April 15, 2011

Appreciated Selections

{Left to right} Muscari azureum, Bellevalia pycnantha, Muscari latifolium and Muscari 'Valerie Finnis'

Selections of Muscari showing differences in major cultivars that are available beyond the common blue form. Just some fun tonight, picking random bunches of various types of bulbs from around the garden before the sun sets. I think more than one 'type' of any genus makes gardening more interesting, since one can study the differences between similar species and hybrids.

Bulbous Corydalis solida ( which, if you are not growing yet, you must - for C. solida, which is still relatively unknown by most gardeners, is a great performer in the early spring garden, becoming more beautiful every year as the spread and self seed. Here, are six named crosses from Janis Ruksans in Latvia ( Google him and get his catalog - no web site).

Mini Narcissus, the N. cyclamineus in the front is 'Snipe', a little costly, but my 5 bulbs have spread into 5 dozen. One even bloomed with a green flares this year....not sure if it was the cold, or a seedling.

Chinodoxa cultivars, the pink form in the middle is starting to fade, but it is much taller than the blue strains, most of which are now self seeding everywhere. If your small bulbs are not self seeding, here is the trick - use NO mulch, hand weed, and allow the flowers to fade naturally and form seed pods.


  1. Matt -- thanks for showing these! I'll have to research them a bit more, as my garden is in need of spring bloomers and I'm not a big fan of daffodils and tulips.

  2. I can relate, many people don't seem to be a fan of Daff's but once they see them in the right environment ( i.e. in a stony scree, in a wild meadow, in a woodland along a stone wall with still dormant tree branches( they can look completely different. Try the species tulips, they last longer, come up each year, and look more natural.
    That aside, there are many small 'lesser bulbs' that can add interest to the early spring garden such as the Corydalis - check out Odyssey Bulbs for those.


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