Bulbs for Santa Fe

//Bulbs for Santa Fe

Gardening in the Santa Fe area is a challenge.  This is not news.  However, there are plants that survive and even thrive in our environment.  Think BULBS.

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs is one of the major bulb suppliers in the United States.  They offer a program whereby non-profits can register with them, and then when customers order through a special website, the non-profit receives 25 percent of the order.

Santa Fe Botanical Garden is now registered with Brent and Becky’s.  We’d like to encourage you to place your bulb orders with Brent and Becky’s, thereby earning Santa Fe Botanical Garden some additional funds.  It’s a “win-win” situation.  You receive high quality bulbs and excellent customer service plus earning funds for Santa Fe Botanical garden.

How to Order Bulbs NOW from Brent and Becky’s

We asked several long-time local gardeners for their bulb recommendations. Jan Hale Barbo, Linda Churchill, Arabelle Luckhardt, Rosemary Minard, and Joan West shared their successes (and a few caveats).

Foolproof Bulbs

Almost all daffodils and Narcissus do well in the Santa Fe area. Rosemary and Arabelle are particularly fond of Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Division 5-Triandrus). Rosemary has a woodland garden and loves Narcissus ‘Actaea’ (Division 9 – Poeticus), which needs more moisture than most but after a wet winter makes a huge beautiful clump – very late blooming. Joan commented that although the standard sizes bloom on forever, miniature Narcissus seem to die out after a few years.

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata

Linda and Joan have both found Iris reticulata to be a wonderful early Santa Fe bloomer. Joan added that most lilies will do well here so long as they are planted in good soil.

More Unusual but Successful Bulbs

Linda notes that species tulips (as opposed to the big Dutch hybrids) all seem to do well here with dying foliage smaller and easier to deal with. Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder has been “the very best” bulb, most reliable to return and bloom every year.

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’

Arabelle recommends Allium caeruleum – a lovely blue color that looks wonderful with white flowers. Jan highly recommends Nectaroscordum siculum ssp. bulgaricum – loved by hummingbirds and in bloom when the early hummers arrive in her garden.

Nectaroscordum siculum ssp. bulgaricum

Nectaroscordum siculum ssp. bulgaricum

Bulbs Native to North America

Arabelle favors Allium unifolium, Camassia leichtinii ‘Blue Danube’ (great color, strong grower, much more impressive than Camassia ‘Zwanenburg’) and Dichelostemma congestum and Dichelostemma congestum ‘Pink Diamond’ (plant with something full and fluffy).

Dichelostemma congestum

Dichelostemma congestum

Bulbs that Survive Animal Predation

Joan says that since daffodils and hyacinths are poisonous, gophers and other animals do not eat them. However, gophers WILL eat lilies and tulips. Linda reports that the small species tulips, such as ‘Lilac Wonder’, do not get eaten except in a very dry year.

Bulbs Listed for the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill (Note: at this time we do not know which cultivars will be chosen.)

Species crocus (which bloom about two weeks earlier than the large-flowered Crocus vernus and Crocus flavus), species tulips (Tulipa – Division 14 – Miscellaneous), Allium christophii and ‘Globemaster’, smaller alliums, Muscari armeniacum, Iris reticulata, Scilla siberica ‘Spring Beauty’, Narcissus cultivars.

Muscari armeniacum

Muscari armeniacum

*Photos: Kay Burdette

2017-01-10T11:59:54+00:00