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Diggin’ In: Planting Bulbs Now for a Spring Payoff

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By Kathy Van Mullekom

Narcissus Ginter’s Gem. It takes five to seven years to get a hybridized daffodil to market, so this “new” 15-year-old daffy is special because it’s named in honor of Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, Va., according to the Heaths. Recently named one of the top 10 botanical gardens worth traveling to by a group of judges from the Canadian Garden Tourism Council and the American Public Gardens Association, Lewis Ginter also works with the Virginia Daffodil Society to present its annual show; association members asked that a daffodil be named in the botanical garden’s honor. Ginter’s Gem is a mid-spring bloomer with bell-shaped, luminous petals that beckon bees from a distance. Daffodils prefer full sun, although half a day is acceptable; plant the bulbs three times the height of the bulb.

Tulip Concerto. “Tulips brighten and color a landscape like no other bulb,” says Becky Heath. “But there’s nothing like a tall elegant, creamy white tulip to add class to a garden.” Tulip Concerto offers that class with sulphur white petals, but with the addition of a yellow-edged black heart on the inside and a light blush on its tips — as if it’s saying “I’m a little devil inside,” adds Becky. It’s a base color that blends with almost any other color in the landscape, but can also stand on its own.

Tulip Aquilla. These double-early tulips appear in early spring, and what makes them double is that the blooms are peony- or rose-like in shape, according to the Heaths. The straw-yellow base color of the crepe-like petals is then lined in a bright reddish-orange color. Its long-lasting flowers combine nicely with daffodils, muscari and hyacinths, and it’s a great bulb to force into bloom. Use the tulip in beds, planters and window boxes.

©2013 Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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