This box showed up on my doorstep Friday and it’s bursting at the seams with colchicum flowers! The wise gardener orders these bulbs well in advance of autumn so that this scene takes place in the well prepared garden bed, but the procrastinating gardener takes the risk and begs via email for a late order and shipment.
I may have gone through this kind of poor planning before, so the bare-bulb blooms are no big surprise or worry, but the show would have been ten times better had the bulbs already been planted. But this order was the result of panic. A couple weeks ago I realized I didn’t have anywhere near as many colchicums as a self respecting colchicum lover should have, so I immediately went to Daffodils and More, David Burdick’s bulb website. He dabbles in the colchicums, has an excellent selection, and after a couple emails back and forth I was able to convince him to part with a few, even though they were already headed into blooming stage (as you can see, they don’t need soil or planting in order to bloom!). They arrived at my doorstep even before my check was cashed and I have to say they’re the best cared for colchicums I have ever received. Instead of looking worse for their journey they’re already planted in the ground and settling in.
I was halfway tempted to keep them in the box and have them close enough to examine day or night while blooming, but better judgment won out and they were planted the next day. I just need some groundcover ideas. Some nice companion plantings would surely make this bed look even better as the bulbs clump up.
This info might be a little too late, but I noticed Brent and Becky’s bulbs just put their colchicums on sale for 50% off. It’s a great deal (and the source of many of my own bulbs) but most have already sold out…. but there are a couple left, and it’s not that I want to encourage any late season colchicum incidents in your own garden, but colchicum byzantinum and colchicum ‘giant’ are two of my favorites……
The colchicums are very lovely. I have none in my own garden, need to figure out a good spot for some.
You have so much autumn color you almost don’t need autumn blooming bulbs! But I have to say that after seeing your aster and plumbago pictures I think I’ve found the perfect companion and groundcover for my own colchicums. Thanks!
That would make a nice color combo.
Funny you got them in bloom like that. I am surprised they sell them that way after shipping gets cut off. In a way though, with bulbs it is not a problem planting them that way as you have shown. I move them in full flower all the time. Mostly because the squirrels redesign them for me, but none (Allium, tulips, daffs, crocus, even lilies – you name it) have ever suffered being moved in full flower.
Colchicum are unique in that if they think it’s time to bloom they’ll do it regardless of soil or water. I’ve had it more times than I care to admit that they’re in bloom on a dish in the windowsill or basket in the garage. Once planted they’ll root in just fine and be no worse for wear!
How nice to receive a parcel like this – panic or not, I must admit that I never received anything like this! Did they come in little pots? I think the fact that Colchicums are flowering in masses in the area of the Alps where I last gardened sort of made me reluctant. But there are so many pretty ones and I should really think of getting some. One can never have enough bulbs…
Colchicums flowering in masses- I bet if I saw that then maybe I also wouldn’t need to plant any more, but for me they are still an exotic bulb!
I should have made a photo of the bulbs before planting, they were bare bulbs with bloom stalks coming up directly off the side of the bulb…. Maybe i should go dig one up quickly and take a photo still 🙂 they do not develop any roots or leaf shoots until after they finish blooming.
I agree you can never have too many bulbs! But I’m sure there are many others you can still experiment with. Species tulips and narcissus alone could keep you happily occupied for years!
I’m very fond of species tulips and have quite a few in the garden. you wouldn’t dare to dig up that poor Colchicum, would you?!