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...]

Monday, October 11, 2010

Corpse Flower Live Feed

Our university has the privileged of being home to one of the few captive corpse flowers around the world. It has been about 9 years in the making, but it has finally bloomed!

You can go HERE to see the live feed of this flower and to learn a little more about this amazing flower.

It is said to smell of rotting meat, but I have smelled rotting meat and I truly beg to differ. It smells like a diaper pail. A giant diaper pail. In fact you can smell it over 100 yards away easily, even with no breeze.

It is beautiful, and HUGE!

[update: since the flower has completed its cycle the live feed is no longer available, but they still have a few pictures and some information on this flower at THIS LINK.]