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Longfield Gardens Blog

How We Select the Best Spring-Flowering Bulbs for Your Garden

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on May 5, 2015

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If you haven’t experienced springtime in Holland, put it on your bucket list. Holland produces more than 4 billion flower bulbs every year — 80% of the global supply — and in April, the farm fields in every direction are a patchwork quilt of red, yellow, pink, orange, blue and purple. There are also amazing public gardens, such as the Keukenhof, where you can walk through acres of flowering bulbs.

We visit Holland every spring at peak bloom time to meet with growers, see what’s new, and select new varieties and combinations for next season.

 

thumb_IMG_0036_1024One of our vibrant Darwin Hybrid mixes.

The growing conditions in Holland are ideal for bulbs. Here in the U.S., weather and soil conditions are more variable. Having trial gardens in New Jersey, gives us the opportunity to see how bulbs perform in a different climate, and to closely evaluate color, height, flower size and bloom time.

 thumb_IMG_0008_1024Beds of midseason tulips in our New Jersey trial garden.

Last week, the daffodils and midseason tulips such as Darwin Hybrids and Triumphs were in full bloom, along with many other spring-flowering bulbs. It looked like a miniature Keukenhof, with brilliantly colored trial beds and landscaped areas with drifts of various bulb combinations.  

thumb_IMG_0041_1024The incredible pale blue muscari ‘Valerie Finnis‘.

 

thumb_IMG_0034_1024A double daffodil called ‘Wave’.

 

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I haven’t grown many double tulips, but after seeing them in person I’ll definitely be growing more. This is ‘Sundowner‘.

 

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Another thing I loved about the double tulips were their fat, peony-like buds. This is the late blooming double ‘Yellow Pomponette’.

Based on what we saw blooming this spring, we will have lot of new combinations and some outstanding new varieties coming your way for fall planting. Our complete collection of spring-blooming bulbs will be available within the next couple weeks. It’s always a good idea to get at least part of your order in early to make sure you get the varieties you want. Happy spring!

 

 

 

 

Topics: Daffodils Fall Planted Bulbs Spring Blooming Bulbs Tulips

Kathleen LaLiberte has been writing about gardening for more than 30 years from her home in northern Vermont, where she tends a half acre of flowers, vegetables and fruit. She has been working with Longfield Gardens since 2011.

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