Digger: “Helping the bulb go on”-Marty Wingate

In the current edition of Digger, Sevenoaks was highlighted as one of the few nurseries that grow a variety of native bulbs.   In the article, Helping the bulb go on, written by Marty Wingate, a well-known garden blogger, author and master gardener, she explains what an under valued part of the garden native bulbs are.

With a brilliant flash of color in the spring, native bulb flowers are what we see when we go for those hikes in May and June.  Native bulbs are a great resource for the avid or amateur gardener, anyone can plant bulbs, and have a beautiful show of flowers in the spring and beyond. A Pacific Northwest xeric gardener would appreciate some bulbs in their garden, which don’t require the extra watering throughout the dry season, and will add some well-needed flare.

Recently we have sold bulbs that are being used less traditionally, in large-scale greenroof projects and on the more traditional end, in streamside restoration projects.  The bulbs we offer provide the color that signals the end of the rain, which is a relieving sight in February and March.  Starting early with Erythronium, Trillium, and Dodecatheon, the green leaves emerge from the brown soggy soil and finish with delicate flowers.  Continuing into May, Camassia, Calochortus, and Dichelostemma provide a whole new spectrum of colors.  Finally the Liliums begin flowering in late June lasting into July, with some species of Allium lasting into August.  At Sevenoaks, we collect the seed from native bulb producing plants, plant them, and wait 3 to 5 years. Once they have had time to grow and build up to a size that will produce flowers, we hand dig them, and grade into sizes from x-small to x-large. We are getting to our bulb digging season, when the plants are dormant, and will start offering quantities and posting them on our availability.

1 thought on “Digger: “Helping the bulb go on”-Marty Wingate

  1. We successfully wintered over Camassia L. Alba for several yrs. in zone 2-3 here in Alaska. A hot, dry summer followed by a January thaw and subzero subsequent temps w/no snow cover killed it off. Common Camas lived in the same spot for several yrs., but, it got crowded out and lost. I’m willing to bet they’ll do just fine up here as we grow Sib. squill, LA Hyb., Asiatic, Lancefolium, Pumilum lilies as well.

    WoolWood Studio & Gardens

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