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April 2, 2015
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
— Jesus of Nazareth, Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:28
Shipping Started Monday!
Despite lows in the mid-teens a few days ago, and late-arriving bulbs from Holland and New Hampshire, we started shipping Monday – woo-hoo!
We always ship to customers in the warmest zones first (although bulbs are reserved for orders on a first-come first-served basis), and you’ll get an email alert when your order is shipped. We expect to have every bulb on its way by May 8 – and thanks for your patience!
It’s Not Too Late to Order – and Now You Can SAVE 10-20%!
April 1 was the deadline for adding on to orders, but Kathy and Rita are standing by to help you with everything else at 734-995-1486, and our newly upgraded website is always open. How can you resist? Order your box-load of summer excitement now!
Did You Get Your “10k Likes” Gift? (Is Facebook Showing You Our Posts?)
When our Facebook page recently reached 10,000 likes, we threw a party! For 10,000 minutes starting on March 16 we offered free bulbs to anyone who’d ordered from us for this spring, and 251 customers happily snapped up almost 900 ‘Atom’ glads, tuberoses, and “surprise me” bulbs. Seven lucky fans won $50 gift certificates, too.
But what about you? If you missed our week-long celebration, it could be that Facebook has stopped showing you some of our posts because they think you’re not that interested. To see all of our future posts, simply go to Facebook.com/HeirloomBulbs and show you’re interested by either (a) making sure you’ve checked “Follow” in the drop-down menu under “Liked” near the top of the page, or (b) liking, commenting on, or sharing one of our posts every now and then.
Our cozy community of heirloom flower-lovers now numbers 10,269, and we’re grateful for every one of you!
Celebrate 100 Years of the ADS with “Cream of the Crop” Dahlias
Congratulations to the American Dahlia Society on its 100th anniversary!
Introduced from Mexico in 1798, dahlias became one of the most popular plants of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK’s National Dahlia Society was founded in 1881, the German Dahlia Society in 1897, and – after a failed attempt in 1895 – the ADS was established in 1915. The new society held its first national show that fall in New York’s Museum of Natural History. The blooms were displayed in milk bottles, winners took home $100 worth of ribbons and medals as well as $325 in cash, and the show drew some 35,000 enthusiastic viewers.
Dahlias are on the rise again today, and of all the bulbs we ship in the spring, they’re the most popular with our customers. They’re easy to grow, great for bouquets, and spectacularly diverse. To celebrate the ADS centennial, here are four easy ways to add at least one of these incredible flowers to your garden this spring:
1. Grow the oldest dahlia that still ranks as an ADS “Fabulous 50” dahlia – ‘Kidd’s Climax’, which last year won 78 blue ribbons or higher awards.
2. Grow an heirloom that still ranks as an ADS “Cream of the Crop” dahlia – ‘Kelvin Floodlight’ (with 42 blue ribbons or higher awards in 2014), ‘Bonne Esperance’ (26), ‘Juanita’ (18), ‘thomas Edison’ (16), and ‘Little Beeswings’ (16).
3. Grow a dahlia that’s so old it could have been shown in the very first ADS show: ‘White Aster’ (introduced in 1879), ‘Union Jack’ (1882), ‘tommy Keith’ (1892), ‘Little Beeswings’ (1909), ‘Wisconsin Red’ (1910?), or ‘Prinzessin Irene von Preussen’ (1912).
Online Now for Your Viewing Pleasure: 14,000 Antique Garden Catalogs
Here’s some exciting news for all of you who enjoy the antique images we use in our print catalogs. Last week the Biodiversity Heritage Library celebrated their amazing online collection of over 14,000 historic garden catalogs with a week-long social media event called “Garden Stories.” Even if you missed our Facebook alert about it, you can still:
1. Read the Library’s 12 blog posts about the history of garden catalogs, including ones on Shaker seeds, catalog art, and “Leading Ladies.” Click the “Older Posts” link at the bottom of each set of articles to see them all.
2. Enjoy the thousands of antique catalog images the Library has posted at Flickr. Be sure to click on your favorite images to see others from the same catalog – and if you find one you think would be perfect for our next catalog, let us know!
3. Explore some of the Library’s thousands of digitized catalogs dating from 1782 to 1969. Leaf through the 1825 catalog of the William Prince nursery, for example, and you’ll find 22 pages of fall-planted bulbs – including several whose names you’ll recognize from our catalog – and almost two pages of dahlias which at the time were so new to cultivation they were placed in the section labeled “Green-House Plants.”
The Biodiversity Heritage Library is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries working together to digitize “the legacy literature of biodiversity” and make it more widely available in a global “biodiversity commons.” The BHL’s garden catalogs were digitized mainly from the collections of the National Agriculture Library (which holds some 200,000 catalogs), the New York Botanical Garden, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and Cornell University. We applaud the BHL’s work and we’re glad they recognize the value of historic garden catalogs!
Tips from 1954: Companion Plants for “Up and Coming” Daylilies
“Gaining rapidly in popularity, daylilies are truly one of the most up-and-coming perennials we can choose for our gardens,” wrote G. M. Fosler and J. R. Kamp in a nifty little 1954 booklet titled Daylilies for Every Garden. With its mid-century vibe, the booklet offers these tips for companion plantings:
“Daylilies are often planted with early bulbous stock, such as tulips and daffodils. The daylily foliage does not interfere during the blooming periods of these plants. Later in the season the maturing and unattractive bulbous foliage is hidden by the expanding lush daylily clumps.
“The earliest blooming varieties [such as ‘Gold Dust’, ‘sovereign’, and ‘Orangeman’] are effectively combined with bearded iris, the whites and the delightful shades of blue and purple in iris contrasting beautifully with the gold and yellow daylilies. The later daylilies . . . also make ideal garden companions for bearded iris and peonies. Daylily foliage does not grow very large until after the iris and peony blooming seasons are past. It is then that the daylily really comes into its own to continue the succession of color in the garden.
“For pleasing effects later in the summer, the artistic gardener will think of endless combinations. Some daylilies work in well with colorful phlox, columbine, and blue delphiniums. Purple liatris is very striking with yellow daylilies. Many daylily colors also harmonize pleasingly with Shasta daisies, floribunda roses, oriental poppies, platycodon [balloon flower], hardy lilies, and even fall chrysanthemums. Highly interesting foliage contrasts are also possible with such plants as canna, coleus, dusty miller, and hosta. . . .
“An all-season perennial border made up of tulips, iris, peonies, daylilies, and chrysanthemums will provide continuous interest from early spring until frost.”
We’re shipping all 18 of our heirloom daylilies right now, but please note that in a few weeks they’ll be too large to ship safely, so if you want them, NOW is the time to order.
Did You Miss Our Last Newsletter? Read It Online!
March’s articles included our newly upgraded website, Daffodils in American Gardens, 1733-1940, an astonishing new take on floral masterpieces, a “perfect 10” daylily, and more. You can read all of our back-issues, by date or by topic, at oldhousegardens.com/NewsletterArchives.
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