March Is Catalogue Month

The beginning of autumn is the prime time for bulb sellers to post out their catalogues to entice you to buy their bulbs and there is nothing more exciting for the flower grower than a flower filled garden.

Bulbs (including corms, rhizomes and tubers) are indeed a great way to fill the garden beds year after year. But the bulb buyer should do their research into which bulbs will suit their climate before buying. Most bulbs will flower in the first year very successfully because they have been grown in ideal conditions for that plant and the flower has been set inside before harvesting. The problem is next year when up come the leaves, alas no flowers! Why not? These are often called blind bulbs meaning they have not set their flower in the previous growing season and that happens because there has not been sufficient chilling which is one of the prime reasons for bulb failure.

There are other reasons for bulbs not repeat flowering and these will be discussed as we explore the various bulbs in their individual pages.

Daffodils are one of the most desirable bulbs that gardeners like to grow and there would not be a bulb catalogue that does not feature them. They are indeed beautiful and the promise of many more year after year encourages us to buy many different varieties. If you live on the Yorke Peninsula you can get them to flower only if you treat them as an annual because they will not flower next year because we do not have cold enough winters to set next year’s flowers. So if you can’t resist daffodils then buy with the knowledge that they will need to be re-bought next year.

On the other hand Jonquils, a close relative of the daffodil, does not need the same degree of chilling to repeat flower and are very successful repeat flowering bulbs for the Yorke Peninsula. How do you tell them apart you may ask. The simple answer is this: daffodils have single blooms with a single cup on each stem while jonquils have many florets on each stem and usually they are fragrant. Very few, if any, daffodils have any fragrance!

This blog is designed to encourage comments and discussion so please feel free to enter the discussion in the comments section. There are several other flower growers preparing lists of successful bulbs for the Yorke Peninsula and these will published on here once they are available.

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