Three years ago I planted grape hyacinth bulbs in our new garden. I had never planted Muscari before and didn’t know it’s proper name – or how it would grow. The bulbs bloomed in the spring and I was delighted. The foliage continued after the blooms died, and then died itself in early summer. As summer progressed I was shocked to see some weedy thing come up. Those shoots grew bigger and bigger and I thought I must have planted them at the wrong time. I didn’t really pay attention to the notes that came with them. Surely they would be killed by the cold over the winter.
But in the spring the foliage of the grape hyacinths was perfectly happy. The snow left and the muscari foliage was perfectly happy.
Spring arrived, April 15 and the grape hyacinth flowers were pushing their way up through the soil, and through the foliage. Miraculous!
I enjoy the miracle every year now. I only grow the M. armeniacum variety but there are many, many other varieties. Another grape hyacinth in the armeniacum family is ‘Touch of Snow’, dark violet with a lighter blue, and white at the top. There are pale blue grape hyacinths, as well as white, purples and yellow.
I have bought a lot of bulbs from Brent and Becky’s catalog, but there are many many other excellent companies. All of them offer bulbs that need to be planted in the fall in order to bloom in the spring, and well as bulbs that need to be planted in the spring, in order for bulbs like Colchicum autumnale to bloom in the fall. Colchicums are also known as autumn crocus, or naked ladies which do not have any foliage, just a beautiful blossom.
Some of the catalogs I have used besides Brent and Becky’s include www.dutchbulbs.com K. van Bourgondien offers bulk prices every day on top-quality Dutch bulbs, popular perennials and unique, hard-to-find varieties. www.colorblends.com
Wide variety of bulbs, be sure to check out the tulip mixes that bloom in a variety of colors from early to late spring. John Scheepers, Inc.
More than 700 varieties of flower bulbs (if you’re ordering in large quantities, check out the sister company, Van Engelen).
Old House Gardens www.oldhousegardens.com
Specializes in heirloom flower bulbs that bring great stories.