Heirloom Bulbs & Garden History  •  Living Treasure from the Past


August 2018

Aug
29
2018

Learning from You:
Are Peonies Really Rabbit-Proof?

‘Nick Shaylor’ – rabbit food or not?

Until a few years ago I don’t think I’d ever seen a rabbit in my garden here in the center of Ann Arbor, but now they’re everywhere. They devoured my glory-of-the-snow this spring, and my neighbor says they’re why so few of our self-sowing larkspur bloomed this summer.

Peonies, however, are not one of their favorites, according to UK nurserywoman Claire Austin who’s been growing a huge collection of them ever since her father, the famed rose breeder David Austin, gave them up for roses in the 1980s.

“Did you know that peonies are rabbit-proof?” she writes in the May 2018 issue of Country Living. “If you have rabbits that like nothing better than to nibble from your borders, get planting peonies! Rabbits do not like the taste . . . and won't be tempted to snack on their roots, stems or blooms.”

But Claire gardens in Wales, and we’re wondering if what she says is also true for American rabbits. A few stalks of my peonies were chewed on for the first time this year, and I blamed the rabbits. It was minor damage, but I’m still wondering – do the rabbits in your garden leave your peonies alone?

Aug
22
2018

‘Magnet’ Snowdrop:
“Like the Blades of a Helicopter”

If you think all snowdrops are the same, think again. Here’s what our good customer Virginia Boyett of zone-7b Perryville, Arkansas, had to say the first year one of our favorites bloomed for her:

“The ‘Magnet’ snowdrops that I planted last fall have been in bloom for about three weeks, and they are the biggest snowdrops that I have ever seen.

“On cloudy days the buds stay closed and remind me of miniature tulips hanging upside down. Stark white, they are graceful and elegant.

“On sunny days, though, the outer whorl stands literally straight out, like the blades of a helicopter. With the extra-long pedicels, the entire bloom looks as if it could take off and fly.

“The blooms keep coming, too. Each bulb has had 3-4 blooms apiece so far. I am loving it. I am just sorry I didn't order more.”

Last offered in 2014, ‘Magnet’ is back in our catalog this fall, so Virginia – and you – can order it now!

Aug
15
2018

Our Madonna Lilies Bloom
at the Washington National Cathedral

in the Bishop’s Garden

It’s always good to hear from our customers, and we love seeing photos of our bulbs in your gardens – such as the one here from our good customer Adrienne Schopf of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

“I just wanted to send you guys a few pictures of the Madonna lilies that we planted last fall,” Adrienne wrote. “They’re doing well in our Bishop’s Garden. They’re planted in an area we call the Hortulus where we have different herbs that were planted at monasteries in the 9th century, so these lilies fit in perfectly.

in our garden

“We’d been having a hard time finding them and were very excited that you offered them. We’ve ordered more from you guys for this fall. Thank you for providing such great plants and keeping the older varieties around!”

You’re welcome, Adrienne, and thanks for sharing these deeply historic lilies with your many visitors!

To enjoy this fragrant beauty in your own 21st-century garden, order now for October delivery.

Aug
10
2018

Our New, Fall-Only Catalog is Coming Soon!

2018 Fall Front Catalog Cover
2018 Fall Back Catalog Cover

We’re taking our new catalog to the printer today, which means you should have it in your hands by the end of the month. Woo-hoo!

One big change this year is that we’re sending TWO catalogs – one now that’s just for fall-planted bulbs and a separate catalog of spring-planted bulbs in January. By doing it this way our spring-planted catalog will be based on the actual results of the entire growing season rather than hopeful predictions made in mid-summer.

As always, we hope you’ll enjoy our cover images. The bouquet on the front is from the 1902 catalog of San Francisco’s Trumbull and Beebe, and the gold band lilies (and bumblebee!) on the back are from the 1905 catalog of Milwaukee’s Currie Brothers.

P.S. If you’ve moved since last fall, please call or email us with your new address right away so you don’t miss this one!