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    « He said, She said - Disagreement in the Garden | Main | Garden Advice from 'What Not to Wear' »


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    What welcome information (even to a Narcissus lover). Thank you!


    Forget daffys? Say it isn't so:) I love all bulbs and especially daffys. I also like alternatives too. Such lovely bulbs you have recommended. I will look for them.


    You'll be happy to know that I have some Daffodils still growing in the mostly native front yard. I wasn't thorough enough during the tear out and now they are popping up with big smiles on their face… I’m sure one of them ‘flipped me the bird’ this morning just to make a point.

    susan (garden-chick)

    Perfect post for me, I am severly bulb-challenged. A few questions - what time of year do you plant? Also, for the lily, when you say needs moisture year round, are we talking low water or something more regular? Finally, if the garden is on a drip system, can you accomodate the no summer water bulbs by not providing irrigation at all and letting them get all their water from winter rain?


    The best time to plant bulbs is in the Fall. Bulbs grown in pots can be planted in the Spring and still do well.

    Lilium pardalinum does well if it isn't allowed to dry out. The best placement in our area would be under a canopy (not oak) with drip irrigation once or twice per week. If you have a damp place or creek/s through your yard then try them there. Larger pots are also a good option.

    Winter wet, summer dry is always the best bet for the bulbs mentioned above (except for the Lily). If planting in a bed with existing drip irrigation, try planting in high spots or stick with Allium unifolium or Triteleia laxa 'Queen Fabiola'.


    Those do look like nice plants, and the descriptions are great . . . but I'm a sucker for man-modified big blooms. Sigh. Though I do HATE the half-dead foliage of daffs and tulips. I'd like to spread a ton of snowdrops and other tiny bulbs around someday, though. VW

    Renate (Town Mouse)

    Great post! I have the lilium in my redwood habitat garden (shade) and it's just stunning. This fall I've planted Triteleia and Dichelostemma ida-maia, and we'll see how that goes. Something seems to be coming up. That said, I stuck some daffodils bulbs in the ground a few years ago, and they're doing very well on total neglect. But I really hope the new bulbs will do well. The Dicelostemma is red and lime green. How cool is that?


    I don't have any bulbs to speak of but would like to incorporate some into our south sloping field. The only problem I have is the herd of elk that come through. I will have to do some research for things that are native to W. Washinton but he elk don't like...wish me luck! Thanks for the reminder about native bulbs! Kim


    I too have quite a few Daffodils that I planted ages ago before discovering natives, but I won’t dig them up because I figure they’ve earned their place by performing so bravely every year with zero care. They’re a nice little prelude to the native blooms that will follow later. I agree with Town Mouse that flowers don’t get much cooler than red and lime green! As far as watering, the Calochortus really do need to stay bone-dry over summer, so try to plant them where they won’t get seepage from elsewhere. Mine are an experiment, because I placed them in areas I don’t plant to water, but I don’t know how far the moisture will wick from plants I irrigate a few feet away. Probably a good bet to put them around Ceanothus, Fremontodendron, needlegrasses, and other plants that just don’t want summer water. For watering the Lilium pardalinum, Troy’s guidelines above are spot-on; as a low-tech person without a drip system, I’d only dare to put it near the birdbath, which the birds demand I dump and refill daily, so the area is always damp. Kim—good luck on the Washington native bulb quest! I’ve been encouraging my Washington relatives to go native and have directed them to the Washington Native Plant Society site-- it out if you haven’t already, as it seems to have a handy interface that lists native plants by county.


    Thanks Jess...I'll check it out! Kim


    I grow the C. superbus and tritelia and really enjoy them. A bulb that isn't so splashy, but one that I'm starting to move to my #1 spot, is the pretty common Dichelostemma capitatum. As my plantings have matured they get more and more dense and put on a show that goes on longer than most bulbs.


    Dichelostemma capitatum (Blue dicks) grows well in the open spaces along the Carquinez Strait region and looks great bobbing above the bunch grasses.

    Another common bulb that I'm beginning to appreciate is Chlorogalum pomeridianum (Soap root). The wavy leaves started emerging about a month ago and in good numbers in my area. The flower stalks emerge in late spring/ early summer and burst into flower in the late afternoon, often 4-6' tall. One stalk can contain hundreds of tiny white (fragrant) flowers that are guaranteed to be a show stopper.

    Susan (garden chick)

    Kim - your comment cracks me up! Next time I complain about having to design another deer resistant lawn, I'll remind myself that at least no one is asking me for stampeding-herd-of-elk resistant plants!

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