Monday, October 18, 2010

Tulip Haul 2010

I can not believe that it is already tulip time. And I was horrified to see that Menards had drastically parred down its bulb offering this year. They decided that instead of devoting a whole row of shelves to bulbs, they would put just a few out in one of their alley squares. Seriously I thought I was going to have a melt down. Where was I going to get all my bulbs and still be able to afford them?

Well, it looks like Menards is still offering a big variety of bulbs (maybe not as many as they used to), but instead of having them all out at once, they are putting them out a little at a time. The jerks. How am I supposed to plan my color, timing and texture schemes?

So, forget them. I did still buy quite a few from them (245 tulips, 12 daffodils, and 35 Dutch irises) but I refuse to run there every week just to see if they have anything new out yet. What a racket.

I decided to finally try out a couple of the other bulb companies that I have learned about since starting my blog. Thanks to many of my garden blogger friends, I chose Brent & Becky's Bulbs. Their order came fast and the bulbs look nice.

The other company I tried out was Blooming Bulbs. I had found them while looking for sites with good visual tulip indexes. They had really good prices on bulk bulbs, and they had a few that I had been having trouble finding. Their order came even faster and their bulbs look very healthy and well labeled.
Now the last test will be in the planting. I have had a few problems with tulips not being what they claim to be -- especially with ones bought on the internet. Breck's has done it to me at least three times. Unfortunately that means waiting until next spring since tulip bulbs pretty much all look the same.

Tulips purchased from Brent & Becky's Bulbs:
Rem's Favorite (10)
Sweetheart (20)
humilis 'Alba Coerulea Oculata' (5)
total 35 at $48.

Tulips purchased from Blooming Bulbs:
Cummins (25)
Rococo (25)
Weber's Parrot (25)
Persian Pearl (25)
Greenland (25)
Spring Green (25)
total 150 at $110.

Tulips purchased from Menards:
Van Eijk (28)
Purple Prince (14)
Zouave (30)
Kung Fu (45)
Odalisque (30)
Purissima (56)
Yokohama (28)
Apeldoorn (14)
total 245 at $48

So you can clearly see who wins out on bulb bargains. Also, the flowers have always been what was described on their package and the bulbs have proven to be very comparable to even Brecks.

Fine, Menards, you win. I'll be there later this week to check again...

[update: OK, so I went back today. I had a $10 rebate to cash in, so I bought Synaeda Orange (15) and Yellow Pomponette (15). I also stopped at Fleet Farm and bought Shirley (14) and Apricot Impression (30). That's 74 more tulips to my already 430. Now to find time to plant them all...]


Anonymous Northern Shade said...

Oh yes, it's nice when the flowers in spring match the label from the previous fall. My last spring's bulbs were pretty reliable, except for 1 red and orange tulip in a sea of 50 pink ones.

You've got such a good assortment of bulbs, that it should be a colourful spring. Have fun planting.

10/18/2010 6:43 PM  
Blogger Zoey said...

I was not happy with Breck's this year either.

You got a nice haul. Next year should be beautiful in your garden.

10/19/2010 3:20 AM  
Blogger Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Now, when you got your bulbs, it's time to prepare bath salts and bubbles to soak your sore back after planting!

10/19/2010 11:47 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Northern Shade, it's weird to already be thinking about how great spring will be.

Zoey, not only did they not send me the right bulbs, but a few times Brecks also could not supply the bulbs I ordered.

Tatyana, I'm trying to figure out how to attack this planting. I have to do the pots again, as I was trying to move a few perennials yesterday and ended up digging right into an established bulb patch. Even the pots will be hard work, so I am definitely keeping the bath salts in mind ;D

10/19/2010 8:44 PM  
Blogger Rosey said...

I miss Menards.

10/21/2010 9:43 AM  
Blogger Swimray said...

I have had the same problem with Brecks when ordering alliums. I informed them of the problem, and they sent me new replacements, which turned out to be the SAME INCORRECT VARIETY RECEIVED THE PREVIOUS YEAR!

10/25/2010 2:01 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Rosey, Menards is awesome. The owner is a dick though.

Swimray, now I am decided that Brecks has a problem.

10/25/2010 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Lud said...

Wow that a serious bulb budget! :) I'm limited to two containers with layered bulbs this year. Unfortunately it look like some of the crocus bulbs are beginning to shoot - maybe its not could enough in the day although we are close to freezing in the night..

10/26/2010 5:50 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Lud, just trying to help jump-start the economy :)

I wouldn't worry too much about the crocuses. I've had that happen before and they ended up fine.

10/26/2010 10:44 AM  

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