Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Paperwhites and Amaryllis

The paperwhites are blooming in the winter garden but I wonder if they will survive 3 nights of frost -unusual  for this part of the US to have for 3 consecutive nights to be in the 20s.  Well I picked some to be sure -they last well in vases too.  I also have the first of this year's blooming indoors as well as the gorgeous big Amaryllis.  It is so cheering to have blooms in December both inside and out.  The camellias are also in bloom and the berberis have gorgeous scarlet berries glowing brightly.

Feeding the birds is also a fun activity to keep their cheery chirps going at breakfast time.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Well the Lycoris managed to defy the early frosts and we still have a couple of brave souls though today it is 80 degrees again.  South Carolina in mid- November  Frosty one day 70 or 80 degrees the next!!!  It is a gorgeous sunny day though -just love fall.
Spider lilies or naked ladies to give them their more common names. Nerine are very, very similar too

Been a awhile again I know but I was busy rehearsing for Lion in Winter.  A play about Britain's Henry 2nd and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine -it was a huge role and one I have o\wanted to do for some time -great that it came along.  it was exhausting though!!1

Friday, August 30, 2013

Time to order fall bulbs

Dahlias?  Still planting at the end of August???? Really -we had a bunch of dinnerplate and cactus dahlias left so we weeded a space, threw them on the ground and covered them up with some topsoil.  Well it was worth a try -I will keep you posted on the results.  The dahlias were individual prepacks in peat moss and most were sprouting well -so we will see.

It is time to order fall bulbs too -so check us out for tulips, daffodils, alliums,  muscari, crocus etc etc.  And don't forget those Amaryllis bulbs and paperwhites for indoor planting.   email:  or call 1-800-999-0567

It has been a strange year weather wise though - we are still getting regular rain and the pasture is sooo green -the ponies love that -normally the fields have been brown for a month.

Lycoris time

Goodness the first lycoris, (spider lilies and naked ladies are other common names for this plant) are blooming already and we have only just finished planting the last of the dahlias!!!!

Back to the lycoris -the yellow ones are just gorgeous this year, the pinks are doing well -no sign of the reds yet -but I wasn't really expecting  to see any for another couple of weeks.  We still have new season lycoris bulbs -so give us a call on 1-800-999-0567 Marlboro Bulb Co  or see or email  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

August already!

Well, again a long drought between blogs and lots of rain on the flowers -but the summer has been crazy with a trip to Aruba and the Aloe Vera Farm -that was so interesting.  I have already bought 2 aloe vera plants and planted them in warm sheltered spots in the garden. Hope they survive. They are really easy to use -just cut a leaf and it them like a fish and rub the gel on your skin -no sticky finish; your skin will drink up the wonderful gel feel so soft!

Also TWO trade shows, a big one in Columbus OH that was really busy- but 3 days on the trade show floor gets a bit too much.  Then the 2 day show in the newly revived SNA -Southern nurserymen's Assoc in Atlanta GA -2 days is great and I love the interaction and the chance to meet with friends, customers and fellow booth staff -old and new.  It is a great talking place and a good opportunity to see a lot of people in one place and in a short space of time.  I always think trade shows are very good value for the networking chances they offer.  There is a lot more optimism in the industry too which is very encouraging.
Of course I was also in the play, The Red Velvet Cake War as a German Psychologist -one minute very prim and proper and the next falling in love and chasing the guy!!!

But, back to the garden at home -yet more huge weeds -with so many trips away and so much rain this year the weeds have really taken hold.  Some pull up so very easily and others as you know I'm sure are tougher and deeper.  The crusher run drives are  a mess too with so much grass and weeds growing through.  I really have to use round up; I can't see a way round that unless anyone can offer advice on killing weeds on paths and driveways -quite a large area too as I love walkways through the various garden areas.  I love to get in among the plants not just see them from a distance and paths through beds beckon.  They say so clearly "come and see"

Monday, June 10, 2013


June -this is my birthday month and the month for lilies, so I have to start with my very own lily, named for me Patricia's Pride

This is by the side of my 5 o'clock or alcoholic garden!  See earlier posts for that one!
Now for a couple more stunning lilies
This one is Forever Susan -named by Allan Armitage for his wife.
And this one is Abbeville's Pride.  we named this as a fundraiser for the Abbeville Opera house for their 100th Anniversary a few years ago
and one more for now The one below is Royal Trinity


Gorgeous firework-like flowers that last really well in a vase.  Allium christophii or Albopilosum as it is now more commonly called, is a great addition to any garden.  Plant in the fall.  This one was planted late so didn't bloom until early
June! You can also dry these flowerheads  and spray with gold or silver paint for beautiful Christmas decorations or table decorations.

Friday, May 10, 2013

May Already??

Goodness is it really so long since I added a blog?  Sorry! So much happening in the garden too -including endless weeds.  The iris and hostas love all this rain.  What a wet cool spring it has been.  At least the daffodils and tulips really lasted well this year.  I went to visit friends in Delaware a coupleof weeks ago and also took the opportunity of visiting Longwood Gardens-haven't been in April for a long time -the gardens were stunning.

  Now back home and the lilies are getting tall and lots of new growth is appearing everywhere.

The Allium Siculum
 is stunning this year.  It is also a plant that cuts well for those flower arrangers out there!  Will also be rehearsing for The Red Velvet cake War opening May 31st.  I will get to that weeding sometime I suppose -it will still be there, that's for sure!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fabulous Flowering Tulips

Here is another idea for planting tulips directly over rocks and water -no dirt.  The water stays just below the level of the bulb so as not to allow it to rot.
Well it would be if I knew how to turn this picture on the blog -there must be a way of turning it upright.  But you get the idea!!
This is the early turiumph tulip Oscar -isn't it neat?

Double daffodils, Iridescent Iris and Help???Mystery

What a glorious time of year -with so much in bloom and so much colour.  A twelve month garden is a must -every day is different, every day a joy to walk around and see what new leaf or bud has emerged.  And it is no so difficult to acheive with colorful barks and early blooming shrubs like Lonicera Frangrantissima and hammemalis and Edgeworthia to name just 4 ideas.  Of course the drawbacks are there too as the weeds also start to flourish -but the beauty outweighs the weed.  The daffodil above is the double Ice King.  It starts off more yellow in the centre then turns to white -heavenly!
And here is Crocus bluebird a dainty species crocus -only planted in late Dec.  Next winter it will bloom earlier.  And here is the lovely Iris reticulata
And what is this????  This daffodil and a few others like it are blooming in a clump of N. Ice Follies.  Is it a sport?  Has it reverted?  Or has a virus affected that clump of Ice Follies?  This is a real mystery daffodil.  Any ideas out there?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Delightful Daffodils

The daffodils are really starting to put on their show now.  They are popping up everywhere.  Above you see St Keverne, one of the early varieties. But there are many others too -such as the darling little Narc. Tete a Tete. This has been blooming for 2 or 3 weeks now -Gorgeous!  N. Ice Follies is also flowering well and the N. February Gold.  Iris reticulata and many of the species crocus are also showing their bright faces along with hyacinths and Triteleia (Ipheon).  You can't help but smile when you see such a beautiful patch of sunshine can you?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dancing daffodils and Colourful Caladiums

The daffodils are definitely starting to provide a show now and my Narcissus Grand Soleil d'Or are STILL blooming -can you believe it - 2 months after the first brave bloom opened its eyes to the sun.  And we had another frost last night!  The garden is always an amazing place. There is always so much to see from the bark of the River birches and the changing hues and the leaves of evergreens, to the stunning winter blooming shrubs and the oh so many changing expressions of the winter garden.  The tiny leaves of miniature tulips are starting to show now also along with their mid-size cousins the Gregeiis, with their attractive mottled leaves.  The full size tulips will follow of course such a wonderful array of colour, but I do love those smaller varieties that bloom so early and perennialize in the south much better.

Of course this is also the time to plan that summer colour.  We go from the dark days of winter to the joy and dazzle of the spring blooms but then what?  Many, many summer flowering bulbs are available and now is the time to start ordering those.  Lilies, Cannas, Dahlias, Elephant ears, Calla Lilies, and those colorful Caladiums  to name but a few.  Have you tried using caladiums as summer ground cover? -awesome! And some types really will take full sun even here in the south.  Varieties such as the bright and bold large leaved Red Flash, White Queen, the strap leaf White Wing and the new Tapestry,even the more demure green and white Aaron also. Make a bold splash in the flowerbeds and of course the many shade preferring varieties can brighten up the shade gardens and add a glow of  white or a mass of colour to surprise and exclaim over.

Start working out what you need now and if you need help with choices or color schemes or ordering, make sure you check us out at or call us on 1-800-999-0567.  You can also email orders on

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wine garden

Wine garden, cocktail garden, 5 o'clock garden or, as my husband calls it -my acoholic garden!!!
Well, a garden should be a place to have fun and indulge in fancies.  Right?  I have a series of gardens in our one acre site and I have been asked quite a lot about my alcoholic garden. So here it is.

It is a corner of the garden where all the plants have the name of alcohol.  A great setting for a cocktail party don't you think?  The plant on the left is Atropurpurea 'Burgundy Glow' while out of site is an old apple tree with a wine bottle humming bird feeder and a parrot (5 o' clock somewhere and there is a sign with that on also!!) A red and a white grape grow over the home made arch and the wine bottles serve as edges as you can see.  Anyone know of any easy way to get rid of those wine labels??  The small berberis is Berberis thungbergii "Royal Burgundy" The lilies coming up  are Muscadet . I also have  Lilium Grand Cru in there.  Those gladioli are "Wine n Roses" and there is a Clematis Pink Champagne on the side fence with the Iceburg Rose (well it is stretching it a bit but you do need ice!) and another grape. The elephant ear Colocasia esculenta  "Mojito" obviously has a place there with tulips Burgundy Lace and T. Tequila Sunrise. The bright green little bush is Deutzia Chardonnay Pearl  and behind that is Viburnum Brandywine.  We also have Weigela Midnight Wine and W. Summer Wine.  Later we plant Caladium Brandywine en masse too with Tomato Brandywine. There are alcoholic day lilies and Heuchera, Ajuga, Bearded Iris, Canna etc etc.  I do need Narcissus Mint Julep though.  does anyone have any to swap?? Oh I now have Camellia 'Tama Vino' in there  too. The stepping stone -another of my fancies -each area has its quote- this one says
"......and wish to all
Flowers in the garden, meat in the hall,
A bin of wine, a spice of wit,
A house with lawns enclosing it" ! Robert Louis Stevenson
On a wooden table hidden in the background I wrote 'Eat Drink and be merry -for tomorrow we die" Ecclesiastes

With theme areas it is a fun to look for plants and it is amazing how lots of friends and colleagues join in the hunt. I am always being asked for updates at trade shows too.  So for all of you who have swapped acoholic plants for bulbs a big thank you and here you can see some of those treasures.  It is a great talking point.  From a gardening point of view it helps to break up the chore of weeding as you only have to concentrate one one area at a time and not get overwhelmed by the whole garden.
Last summer was the first of our now to be annual English Garden Parties .  I was born a Brit after all.  Hats are obligatory by the way!!!! Everyone loved dressing up and we had lots of requests to make it an annual event. So hats and croquet it is. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Brave Delight

Narcissus Grand Soleil d'Or -At last you can see what I am talking about!!! (The feature to add a picture from my computer seems to have returned )This little treasure has been blooming since early December.  Just got back from the GGIA Atlanta trade show to a lyer of freezing rain on the roads around the Greenville SC area and temperatures around 26 degrees F and this morning these brave little souls have STILL perked up their heads in defiance of the weather to bring the sun out in the garden!!  I now have 3 blooms of Narcissus Rijnelds Early Sensation  too.  The smaller early daffodils make such wonderful landscape additions to cheer us onour way at this time of year.   They are so underused.   Similarly the miniature tulips are coming up and are a great additon to rock gardens and pots.  Once they start to bloom I will add their joyous faces to the blog.Crazy weather though -it is forecast to be 70degrees again by Tuesday.    How the  poor garden can cope with such dramatic variations never fails to amaze me.

Anyway, I brought back a beautiful specimen of Edgeworthia Winter Gold from our dear friends at Cam Too Camelia nursery in NC and some wonderful organic coffee and organic pecans from Cleveland Organics of GA.  You should check out their stuff I promise you it is worth it.  It was a good trade show, busy and as always, it was fun to see old friends and catch up with their news

Sunday, January 20, 2013

And still planting!

Planted yet more daffodils -Carlton and the little cyclamineus Narcissus Jenny.  She is a little beauty with swept back white petals and pale lemon trumpets that fade to a creamy white.  The little species crocus are still blooming despite 26 degrees C on Friday night.  The Narcissus Grand Soleil d'Or likewise are still giving a great show.  They looked pretty flat and dejected on Saturday morning but soon recovered in the sunshine.  And the snowdrops -my goodness they have been incredible this winter.  The first ones were open on Dec 9th and I still have giant snowdrops in bloom.  The few muscari also have braved the cold so far to keep on blooming.  The first yellow crocus were open today -the species one E. P. Bowles.  People are missing out not planting more of the little species bulbs.  They may be smaller but they pack quite a punch at this time of year.  I love them. They are wonderful around trees and on rock gardens, in planters and in the front of borders.  Also if oyu have a mini Fairy garden as opposed to a micro mini you will find they look awesome there too.  If I could upload a photo I would.  Oh and before I forget, the first yellow daffodil Rijnveld's Early Sensation opened today  and there are quite a few in bud following on its heels.

Now I am having trouble uploading any photo -the option to browse the computer files seems to have disappeared.  Wish I were more of a hi-tech girl!  There must be an easy way to find my pictures.  So help needed again please!!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Still planting!!!

The weather is awesome isn't it?  Well, it is here in sunny South Carolina!  I was planting bulbs yesterday and today -I even got up early so I could plant for an hour before going into the office at Marlboro Bulb Company.  We have had a cool fall/winter so the bulbs are still in very good shape.  I was planting daffodils, iris reticulata, miniature and greigii tulips which perennialize well in the south.
It feels good to be digging and planting.  Many daffodils are through already of course though it will be a while before they bloom.  I am hoping for a really good spring this year after the night frosts we have had so far. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you have a wonderful gardening year too.

Here is a clump of my giant snowdrops they are so uplifting on a grey day and so brave to withstand the storms and the frost don't you think?

I tried to add a picture of the cheery yellow Narcissus Grand Soleil d'Or -a little beauty, especially so early.  It reminds us of the joys of gardening and the lift to our spirits when we see the early growth or new blooms.  Anyway, the photo keeps turning sideways on me -how do I turn a picture selected for the blog?  Can anyone help me with that?  It is the right way up in my computer files!!

I planted a bunch of the exquisite miniature tulips in the fairy garden together with the mini iris reticulata, so I am looking forward to a fabulous display in that corner of the garden early this spring.

Anyway, it is not too late to plant spring bulbs they will just bloom a little later.  Daffodils especially, will still be fine, I aim to spend time this coming weekend planting more lovely bulbs.  We still have a selection available at the warehouse in Greenwood SC   We also have a few double Amaryllis Blossom Peacock and some paperwhite Narcissus for sale.

Let us know if you still need anything.  Also if you would like a copy of our new spring catalog call us at Marlboro Bulb Company on 1-800-999-0567 or email We would love to hear from you and share any or your gardening stories.