Posts Tagged ‘Bulbs’

Friday, November 18, 2011

Out of the East

Tulipa biflora bulbs

These small bulbs of Tulipa biflora, a species native to the Southern Balkans and Southeastern Russia, are to be planted today in Cuxa garden, the only one of our three gardens in which  post-medieval plants are grown. The tulip did not reach Europe until the sixteenth century.  Photograph by D. Larkin

Tulips, spring-blooming crocuses, winter aconites, fritillarias, and other bulbous plants native to Asia came too late to Europe to find a home in the medieval plant collections in Bonnefont and Trie gardens, but they do have an honored place in Cuxa cloister garden. Cuxa has been the main ornamental garden for the Museum since 1938, and has always included both modern and medieval plants in order to provide a continuous display from early spring until late fall. Read more »

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bulb Basics

Madonna Lily (Lilium candidum) Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) Saffron Crocus (Crocus sativus)

Above, from left to right: Madonna lily (Lilium candidum), cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum), and saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) in Bonnefont Herb Garden.

Many bulbous plants are grown in the gardens of The Cloisters throughout the seasons. In addition to their place in the collection as medieval species, they prolong the garden’s ornamental value, often blooming when there are no other flowers to be seen. The snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) enliven Bonnefont Herb Garden while there is still snow on the ground. Certain bulbous plants, like the fall-blooming saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), possess a rich history that our garden lecturers are eager to discuss. However, the saffron crocus is actually not a true bulb, but actually what is known as a “corm.” Read more »

Friday, March 20, 2009

Getting the Most Out of Forced Bulbs

Assorted Bulbs Spent Daffodils

Left: Assorted bulbs; right: Spent daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus ssp. obvallaris).

In the world of horticulture, the threshold between late winter and early spring is synonymous with forcing bulbs. Even if you don’t force your own, chances are you have received a pot of forced bulbs as a gift. Either way, you’re probably wondering what to do with the bulbs once the flowers have finished blooming. Many people discard them. However, with a little effort and luck, you can enjoy most forced bulbs well into the future. Read more »

Friday, November 21, 2008

Forced Bulbs: Beauty Out of Season

Forced bulbs at The Cloisters Crocus chrysanthus Narcissus tazzetta

Above, from left to right: Forced bulbs in coldframes at The Cloisters; Crocus chrysanthus ‘Cream Beauty’; Narcissus tazetta ‘Inbal,’ (paperwhites) in Cuxa Cloister.

Every year, by the time February approaches I have the winter doldrums and the beauty of spring is long forgotten. The days become shorter, darker, and extremely colder. It is at this time that my senses need to be reminded why I ever decided to become a gardener. Forced spring bulbs during the winter months provide that reminder wonderfully. Just when I think there is no possible way to endure another day of winter, the first pot of forced paperwhites, Narcissus tazetta, is unveiled at The Cloisters.

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