Tag Archives: daffodils


I admire gardeners who spend time each fall choosing top-notch bulbs for their spring displays and pay a fair price to the premium retailers we all rely on.  Oftentimes, I do the same.  But I also love plundering local DIY stores during the big bulb markdown that coincides with Thanksgiving.  These leftovers, though not “choice,” are perfect for a one-time show.


Bargain basement bulbs, including Darwin hybid tulips, and Tete a Tete, Fortune, and double mix daffodils.

I was a bit late in my search this year, so selection was limited.  I’m happy, however, with the cheerful collection of 165 tulips and daffodils that cost less than $25 total, or roughly 15 cents per bulb.


Tulips first!

Luckily, I ended up with the perfect number for the four black plastic pots I’ve used in past years.  Will you think I’m a cheapskate when you hear I recycled old potting mix for this project too?  I hope not.

The containers are the perfect depth for 3 layers of bulbs.  Tulips go in first, and then the big daffs before the small ones.  Pot pairs will be slightly different when they bloom, as two containers are planted with ‘Fortune’ daffodils, while doubles fill the other set.

While on the subject, have you ever wondered where “cheapskate” comes from? Here is some of what World Wide Words has to say:  “The best suggestion we have is that skate was originally a Scots contemptuous word, still known in a weakened sense in Australia and New Zealand, where it’s usually written as skite. We retain it in blatherskite for a person who talks at great length without making much sense.”

Finally, here’s another good value for bargain hunters–Ideas for an Inspiring Garden–the Greater Greenville Master Gardener’s 16th Annual Symposium to be held on Saturday, February 11, 2017.

Featured speakers will include Kelly Norris, Director of Horticulture at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden who will present an “A-list” of stunning plants; Gary Smith, NY artist and landscape architect on harnessing your creative spirit for expressive design; and Bill Thomas, Executive Director and Head Gardener of Chanticleer, with a behind the-scenes-look at what the Washington Post has called “one of the most interesting and edgy public gardens in America.”


Chanticleer, known as “interesting and edgy,” will be featured at the upcoming GGMG symposium.

The symposium also offers two sessions of concurrent programs provided by Norris and three additional speakers: plant explorer and nurseryman Ted Stevens of Nurseries Caroliniana, garden writer and photographer Pam Beck, and permaculturist Eliza Lord.  The first session offers a choice of Stevens on plants for Southern gardens, Beck on mixed border design, and Lord on sustainable gardens, while the second offers Stevens on soil science and plants, Beck on shade gardens, and Norris on bearded irises.

Registration, including morning refreshments and lunch, plus a fabulous vendor’s market full of plants and other garden necessities, is a steal at $70 ($75 after December 31 if there’s still room).  If you’re eager to go, don’t hesitate, as tickets are already dwindling.  To register, simply print a brochure from the GGMG website and get your check in the mail pronto!


Oh, for the perfect shade garden…maybe I’ll learn a new trick or two from my friend Pam Beck.



Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day—February 15, 2013

I saw my first (and probably only) snowflakes this winter on Saturday, February 2, but the precipitation turned to rain within the hour. The Upstate has had plenty of gray days and moisture since January’s Bloom Day posting, with temperatures fluctuating from the 20s into the 70s. I’ve heard, but haven’t been able to confirm, our most recent cold weather destroyed much of this year’s peach crop. Fingers crossed the sad news isn’t true. More cold is on the way this weekend, however, as Saturday’s forcast predicts a low of 24 degrees F.

Even still, there are blooms in the garden. The vignette below is inspired by Ellen HoverKamp‘s stunning botanical photgraphs in Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations by Ken Druse, a favorite Christmas gift I simply can’t put down.

Vignette inspired by Ken Druse

Vignette inspired by Ken Druse

Flowers include several Camellia japonica (top) and various Helleborus hybrids (bottom). The rosette of yellow near the center of the photo is Edgeworthia chrysantha (Chinese paper bush), and the yellow fringe at the bottom is Hamamelis mollis ‘Wisley Supreme’ (witch hazel). The pansy is ‘Dynamite Wine Flash’, while the smaller viola is ‘Sorbet Antique Shades.’ The early yellow daffodils draw attention to the ‘Gold Dust’ Aucuba japonica (aucuba), and the slightly smaller leaves of variegated Gardenia jasminoides (gardenia). The red-veined foliage is Rumex sanguineus (bloody dock), and the silver-veined is Saxifraga stolonifera (strawberry begonia).

Even better, here’s what’s blooming or almost blooming in the woodland.

Erythronium americanum (trout lily)

Erythronium americanum (trout lily)

Trillium cuneatum (Sweet Betsy)

Trillium cuneatum (Sweet Betsy)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

To discover what’s blooming in gardens around the world, visit the host of Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens.