To read more by topic or date, see our Newsletter Archives page.
May 12, 2014
“Spring drew on . . . and a greenness grew over those brown beds which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.”
— Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre, 1847
Last Chance! Save 20% (and MORE Every Day) in Our Dutch Auction Sale
Yep, it’s time for our season-ending, barn-clearing Dutch Auction Sale. We don’t have a lot of spring-planted bulbs left (thank you!), but everything we have is now on sale for 20-30% off. Tomorrow morning, everything will be at least 25% off, Wednesday 30%, and Thursday 35%, — if anything lasts that long. Choose from:
4 easy samplers (dahlias, glads, and Martha),
5 lush dahlias (from wild atropurpurea to big ‘Kidd’s Climax’),
9 bouquet-friendly glads (including graceful Abyssinian and pixie ‘Atom’),
3 tiny rain lilies (try a few in a pot),
2 fragrant tuberoses (need we say more?), and
1 classic milk-and-wine crinum.
The longer you wait, the more you can save — but of course if you wait too long, the bulbs you want may all be gone. So come see what’s left, add some more beauty and fun to your summer, and SAVE at our Dutch Auction Sale!
Invite Your Friends to Our Sale
Share the beauty and savings with your garden friends by either (a) forwarding this newsletter to them or (b) sending them directly to oldhousegardens.com/DutchAuctionSale. They’ll thank you for it and so will we!
The Results Are In: You Call It the Tree Lawn, Parkway, Skirt, Berm, Devil Strip, and More!
A rose may be a rose whether you live in Maine, Georgia, Kansas, or Oregon, but when we asked our newsletter readers and Facebook fans, “What do you call that space between the sidewalk and the street,” you replied with 41 different names – yes, 41! – from banquette and curb strip to outlawn and verge. Although I’ve been asking people that question ever since I left home for college and was shocked to discover that most people don’t call it the boulevard, even I had no idea that this humble space had such a rich abundance of names. No matter what you call it — or don’t — I hope you’ll enjoy my full report here.
Another Glad Convert: From Childhood Trauma to Summer Smiles
“In my garden? No way.” That’s what our good customer Susan Stauber of Beacon, NY, had to say about glads — until she took a chance on our small-flowered, best-selling ‘Atom’. She writes:
“I grew up in a part of the country where the huge hybrid gladiolus were grown in fields. Great for funeral arrangements and corporate office lobbies, but in my garden? No way.
“But there was something tantalizing about those little ‘Atom’ glads of yours. So I bought a few. And when they bloomed — wow! They made me chuckle every time I saw them. So last year, I bought a few more ‘Atom’ and some ‘Lucky Star’. This time I planted them in groups here and there, and I planted the groups at different times so I was smiling at blooms all summer long. (I even dug and stored them successfully last fall.)
“I never could have predicted that I’d be ordering more gladiolus for this year, but I am – ‘Boone’, ‘starface’. I can’t wait for the ground to finally defrost so I can plant them. It is possible to recover from childhood traumas.
“P.S. Everyone who walks by wants to know what those wonderful red flowers are. They can’t believe they’re gladiolus!”
On Newsstands Now: Country Gardens Spotlights OHG and “New Generation of Sustainable Farmers”
As we told you last month, our Ann Arbor micro-farms are featured in the Summer 2014 issue of Country Gardens magazine which is hitting newsstands this week. What we didn’t know then, since we hadn’t seen the entire magazine yet, is that editor James Baggett had some very kind words to say about us in his editor’s letter at the front of the magazine:
“We talk a lot about farmer’s markets,” he writes, “and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), urban gardens and handcrafted food. Something that doesn’t get talked about all that much is the changing face of the American farmer. It turns out there are some pretty wonderful folks out there taking up the reins with skill and intelligence. Their enthusiasm is infectious. My friend Scott Kunst is one of those people. Twenty years ago, he started selling heirloom bulbs out of his 1889 Queen Anne home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (He named his new venture, appropriately enough, Old House Gardens.) But a few years ago, Scott and his crew realized they needed to grow some of the bulbs in their mail-order catalog. . . . So Scott starting turning neglected lots around town into microfarms, where today old-fashioned varieties of bearded iris and daylilies bloom their heads off in empty backyards and alongside railroad tracks. Not only do these microfarms beautify the streets of Ann Arbor, they also provide nectar and cover for wildlife. Check out our story . . . and join our celebration of this new generation of sustainable farmers. . . .”
Eternal Spring in Alabama
A hand-written letter arrived here earlier this spring from our good customer Carolyn Brown of Creola, Alabama, and it was so joyful and inspiring, we wanted to share it with you:
“How I wish you could see your beauties in my colonial garden,” Carolyn writes. “My breath catches as I gaze upon the beauty. Why so few people here in the South have bulbs, I’ll never understand. As the daffies sway in the wind I’m reminded of Wordsworth’s poem” Daffodils. “How excellent a description it is.
“In your eighties, each day is more joyful than the day before, and the daffodils are prettier each day. I do hope God has daffies in heaven and I can plant acres and acres of them.
“My husband, Bob, has always said vintage roses are his favorite flower. He has around 150 this year. However he said my bulbs are getting to be his favorite, and they are far less work. In fact, he urged me to make this order [for the coming fall]. I try your smallest amount first and see how they do here and then I go for a larger amount. I’m going to start on hyacinths next.
“Give the little dog a pat and a rub for me. Keep up your good work and save as many bulbs as you can. And thank you all for giving an 80+ gal a wonderful life and joy with the beautiful — as my husband calls them – ‘daffy-down-dillies.’
“Your Garden Pal, Carolyn B.”
Are You Loving Our Bulbs This Spring? Please Tell the World at . . .
Once again we’ve been named one of the prestigious Watchdog 30, the 30 highest-rated sources at the popular GardenWatchdog.com. Thank you! Recent reviews count the most, though, so we need fans like you to keep saying good things about us there. Will you help? It’s quick, easy, and we’ll even show you how to do it at oldhousegardens.com/RateOHG.
Then if you’d like to help us MORE, please consider posting a review (which could be identical to the one you post at Garden Watchdog) at AllThingsPlants.com, the new project of the Watchdog’s founder, Dave Whitinger. Thanks!
And If NOT, Please Tell Us!
If our bulbs or service EVER disappoint you in ANY way, we want to know so we can make it right. Kathy is waiting to hear from you at 734-995-1486, or email email@example.com. Please!
Celebrate May with Fellow Gardeners on Facebook
We’ve gained a lot of new Facebook fans this spring — thanks to the hundreds of you who’ve been sharing our posts with your friends — and our happy online garden club now numbers 7710! Recent posts have included photos from Scott’s visit to Winterthur (with its fabulous woodland garden and historic daffodils), and we’re still giving away $25 worth of bulbs or credit every week through May to one lucky fan who shares that week’s post with their Facebook friends. Come join the fun at Facebook.com/HeirloomBulbs!
Did You Miss Our Last Newsletter? Read It Online!
Late April’s articles included our micro-farms in Country Gardens, our dahlias in Martha Stewart Living, Top 10 bulbs for hummingbirds and more, Thomas Edison the gardener, more praise for the power of stems, and more. You can read all of our back-issues, by date or by topic, at oldhousegardens.com/NewsletterArchives.
Share Our Gazette with a Friend
Please help us “Save the Bulbs!” by forwarding our newsletter to a kindred spirit, garden, museum, or group.
To Reprint Any Part of Our Gazette . . .
Simply credit www.oldhousegardens.com.