A Forever Home for Sternbergia

It’s been a very productive week with finding “forever homes” for the flooded house bulbs. Yesterday, I planted about 400 Sternbergia, a gorgeous, fall flowering¬† bulb. These bulbs have been patiently waiting until I made up my mind on the perfect spot. Sound familiar? I suppose all bulbs need the perfect, well-loved location in the garden. I FINALLY found the perfect spot,¬† which meant digging up and ridding a bed of Bermuda grass. If you want to know how I really feel about Bermuda grass, please read the blog entitled Bermuda F&#@ing Grass.. The title alone should give you all you need to know about my relationship with Bermuda. Since the bernuda-bed was the spot for my beloved Fall Crocus, my spade shovel and I went to work.

It has been 3 months since the bulbs have had a home. I dug most of the Sterbergia bulbs in March, right before the Flooded House Bulb Dig. Sternbergia go dormant rather quickly in the Spring, and I didnt want to chance losing them. Sternbergia are also known as a “diva bulb”. The bulbs really don’t want to be relocated for any reason, even a flood and a destroyed house. In fact, the bulbs would continue to live on, with or happily without me, neglicted and alone. When digging up Sternbergia, expect bright yellow foliage to immidiately follow, as the diva bulb throws her little temper tantrum. No need to be concerned. The bulb will continue to sulk like a spoiled child over the summer, and then revive itself with a flower during the rainfall in Autumn.

Before I planted the Sternbergia, I was having a pity-party at all the weeds that had overgrown my Lavender beds. It feels I have planted ENDLESS amounts of bulbs since the flood,¬† Every now and then, I notice the garden to-do list, and think (begrudgingly) at how beautifully manicured the gardens would look *if* I didn’t have so many feral bulbs laying around. I even found seven little Star of Bethlehem bulbs in a penny jar in my daughter’s car. Honestly, I don’t even want to think about how the bulbs got into my daughter’s penny jar. Clearly, I am a bulb-planting mess. On a daily basis, I have to stop and remind myself to be patient. It took many years of hard work and time to grow the beautiful gardens at my former house. After the flood, God has given me the energy and strength to salvage the gardens. I’ve had the pleasure of removing almost every flower and bulb in less than 6 months.. So what if there are weeds in the Lavender? Gardens are certainly not a flawless, glimpse of perfection in a moment of time…..gardening is lifestyle. Messy, like me..

In spitd of all the messy, pity-feeling, bermuda-cussing, spade-shovel digging….I finally gave the Sternbergia a forever home.

Sternbergia, commonly known as a Fall Crocus are fall flowering bulbs, are bold, vivid yellow flowers that arrive after a few rainfalls in Autumn. They often bloom just after Oxblood Lilies and Spider Lilies. Last year, we had a wet Fall (obviously), so my Fall Crocus bloomed alongside the Oxbloods and Spiders. It was a glorious painting of color.

The care for an heirloom bulb, such as Sternbergia, is quite simple….place the bulbs in the ground and enjoy years of fall color alongside good memories. It is truly that simple. You have to work extremely hard to kill an heirloom bulb…….Either leave the bulb outside the ground and freeze it during zero degree weather, or burn it in direct sunlight with 114 degree days. You can also soak it to death….but who is going to drown a poor, little bulb? So, back to my original statement, one has to work extremely hard to kill an heirloom flower bulb like Sternbergia.

I am proud to say that all the remaining Sternbergia have a forver home. Where? Unknown until the Fall bloom. Once in the garden, bulbs are temporarily lost. Garden markers get stepped on, accidentally moved or eaten by gophers. It’s actually quite exciting when unmarked bulbs pop up.

I will have more bulbs available next Spring, after the bulbs go through the Fall bloom and enjoy a season of growth in their new home. Simply email me heirloombulbgirl@gmail.com for questions or comments.

Happy Gardening, my friends!