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Brian Minter: Fall bulbs will put a spring in your garden’s step

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Many late-blooming daffodils come in a wide range of colors, and many are heavily perfumed, making them great choices for indoor bouquets. Older scented favorites are N. “Happiness”, “Yellow Happiness” and “Geranium”. The most perfumed of them all is ‘Bridal Crown’, a delightful double white.

There has been a love affair with tulips for as long as I can remember. They are highly valued as cut flowers. By strategically choosing certain strains, you can extend their flowering time over three months. The earlier the tulips bloom, the shorter they are, while later-blooming varieties can reach heights of up to three feet. I am very fond of early botanical tulips for their tiny, spectacular, multi-colored flowers and their naturalization habit.

The interplay of tulips and myosotis (forget-me-nots) results in a delightful combination.  Photo: Florissa / Van Noort Bulb Co. For Brian Minter's column on September 26, 2020. [PNG Merlin Archive]The interplay of tulips and myosotis (forget-me-nots) results in a delightful combination. Photo: Florissa / Van Noort Bulb Co. Photo by Florissa / Van Noort Bulb Co. /.PNG

The first tulips to bloom are the individual early species, followed by the triumphs. Compact and strong, both look good in stormy spring weather. High season Darwin hybrids, the strains we are most familiar with, grow to be about two feet tall. Ruffled, fringed, green-touched viridifloras extend the season into May, and unique peony tulips round off the spring onion show with a bang.

In June when you thought the lightbulbs were ready, wonderful allies hold the grand finale. From the tiny blooming Allium moly luteum to the medium-sized “drumsticks” (A. sphaerocephalon) and the giants Allium giganteum and A. “Globemaster”, they work when other garden colors are just beginning and they attract all pollinators.

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