Author Archives: Marde Ross

Tulips will be Ready to Plant in December

Tulips will be Ready to Plant in December 

I have quanties of less than 100 of most of the tulips I sell.  They are in the walk in refrigerator getting their full allottment of cold and will be ready to plant upon receipt.  

As they come in so many colors, they can fill a garden bed with the most wonderful colors in spring of every shade.  The shortest tulips bloom first with Apricot Beauty, a Triumph variety leading the pack.  Next come early parrots like Apricot Parrot and the Peony Flowered tulips ike Angelique and Mt. Tacoma.  Darwin Hybrids follow along and are the ones most likely to rebloom.  The latest are the tall single late tulips with the exception of Blushing Beauty which is the tallest and also early.

When I lived in Palo Alto, I planted my front garden with a couple of thousand tulips every year.  On one occasion, Sunset Magazine photopraphed my twins planting their selected plots in the front. David planted white tulips and Catherine planted Apricot Beauty and Blushing Beauty together and they were each delighted with the results as was Sunset Magazine.

Tulips will be ready to plant in December

 

 

Planting Saffron Crocus

Planting Saffron Crocus

Planting Saffron Crocus

 

Saffron Crocus is a bulb that produces the stamens that, when cut and harvested, produce the most expensive spice in the world, Saffron.  This bulb is grown in great quantities in the Middle East and India along with many other countries.  My bulbs come from The Netherlands.

The bulbs start to sprout after about a month or two but are still viable for a long time and can be planted through the winter and into the spring for bloom in the following fall.

Planting Saffron CrocusDepth

Plant the bulbs with the point up about 3″ deep and water well.  They can be 2″ apart or 6″ apart depending on how long you plan to leave them in the ground before dividing and replanting as they will make clumps of bulbs.

Planting Saffron CrocusThe clumps will grow over time:

EPSON DSC picture

 They can be planted in larger clumps a little farther apart to make these patterns:

Planting Saffron Crocus saffron corms 1-Saffron Clump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each corm develops young offsets and these will eventually produce more flowers in the clump.  They can be divided by separating the offsets from the “mother corms”  and planted with more space in between depending on how much area you have to plant and how patient you are!

As the blooms appear, the orange-red stamens can be clipped and set aside to dry for cooking.  They will flavor a number of dishes from eggs to stews to warm drinks depending on your culture and tastes.  Or you can accumulate enough to sell them for $5000 a pound anywhere in the world.

The blossoms should be harvested immediately and as they bloom at ground level do not make the best landscaping additions.  But they can be planted in edgings and in wine barrels or in pots or in window boxes etc.

Plant corms at a density of 10 per square foot or simply dot them around a garden bed.  Saffron flowers bloom first, often in mid-October. Next come the grassy leaves that remain green through the winter and should be cut back in spring when it turns brown or else corms won’t store enough energy for a the following fall bloom.

Growing your own saffron takes a little dedication, but it’s satisfying to raise. And the beautiful violet-blue flowers will continue to be a welcome treat even after the saffron has been snipped.

You must pick the flower before it fully opens or wilts. An open flower begins to spill pollen onto the stigma, which devalues the spice, and  a wilted flower compromises quality.  The reddist part of the stigma is the most desirable.

For recipes, you can find many interesting dishes by Googling “saffron”.

Click Here To Buy Saffron Crocus

 

White Amaryllis Belladonna

White Amaryllis Belladonna is a beautiful addition to the growing list of warm climate bulbs!  This is a large bulb and produces large, lily or trumpet shaped flowers around a central nexus,

White Amaryllis Belladonna

White Amaryllis Belladonna

 

They grow best in Zones 6-9 and each bulb sends up a stem from bare ground, thus the name Naked Lady.   

The species of pink amaryllis belladonna was introduced into cultivation at the beginning of the eighteenth century. They reproduce slowly by either bulb division or seeds and have gradually naturalized throughout the lower elevations and coastal areas in much of the United State’s west coast as these environments are similar to their original habitat in South Africa

Hybrid Amaryllis belladonna was bred in the 1800s in Australia.  They continue to be grown and further hybridized until now we can find color variations of peach, white, cream, magenta and reds. 

Culture:  Plant about 1″ below the surface.  As they grow and divide, from the dry ground in late summer, each bulb produces one or two leafless stems 15-30″ tall, each of which bears a cluster of 2 to 12 funnel-shaped flowers.  They need no summer water but will take it if offered.  You may find a rogue bloom elsewhere in your garden or along the road as birds will spread the seeds.

Below are White Amaryllis Belladonna growing with other colors in the hybridizers field.  Some have finished blooming but the whites are still in bloom.  These will die back after bloom and the field will be bare – until spring when each bulb will send up fleshy leaves alone.  As the summer begins these leaves will die back until. once again, the field will be bare of signs except for the dried brownish leaves.  Then the cycle will repeat itself and the stems will shoot up again and open with the blooms once again as Naked Ladies!

White Amaryllis Belladonna White Amaryllis Belladonna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alerti Peonies, Golden Dawn Daffodils, Heirloom Freesias

Alerti Peonies, Golden Dawn Daffodils, Heirloom Freesias

This is the time to order Alerti peonies, Golden Dawn daffodils, Heriloom freesias, Watsonia, Tulips, and any other flowering bulbs.

Contact me at marde.ross@me.com to request information on other quantities or cultural information. On my blog index you can find a great deal of information on varous bulb varieties, but I can offer more detail.

Alerti Peony

Alerti Peony, Bomb Form

Peonies are planted when they are received or anytime until spring if they are kept in a cold, dark place until planting.  I keep mine unplanted peonies is a walk in refrigerator with other bulbs, wine and other packaged items, but I do not included fresh fruit or vegetables and especially NOT APPELES which give off ethelyene gas and inhibit the blooms of tulips.  If tulips are refrigerated (not kept in the freezer, by the way), they must not be kept with off gassing apples.  If you order tuips from me, I can ship them to you ready to plant after refrigeration in my facility.

Golden Dawn Daffodil

Golden Dawn Daffodil

Golden Dawn Daffodils are very special in that the return year after year, take summer water (and in fact love summer water) and increase each year.  They have the added attraction of being fragrant as well.

Heirloom Freesias

Heirloom Freesias

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peonies, Daffodils, Tulips, Crocus - Order Today!
Blushing Beauty – Tallest Tulip at 3 feet

Tulips should be ordered soon so that they can get 8-12 weeks of refrigeration before planting. I have a large walk in refrigerator and keep them at 45 defrees until shipping.

Peonies, Daffodils, Tulips, Crocus - Order Today!
Ice Follies Hillside

Daffodils do not need chilling and will be delivered in the fall. If you wait to plant until the rains begin, that is the most effortless way and best for the daffodils. Varieties like Golden Dawn will bloom earlier if planted earlier.  This is truly a wonderful hybrid daffodil.

 

Peonies, Daffodils, Tulips, Saffron Crocus and other Bulbs – Order Today

Peonies, Daffodils, Tulips, Saffron Crocus and other Bulbs – Order Today

This is the time to order all spring blooming bulbs and peonies. They will arrive beginning in October and can be planted immediately except for tulips bulbs in warm climates which should be refrigerated for 608 weeks to make them tall, strong and bloom at the same time.

Contact me at marde.ross@mac.com to request information on other quantities or cultural information. On my blog index you can find a great deal of information on varous bulb varieties, but I can offer more detail.

Peonies, Daffodils, Tulips, Saffron Crocus and other Bulbs - Order Today

Peonies, Daffodils, Tulips, Saffron Crocus and other Bulbs – Order Today

Peonies can be ordered now for fall planting. They come in single and double forms and are planted in partial shade with morning sun, ideally. The colors run from whites, blush, pink, coral, rose, and red. These are herbaceous peonies which die back to the ground in the winter.  My list of peonies can grow in the warmer climates of the U.S.

 Peonies, Daffodils, Tulips, Saffron Crocus and other Bulbs - Order Today

Tulips should be ordered soon so that they can get 8-12 weeks of refrigeration before planting. I have a large walk in refrigerator and keep them at 45 defrees until the are shipped to you.

Peonies, Daffodils, Tulips, Saffron Crocus and other Bulbs - Order Today

Daffodils do not need chilling and will be delivered in the fall. If you wait to plant until the rains begin, that is the most effortless way and great for the daffodils. Early varieties like Golden Dawn will bloom earlier if planted earlier.  All daffodils are not bothered by deer or gophers as they are toxic to them.

Don’t hesitate to begin planning your garden and ordering for fall.  I have most things throughout the ordering season, but can run out occasionally of the more popular items.  And you might try growing Saffron Crocus.  It also makes an interesting and different seasonal gift!