Category Archives: Gardening Tips for Daffodils, Tulips, Peonies & Naturalizing Bulbs

New Marde Ross Website

Screen shot 2013-02-28 at 10.19.02 AM

New Marde Ross Website 

Finally, my new website is ready for viewing and is operational!  All of the products are listed a little differently now.  The peonies are listed under color and the daffodils are in one long list, but the tulips are listed by type such as Parrot or Single Late.  By going to the navigation and hovering over the “Buy Bulbs” heading, you will see a choice to select.

Today, I was looking for additional daffodils to add to my list and found an old variety which I have never planted called Erlicheer (or Early Cheer sometimes).  This daffodil is a naturalizing success and is grown by the hybridizer from whom I got Golden Dawn “Grows Like a Weed!” that he is growing and that is growing like mad along my road and in my front garden.  He says that Erlicheer is one amazing naturalizer and so I’m adding it to my list and trying to figure out where I can insert it into my landscape.  It is also fragrant!  He describes it as each is a neat little double flower reminiscent of a rose or gardenia. Very pleasantly fragrant and long-lasting, both on the plant and as a cut flower.  A very heavy bloomer.  Once established, this can also be naturalized on a permanent basis, where it will flower spectacularly in February and March.

There is now a cart that will collect your bulb and peony selections and check out using PayPal.  If you would rather send a check, my address is listed on the check out page or call me if you would rather use a credit card directly although I believe that you can use one through Paypal as well.

I have ordered a few new peonies that are not listed on this site yet, so If you are interested please inquire! And don’t forget, that you can visit my “Daffodil Hill” during February and March. The New Marde Ross Website is finally here!

Marde Ross     Marde 

 

Defeating Voles, Moles, and Gophers: Tulips, Daffodils, Peonies

Daffodils need not worry about rodents and deer, but other bulbs like Tulips and Gladioli are susceptible to some or to others.

These are the villians in the garden:

Defeating Voles, Moles, and Gophers: Tulips, Daffodils, Peonies

Vole

The vole is a mouse type of rodent who can traverse through gopher holes as well as dig his own.

Defeating Voles, Moles, and Gophers: Tulips, Daffodils, Peonies

Pocket Gopher

The pocket gopher eats roots and bulbs but neither Daffodils nor Peonies.

Defeating Voles, Moles, and Gophers: Tulips, Daffodils, Peonies

Mole

Mole ready to go after grubs and insects and also some bulbs and roots but neither Daffodils nor Peonies.

An effective technique for defeating some of these garden villians are buried plastic crates with holes too small for rodents and large enough for roots to penetrate. The crate is buried up to its rim, dirt is added and bulbs planted normally as to dept and spacing. These crates are what I receive my daffodils in and which pile up each year. If you are closeby, you can pick some up from me!

Defeating Voles, Moles, and Gophers: Tulips, Daffodils, Peonies

These bulbs are piled in and not ready to plant but you get the idea!  Gophers not interested!

Daffodil Types

Peonies, Daffodils, Tulips, Crocus – Order Today!

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, Crocus - Order Today!

Coral Sunset, Double Coral Peony

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.

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

Peonies, Daffodils, Tulips, Crocus – 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 best for the daffodils. Early varieties like Golden Dawn will bloom earlier if planted earlier.

When Should I Order Bulbs, Tulips, Daffodils?

The earlier you order your bulbs for planting in the fall, the earlier you will receive them and be assured that you will get everything that you want. As the season progresses, varieties become difficult or impossible to obtain in some cases owing to demand or popularity.

I order large quantities of huge daffodils directly from the grower and cannot reorder these if I want more, but have to turn to the regular wholesale channels which offer lesser sized daffodils although they may be the largest obtainable in nurseries or by catalog. Many retail catalogs offer DN2 daffodils which are “Double Nosed #2”. This means they will have two stems emerging but they are second sized.  Most Holland grown daffodils are single bulbs and are sold as DN1 because the cost of shipping is so high.

Two Large Daffodil Bulbs

My Dutch Master Daffodil bulbs

Popular tulips sell out rather quickly in normal years, but remain available until after September for most varieties. I order a modest number of tulips and refrigerate them in my walk in refrigerator until time to plant, if customers so wish.

Peonies are usually available throughout the fall and into the winter. Small bulbs are usually sold out by November although I can still re-order some of these.

Planting, Growing and Caring for Peonies in California

Selecting Sites for Peonies:

One of the most important thing about planting peonies is that need to be sited in well draining soil as they do not like to have wet feet.  They need to be planted in filtered shade in warm climates, if possible, as they will not bloom in full shade and the flowers will have a shorter lifespan when in full sun.  Where they are adapted, they can grow for 100 years, and they do not require regular fertilizer or even water in some cases.  When I plant my peonies, I add compost and peat moss mixed into the soil at planting time and then neglect them as far as further feeding, unless I am adding a mulch between rows.  If you are mulching with shredded paper like newspaper or junk mail, sprinkling on a little nitrogen rich fertilizer over it to help the paper decompose.  Do be careful not to cover the roots of the peony with paper or mulch any deeper than it is planted.  In California and in other warm climates, the buds are planted just below or at ground level.  Do not let fertilizer touch the plant roots or growth or it can burn the peony.

Watering Peonies:

Peonies need lots of water when they are getting established and during the growth period.  After they have been in the ground for a few years, they will take some drought conditions but still need water occaionally.  They should be watered during the periods when they are growing and blooming.  As they will die back and go dormant at the end of the summer, water is not as important after the blooming season is over.

Staking Peonies:

Large, double peonies tend to need staking as the mature plants can get very tall and the weight of the blooms can make the stem flop.  There are several types of aids, individual stakes, circular wire with three legs that encircle the plant and put into place as the plant is sending up stalks.  Another type has a grid where individual stems are coaxed through the mesh in order to keep them in place.  Single peonies need no or less staking than doubles.

Cutting Peonies:

No stems should be cut during the first year of a plant’s bloom. When a stem is to be cut, try to leave as many leaves as is possible so that they can manufacture food and the nutrients can feed the roots at the end of the season.

Cutting Back at the end of the season:

The stems and leaves will dry to brown at the end of the growing season and can be cut away or pulled off when dry. These leaves should be removed to a compost pile rather than being left alongside the plants to avoid gettng disease or fungus. In warm climates, they do not need any top dressing or mulching to protect from cold.

Dividing Peony Clumps:

When dividing the roots, leave 3-5 buds on each division and replant with compost mixed into the soil and water well. This is done in the fall.