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Diggin’ In: Planting Bulbs Now for a Spring Payoff

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By Kathy Van Mullekom

“With that much variety, sometimes blooms begin to look a little bit alike. So, it’s truly the unique and unusual that really stands out.”

To get that uniqueness among your buried treasures, look for these new gems, and get them planted now through early- to mid-December:

Allium Pink Jewel. Alliums make great “bridge plants,” connecting the end of spring to the beginning of summer, according to the Heaths. Alliums are ornamental, edible onions, and their strong flavors and onion smell are a turnoff to critters that like to use your garden as a personal buffet. Pink Jewel features softball-sized blooms that stand out much more than some other alliums, with their bright, medium pink color and their contrasting green “eyes,” says Becky. Standing about 2-foot tall, they fit most garden styles without overpowering or stealing the attention. They are cold hardy in Zones 4-8; plant them two to three times deep the bulb height in well-drained, soil and full sun.

Narcissus Chinita. This newbie is actually an heirloom daffodil that’s been around since 1922, according to the Heaths. Since the mid-1900s, daffodil hybridization has been toward perfection with straight petals and smooth texture and so on, but Chinita was hybridized earlier. It has a bright yellow cup, outlined in red, and its straw-yellow, overlapping petals have a slight curl on the edges. Best of all, it has a wonderful fragrance, and is a great spreading perennial in the warm, southern garden.

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