Bulbs on offer in larger shops

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Sat, 18 Oct 2008 13:43:52 PDT
I've visited several of the larger retail garden shops here in the greater
Washington, D.C. area during the last few weeks, and I'm really impressed
with the wide range of bulbs on offer. Yesterday I visited one shop in
particular had a really good selection of minor bulbs, including such things
as Dichelostemma, Calochortus, many many Allium, Amaryllis belladonna,
Lycoris,  - just about everything I've seen in some of the mail order
catalogs. I can remember the days when if one wanted something like Iris
'Katharine Hodgkin', it had to be ordered from English or European sources.
Now it goes for all of sixty-five cents at these garden centers. 


To give you an idea of the diversity in tulips, over two hundred cultivars
are on offer in the different shops. Evidently the different local garden
centers do not buy from the same wholesalers: the range of tulips on offer
from shop to shop is not the same. I didn't bother to count the daffodils,
but they too went on forever. 


Mid week I gave a talk on bulbs to a local group; I went through over 200
slides in about an hour and a quarter. I kept the emphasis on more familiar
things with a sprinkling of less familiar sorts.  Or at least that's what I
thought I was doing. But now that I know what that one shop had on offer,
I'm sorry I didn't make my presentation a bit more esoteric!



Jim McKenney


Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

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