Bulbs forum: Little blue bulbs

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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Apr 10, 2014 6:09 PM CST
The big, showy bulbs get most of our attention, but those "supporting cast members" can really elevate the appearance of a design, and sometimes even steal the show!

I started gardening as a middle schooler, and bulbs were my first experiences. I saved my allowance and ordered small quantities of everything I could afford. While 10 bulbs here and there of various little flowers weren't that showy at first, over the years I saw many of them increase and naturalize.

For some reason, as an adult, I've been slow to get back into some of those little favorites, but last fall I plunged back into them, and I'm so glad I did! Being their first year, many sprouted erratically, some already in full flower while others were only just surfacing. If I recall correctly, this is typical, and in following years sprouting and bloom time will be more consistent, as well as a little earlier.

Some of my favorites are:
Siberian Squills
Chionodoxa
Muscari
Ipheion
dwarf Iris

Thumb of 2014-04-11/gemini_sage/26639a Thumb of 2014-04-11/gemini_sage/3dae7c
Above are Scilla siberica, Muscari latifolium, Muscari 'Sky Blue'

Please share your favorite little blue bulbs and pics!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
[Last edited by gemini_sage - Apr 11, 2014 7:49 AM (+)]
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Apr 10, 2014 6:18 PM CST
I have had squills for a few years. Loved the blooms, but didn't get a lot of flowering. Thinking they needed more sun, I moved them last Fall and the foliage looked much healthier on them this year, but no blooms at all. Waiting to see what happens next year. Planning on putting in some Chionodoxa and dwarf Iris this coming Fall.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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jmorth
Apr 10, 2014 8:52 PM CST
Puschkinia

Chionodoxa
Thumb of 2014-04-11/jmorth/5efe5f

Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Apr 17, 2014 10:35 PM CST
I love little blue bulbs!
And I'm actually a big fan of the grapies--that's what I call the Muscari--even though they are *not* my favorite and they are so darn 'common', inexpensive, easy, prolific, hard to eradicate, and whatever else some folks might consider a possible drawback to one of the classic signs of spring...
This here is a not-so-great pic of feral grapies growing with the sagebrush and rabbit brush in the foothills where I run my dogs, taken a few nights ago:
Thumb of 2014-04-13/dirtdorphins/fc3e87

gotta love their constitution Hilarious!
They even smell kind of 'grapey' and they make a nice blue blur for photos of other bulbs
Thumb of 2014-04-18/dirtdorphins/f47f87

I do have quite a few of them...because they multiply very well...
Pictorial ode to grapies:
Thumb of 2014-04-13/dirtdorphins/de52f4 Thumb of 2014-04-13/dirtdorphins/0adef6 Thumb of 2014-04-18/dirtdorphins/d21641

Thumb of 2014-04-13/dirtdorphins/c14b43 Thumb of 2014-04-18/dirtdorphins/82ffb0 Thumb of 2014-04-18/dirtdorphins/397585

Thumb of 2014-04-18/dirtdorphins/0fec14 Thumb of 2014-04-18/dirtdorphins/a66ace Thumb of 2014-04-18/dirtdorphins/18c50a

Thumb of 2014-04-18/dirtdorphins/bfc923 Thumb of 2014-04-18/dirtdorphins/2ad863

M. plumosum not in full bloom just yet
Thumb of 2014-04-18/dirtdorphins/f727a0



Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Apr 18, 2014 7:58 AM CST
I like grapies, too, dirt. Smiling

Sparse scilla bloom, but pretty.
Thumb of 2014-04-18/lovemyhouse/69173e

If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Marie
Tolleson, Arizona (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America Region: Southwest Gardening Hummingbirder Amaryllis Bulbs
Butterflies Echinacea Cat Lover Dog Lover
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Desertdenial
Apr 18, 2014 10:25 AM CST
Here are some of my smaller ones.

Thumb of 2014-04-18/Desertdenial/0da25f


Thumb of 2014-04-18/Desertdenial/7e7896

Marie
Caramels are only a fad. Chocolate is a permanent thing
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Apr 18, 2014 10:25 AM CST
Pretty, Marie. Smiling
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Marie
Tolleson, Arizona (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America Region: Southwest Gardening Hummingbirder Amaryllis Bulbs
Butterflies Echinacea Cat Lover Dog Lover
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Desertdenial
Apr 20, 2014 9:16 PM CST
Thanks. A lot of mine are finished blooming and I forgot to take pictures. We had a really warm winter this year so everything bloomed really early
Marie
Caramels are only a fad. Chocolate is a permanent thing
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Apr 29, 2014 2:35 PM CST
Enjoying everyone's photos, thanks to all!

Dirtdorphins, again, such beautiful pics! I'm also a big fan of the "grapies". The increasing variety in cultivars offered lately has piqued my interest in trying more (than just M. armeniacum I've grown for years). I've been wanting to try and see 'Valerie Finnis' for years, and finally planted 100 last fall, split between 2 areas of the garden. I love them as much as I thought I would!
Thumb of 2014-04-29/gemini_sage/b6ebcc Thumb of 2014-04-29/gemini_sage/65eb1f

Debra, is that Scilla what is also known as Spanish Bluebells or wood hyacinth (genus Hyacinthoides)? They have just started blooming here, and are a favorite of mine.




Thumb of 2014-04-29/gemini_sage/c21ae2
Ipheion 'Rolf Fiedler' I'm excited to see these form clumps. I also planted the species, I.uniflorum, and 'Wisley Blue'. They've all been sweet, and look to have potential to be showy in a couple of years.



Thumb of 2014-04-29/gemini_sage/fc2a08
Muscari 'Blue Spike'

"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Apr 29, 2014 3:09 PM CST
Yes, Neal.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Amy
Michigan (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Bulbs Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Michigan Lilies Cat Lover
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Growgirl
Apr 29, 2014 4:11 PM CST
Beautiful! I am a big fan of Muscari as well. Now I have to get Blue Spike added to my list......Thanks for all of you who are sharing pictures!
Name: Terri
Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 5b)
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TaStahl
Apr 29, 2014 7:45 PM CST
Loving the pictures guys. Where did you all get your Siberian Squills? I've been eyeing them a bit lately. In my husband's research on bee plants, he read something about bees liking these plants for a good early spring bloom.
allons-y!
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Apr 29, 2014 8:05 PM CST
My hyacinthoides are just now starting too
Thumb of 2014-04-30/dirtdorphins/fa1a93

I've been meaning to get back here to add pics of my faves

Early--
I love the scilla! To be honest, at that time of year, when I have been bereft of outdoor blooms and suffered thru months of doom and gloom, I love everything!
The scilla are my first real blues though, and blue is just so very awesome indeed

This year I discovered blue pollen on the bees and took a gazillion or so pictures and then I realized that the flowers have such cute little purple hoods that I fell in love with them all over again Hilarious!
Thumb of 2014-04-30/dirtdorphins/1025a9 Thumb of 2014-04-30/dirtdorphins/ba037f Thumb of 2014-04-30/dirtdorphins/8205b7

Terri, I just saw you posted while I was uploading--The bees love 'em! They bloom for quite along time, proliferate by seed and bulb-lets, and can threaten to take over an area if they are well sited. They are also pretty common and easy to come by from most of the bulb places. I can't remember where I found the most affordable bundle... may have been Holland Bulb Farms, but I'm not sure...
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Apr 29, 2014 9:19 PM CST
Forgot to mention on the scilla--for me, bloom timing is good with the kaufmanniana tulips and *early* daffs, like tete-a-tete and some mystery trumpet I have. I tried them with kokopelli ...and that turned out pretty stupid

other 'earlies'
reticulated iris--they never last long enough for me! Cantab smells great. I try to go sniff it every night when I get home and then it's gone


chionodoxa --kinda like scilla but not quite
Thumb of 2014-04-30/dirtdorphins/062e71 Thumb of 2014-04-30/dirtdorphins/fecfc6

Just last fall I tried a chionodoxa relative, some of the so called striped squill--Puschkinia. They are dang cute and I look forward to them multiplying in the new area. Not really blue, but a great blue stripe
Thumb of 2014-04-30/dirtdorphins/e27e4d

The hyacinths really scent up the garden in early spring, too, and I enjoy that immensely--not exactly little, but I got a bunch of these blue ones--to go with some blue throat-ed pink tulips (yonina and little beauty). And of course the hyacinth are pretty much done by the time those tulips open, so that worked out pretty stupid too Hilarious!
Thumb of 2014-04-30/dirtdorphins/e0c6f5 Thumb of 2014-04-30/dirtdorphins/10f953

I tried a blue-eyed tulip. It looks purple to me. I planted them in an area where I had poisoned an evil plant...which turned out to be really stupid. This is the only one that bloomed and all their leaves turned yellow and shrived up before the rest of them could do anything. Thumbs down
Thumb of 2014-04-30/dirtdorphins/7fc2f3


later...
pics of the later ones...


Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Apr 30, 2014 6:37 AM CST
Looks like a beautiful purple to me, too, dirt. Smiling
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Apr 30, 2014 11:37 AM CST
Terri, I got Siberian Squills from Van Engelen, they were around $15 per 100. Kinda kicked myself for splitting up the 100 bulb lots I got, and planting them in clumps in 2 or 3 places- they really make much more impact if planted by the 100 in a single location. I know in a year or 2 they'll multiply quickly and provide some "wow" factor, which is fun to watch though.
Thumb of 2014-04-30/gemini_sage/b06b9b
Ipheion uniflorum

"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Apr 30, 2014 11:41 AM CST
Marie, I meant to thank you for your warm zone contributions! And they reminded me that I had meant to mention earlier in the thread that pics and comments about any little bulbs are welcome here, whether they're blue or not Smiling

So many of the little bulbs are available in blue/purple shades, but often offer other colors as well. I love seeing any of the small bulbs, especially used in such a way that they make a big visual impact, or perfectly accent other, larger plants.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Feb 15, 2015 4:14 PM CST
Neal, took these photographs today for you. Smiling

Thumb of 2015-02-15/lovemyhouse/6b700e Thumb of 2015-02-15/lovemyhouse/62aff4 Thumb of 2015-02-15/lovemyhouse/54e739


If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Feb 15, 2015 8:29 PM CST
I have enjoyed this thread on the little bulb plants.
Thanks for posting the pictures.
We will wait another month or so for them to show up here!
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Feb 22, 2015 1:36 PM CST
Caroline, I'm looking very forward to the little blue beauties, laying in wait under the snow! The way our weather has been, I believe I'll see spring about the same time you do. I'm anticipating some great blooms in spring, both from increase from the bulbs planted in 2013, and from new additions last fall.

I've always wanted to do a planting that mimics a stream, with a mass of little blue blooms. My big plan was to do 1000 Chionodoxa, but then reduced it to 500, in wanting to budget for so many other bulbs. Then when I planted, I realized I needed blue in another bed, and 200 went there. So, I did plant a little trickling stream of 300 of them, but it won't be the wow factor I was going for. Hopefully they will naturalize well and I'll see the effect in a few years anyway Smiling

Also added 50 Muscari azureum, 100 Anemone blanda- blue shades, and 40 Pushkinia.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi

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