I will put this in front of the rhododendrons (which got a righteous pruning this summer - they were getting quite clogged up) with the light white ones I have there already.
On the tulip front, we have this peony flowering tulip called Yellow Mountain, which is a variant of another one I ordered called Mount Tacoma. It's this lovely butter yellow with distinct green stripes running up the outside. I love these peony flowering varieties!
This is one that my Mom turned me on to. It's an Emperor (also fosteriana) tulip called Sweetheart, which Mom bought after our cat Sweetheart passed away at the old age of 18. She planted them in the front yard and they were so striking that I just had to get some. They're very tall and have YOOGE blossoms. The coloring is interesting, too - a very soft blend of yellows and whites.
Of course, it's not a Brown Family Garden without some Perestroyka. I believe these are Darwin tulips (there are a couple breeds in the single late tulip category), but regardless of their genus, they are gorgeous. I think I like them most for their incredible range of color throughout their blooming period.
Here's the peony flowering tulip Mount Tacoma that I mentioned above. I bought this one partly because it's gorgeous, but also because the name reminded me of my friend Celia, who grew up in Tacoma, WA. This has the same light green striping as the Yellow Mountain variant, but on a creamy white petal instead of yellow.
I always plant some orange flowers because it's Rich's favorite color. I had planted Emperor's Orange before, but I liked the variations in color on this one, a Triumph tulip called King's Orange. This one also provides one of those wonderfully dippy descriptions that one only finds in flower catalogs, to wit: "Not for the faint of heart, King's Orange delivers vivid color with dark coral-red petals which blend to marigold-orange edges with a small canary-yellow center and an exterior yellow base." I really love the idea of some wizened little plant whisperer type sitting in their potting shed thinking "whoa! Just think of what these babies will do to the hostas!" then checking to make sure they have their heart medication handy and furtively circling King's Orange on their order form.
This parrot tulip is another tip from Mom. I had misidentified it for a friend who took pictures at my graduation party, confusing it for a variety with more white, but Mom set me straight before orderin' time. This one is called Estella Rynveld, and thought I don't usually love variegated petals, I am helpless before her.
Carnavale de Nice is my other variegation weakness. I had these last year, and I was thrilled with them. I actually think this shot of them is pretty lame. Last year, mine had much stronger red coloring and more of it, though much less yellow. This is another peony flowering variation.


  1. According to my flickr tags you told me estella rynveld. So is that right or wrong? I can't quite tell with the way it's worded up there.

  2. Estella Rynveld is correct! I thought it was something else originally.