Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > September 2016 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--The "Others"

BONNIE'S GARDEN--The "Others"

I love tulips and daffodils and hyacinths.  Every bulb is a miracle to me.  I can plant a little round blob and with a little patience, sunshine and rain, have a beautiful flower to show for it.  But some of my favorite bulbs are what the bulb industry calls “other” bulbs or “minor” bulbs.  These are the guys that if your neighbor planted them, you’d look at them and go “What in the world are those?”
 
So, what in the world are Chionodoxa?  Chionodoxa or Glory-of-the-Snow are little six inch tall “bouquets” of pretty blue or pink flowers that bloom in early spring—about the same time as regular crocus.  They’re tough, durable and, always a bonus in my yard, deer resistant.
 
What in the world are Eranthis?  Eranthus, also called Winter Aconite are buttercup relatives that have big shiny gold buttercup-like flowers with pretty lacy foliage.  They bloom in late winter, about the same time as those dainty little snowdrops.  Another deer-resistant one.
 
And Camassia?  Camassia is a wildflower native to the northwest where the bulbs were roasted and eaten by Blackfoot and Nez Perce Native Americans.  Too pretty to eat, these are spires of showy blue flowers in April.
 
Now Alliums are another bulb classified as an “other” but thanks to its deer resistance and showy flowers it’s finally beginning to make a name for itself.  Alliums are ornamental members of the onion family and, like other members of that family, have that famous oniony aroma—which deer and squirrels and voles don’t like.  They love sunny well-draining areas and range in size from cute little 10” rockgarden beauties to 4 to 5 foot tall giants with 8” flower heads.
 
Galanthus!  Maybe you’d recognize this by its “other” name—snowdrops.  Delicately nodding white flowers that bloom in late winter—not afraid of poking their little heads up through February snows. Just like it’s bigger cousin, the daffodil, this dainty little flowers isn’t bothered by critters, either.
 
Hyacinthoides?  Ah, one of my two favorite spring-flowering bulbs.  There are two varieties most often grown—one is called Spanish Bluebells or Wood Hyacinths.  They’re shade tolerant, deer-proof and usually bloom in May.  The other is the English Bluebell.  It’s also shade-tolerant and deer-proof and it blooms in April with rich blue lightly scented flowers.  Shade tolerant and deer proof?  Always a winner in my book!
 
Ipheon  What?  The other one of my two favorites—Ipheion, aka Spring Starflowers, are tough as nails, yet the one-inch flowers are as delicate as butterfly wings.  They bloom an incredibly month or more in mid-Spring and naturalize readily without being invasive.  What’s more, deer and other critters leave them alone!
 
The “Others”—sounds like the title of a science fiction novel, but these bulbs are all way too pretty to be space aliens…
 
Posted: 9/12/2016 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: bonnie's, bulbs, garden;
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