Tag Archives: peonies

Tulips are in Bloom!

Tulips are in Bloom!

In Palo Alto, I used to be called “The Tulip Lady” and today in Glen Ellen where I have my farm with daffodil hillsides, I am called the “Daffodil Lady”.  Just as I was beginning to write this article on tulips, I got a call from a Daffodil Man who digs, divides and shares the early settler’s daffodil bulbs from around Cloverdale, California.  We  will meet next week here to walk among mine and set a time to visit his, and this will the subject of my next post.

Tulips are in Bloom! 


Tulips are Blooming:  

Tulips bloom in a sequence of earlier to latest which usually correspondes to shortest to tallest, which was in my mind when I found my tallest tulip, a single late called Blushing Beauty blooming first along with another one, Big Smile.  This year I planted my extra tulips very late at the end of Januay between every other peony row.  They are also planted on the west side of my property under deciduous oaks about 2″ deep.

Tulips are in Bloom!

The length of the cut tulips can be extended by using some of the white stems at the bottom of the tulips.  The deeper they are planted, the longer the white area.  I plant my tulips shallowly to allow me to pull them out completely when picking as the bulbs need to removed in any case as they will not rebloom reliably, especially when cut.

Tulips are in Bloom!Pull them out!

If you look closely, the tulips bulbs are starting to divide and make more and smaller bulbs.  In Holland, to make the bulbs larger, one years growth is sacrificed by cutting the HEADS off just as they begin to bloom. This makes the bulb grow larger.  When the flower blooms, the bulbs divide and thus it is difficult to have a reblooming tulip in warm climates where cold is needed to made the bulbs grow larger so that they can rebloom.



Tulips are in Bloom!


Reluctantly, I throw away the bulbs and tear off the lower leaves from the stem.

Tulips are in Bloom!

These Blushing Beauty and Rainbow Warrier tulips are very tall and could stand to be shortened or placed in a larger vase.  I didn’t plant my earliest blooming tulip, Apricot Beauty, as it was sold out.



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.

Peonies in Bloom! April 30, 2012

I recently posted the photos of the first peonies to bloom this year and they are still in bloom along with a few others.

Red Charm, Doreen, Coral Supreme, Coral Sunset, Coral Charm, Duchess de Nemours and Single Japanese Peonies are blooming now.

Do Tell Japanese Pink Peony

Do Tell, Japanese Pink Peony and Bud


Do Tell Japanese Pink Peony

Do Tell, Japanese Pink Peony


Coral Sunset Double Coral Peony

Coral Sunset, Double Coral Peony


Coral Sunset Double Coral Peony

Coral Sunset, Double Coral Peony, beginning to Fade


Doreen Japanese Rose Peony

Doreen, Japanese Rose Peony


Doreen Japanese Single Rose Peony

Doreen, Japanese Single Rose Peony


Doreen Peony Japanese Single Rose Peony

Doreen Peony, Japanese Single Rose Peony


Red Charm Peony

Red Charm Peony, Bomb Type


Duchess de Nemours Double White Peony

Duchess de Nemours, Double White Peony


Double White Peony

Duchess de Nemours, Double White Peony

Pruning Olive Trees and Making them Produce Fruit

This subject is a little off the topic of peonies, tulips, daffodils and other flowering bulbs but olives have taken a lot of my attention lately.

Adding the “Making them Produce Fruit” in my title is misleading as I planted twenty two Mission olive trees about seven or eight years ago and have only had a handful of little olives. A well known local expert, the owner of the most respected olive press in Glen Ellen initially suggested the variety to plant, the their location where the trees have been growing on a slight hillside and to water them for the first four years.  It wasn’t his advice or the location that I could complain about.  A neighbor is a tree expert and he suggested that I water them more.  As they were on drip, something just wasn’t working as they should have produced years ago and are quite large now.  Watering more apparently wasn’t enough or perhaps even adequate, so now the strategy has changed.

After attending a discussion on olive curing, I read about pruning, watering, fertilizing etc. and still wasn’t quite sure where to begin.  At this point, I should add that the trees were wrapped in wire fencing to protect them from deer munching as I do not fence my whole property and they graze on the lower branches.  But they are certainly no longer five gallon sized!


Before any weeding or pruning! Fencing was impossible to remove completely.

As I learned a bit about what to do, I found that watering and weed contol at the base of the tree are the most important things to work on.  The wire kept the base of the tree from being adequately cleared around the base of the tree, and so yesteday I had my gardener start the process of removing the wire and dragging out the grass and weeds, including some kind of prolific purple flowered climbing weed that was cutting off light. Clearing out the middle and trying to let light hit every side branch at least for part of the day is the pruning goal. A goblet or vase shape is rather desirable and it will be a challenge to form these rather large and unruly trees into the right configuration. I did notice that the branches are covered with lots of little flower buds (I didn’t see them last year) so I have high hopes that at least some of the branches will fruit and I am hand watering them with a hose by letting it run for five minutes at a time per tree while I am pruning. After an hour or so of work, we walk back up through the pasture to rest for a while, and then we go down again for another hour. While I am working, Cedric is watching me from shady spots in the very tall grass which will be cut only when the hidden lupines finish blooming.

Olive Tree

One step at a time. I have pruned almost half of the trees today!

This tree was the tenth I pruned today but I couldn’t get the wire completely away as it is held in place on one side with a rebar stake.  Next week when the trees have all been cleared of weeks and fencing, I can finish this tree and make quick work of the last dozen of them.  One shoot was too high for me to cut correctly, so a ladder will help with the finish.

Hopes are finally high for a crop in 2012!

Saffron Crocus or Crocus Sativus

When to Order Bulbs, Corms, Roots – Daffodils, Crocus Sativa, Peonies

Bulbs can be ordered at any time during the year, but the delivery is usually from September through January for spring flowering blooms.  Spring crocus (which needs pre-chilling) and fall blooming, Crocus Sativus (which does not require chilling) are available.

Crocus Sativus pictured above is a fall blooming, warm climate corm which blooms 2″ high and is a nice filler around other plants and naturalizes.  The red stigmas can be pinched off during the blooming period for use in cooking.

Daffodils arrive in the fall and can be planted all thoough the months just short of the spring blooming time.  Some narcissus (special hybrids) will start blooming in September and some others every month through April.

Daffodil Types

Early blooming varieties like February Gold, Trevithian, and Golden Dawn are followed by Ice Follies, Scarlet O’Hara, Dutch Master and latest varieties which are Unsurpassable, Salome, Cheerfulness, Yellow Cheerfulness and Thalia.

Peonies can be ordered at anytime and are usually delivered in the fall, but can be planted into January or later if need be.  They can be dug up and moved anytime except while they are blooming.

Tulips are best ordered early so that there is time to refrigerate them for 8 weeks or so.  I refrigerate all of my tulips until they are sold or until November/December when customers are ready to plant locally.

Bulbs are really pretty foolproof!