Sunday, February 20, 2011


Well we have started shipping Caladiums but they can only go out in the ground after the soil warms up and the the temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees overnight.  Don't let this warm spell fool you into thinking you can plant early!!!  Greenhouse planting is fine, providing it is heated.  Caladiums are desperately short this year after adverse weather in Florida last year -so if you haven't ordered yet -you may have problems getting the varieties you want -or even getting many at all!  So get those late orders in asap! Call us at Marlboro Bulb 1-800-999-0567 to see what we have left.  Or email  They are disappearing very rapidly.
On the home front- this glorious weekend weather in SC was perfect for getting out there and planting the last of the daffodils.  Though inventory of Caladiums at the warehouse did get in the way for a couple of hours yesterday! However, walking round the garden there was so much activity with little crocus and even a few snowdrops after all!!  Joy! It lifts my spirits so-The first couple of the little Narcissus Grand Soleil D'or were shining in the sunlight and the winter honeysuckle -Lonicera fragrantissima, with its myriad tiny white blooms, gave a heady whiff of delicious perfume every time I walked past.  This honeysuckle is a twiggy shrub, pretty scruffy (untidy) the rest of the year really but a real treasure when it blooms and part of my plan to create  a full 12 months interest in the garden.  Many of the small, species tulips are showing through and coming back for a 2nd or 3rd year now, they do make a better perennial than their larger, showier cousins, the full sized tulips.  But who can resist those beautiful jewels of late spring.  Tulips come in so many bright colors, they are a must for me even if they only come back one or 2 more years  here in the south.  Darwin Hybrids in general, especially Pink Impression do particularly well in the south.  Another bulb I love, is the grape hyacinth -Muscari Armeniacum.  It is a wonderful winter ground cover as the leaves appear in September and can you believe those leaves stayed green all through this tough winter season of snow, ice and frost.  They will continue through until April when the tiny clusters of heavenly blue flowers push through.  They multiply so easily and will take our brutal sun.  Make a note for next fall's order!!!  I need ot take pictures don't I?  OK; I promise to do better next time!

Friday, February 11, 2011

radio update

Well, we did the radio interview -a series of 3 actually.  Hopefully  I will get the links to those so you can tune in and listen to them on line. But first I must correct the spelling of Bob's name!  Bob Polomski the Clemson extension agent.  Abject apologies Bob.  It was fun though talking about getting out in the garden and all the marvellous bulbs available and also the fun and the healthful spin offs from having and creating a garden.  A garden really is an extension of you and your personality.  You take a lot of care to personalize your indoor rooms and it can be just as much fun to create those outside 'rooms' or areas.  Make a place to have a picnic or sit and unwind.  Follow a theme and then see what an avid collector you will become of say daffodils or hostas or lilies or choose a color theme like orange and purple for those tiger fans or black and garnet for South Carolina fans!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Hi Everyone
Bob Polemsky, the Clemson extension agent has asked me to talk with him on the radio tomorrow about bulbs and gardening, Friday Feb 11  around 11am -I will have to find out what the frequency is for that.  That will be fun so hope you can tune in and listen though it probably doesn't have too wide a distribution area

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spring Bulbs

At last, the first of the species crocus is coming through and was shining bravely in the sunshine yesterday.  It was bliss to get out there and do some gardening.  It was not just the effect of the awful weather this winter keeping me out of the garden but also number of trade shows -it is a busy time of year for that with trips to Atlanta, GA and Greensboro, NC and also to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina -I was so hoping to get my walk on the beach and collect black rocks and oyster shells for my Asian garden -I have a dry river bed -my Black river I call it.  Well it poured with rain sending everything dripping and steaming but finally on sturday morning despite the mist it was not raining! Hurray!  I dragged on my jacket -it seemed to be warm enough to be with a hat so I left that on the seat in the car and headed for the pier. At least I started off in that direction across the sand, the pier was still shrouded in a white misty swirling haze. No tickling my toes in the sand this year  -still, I was enjoying the sound of the water and watching all the seagulls delving their long beaks into the wet sand. I arrived at the pier and guess what?  Yes the rain came down faster and faster.  My hat was in the car -but heck rain water is good for your hair -so they tell me!  Fortunately I hadn't checked out of my hotel so was still able to go back to my room and dry my dripping hair.  It was unpleasantly dripping down my neck by this time.  But iDID get mey walk on the beach -no shells though this time. 
Back to planting bulbs -we planted about 5000 Oxford tulips yesterday -my method -the easy plant way. I have been saving cardboard to lay on the insiduously creeping Bermuda grass we call lawn.  After wetting it with thehose the tulips are dumped unceremoniously in a heap over it and then raked to spread out in a single layer.  Next come a few wheelbarrowfuls of topsoil and compost and finally a layer of shredded tree mulch.  that's it -that's how to plant a brand new flower bed -the very easy way.  Several layers of newspaper will also help to supress grass and weeds if you don't have enough cardboard.  This a great way to start a new bed or do landscaping. I know it is a little late to plant tulips but it has been so cool and the left over bulbs at Marlboro Bulb Company, SC are in good shape -so we will see.  I will keep you posted.  Daffodils are still fine for another couple of weeks in many areas too by the way. Happy plantings!