Greetings to our Friends & Fellow Gardeners!
Autumn seems to be here in earnest now, and I’ve been cutting the remaining tender flowers that dotted the protected spots in my garden, making little bouquets of the last Zinnias, Cosmos, Nasturtium, Marigolds, Cup & Saucer Vine, Globe Amaranth, etc. I’ve also been enjoying the sudden appearance of those autumn upstarts – violet-blue Autumn Crocus (Crocus speciosus) and rosy Colchicum blossoms popping up to accent the dark red foliage and late blue flowers of Plumbago and decorating the rock garden. And, now that the soil is cool, I’m starting to
Plant Bulbs Now for Spring Flowers, & Plant Garlic!
Let’s start with Garlic: we offer 3 heirloom varieties this year – German Red hard-neck, Spanish Roja hard-neck, andInchelium Red soft-neck. Garlic is easy to grow here, and very rewarding (and growing your own garlic and shallots can save you LOTS of money at the grocery store!).
At Harlequin’s Gardens, we have been experimenting for years with bulbs in our display gardens. Since our gardens are xeriscapes (by default even where not by design), we have had the pleasure of discovering that a great many delightful bulbs can thrive and naturalize in our conditions and enliven the scene in spring and fall. No surprise, really, since most of these hardy spring and autumn-blooming bulbs originated in parts of the world with conditions much like ours, such as Central Asia. Visitors to our gardens have been wowed by enormous Star of Persia Alliums and brilliant sapphire miniature iris, and charmed by perky miniature daffodils and starry species tulips and crocus. They (you) kept asking us “where can I get these?”, so four years ago, we carefully selected our first-ever offering of bulbs for sale at Harlequin’s Gardens.
This fall, we have added 12 beautiful new varieties, and ‘archived’ a few to make room for them. Planting in the cooler weather of late October and November is perfect (except Crocus speciosus, which should be planted as soon as possible). Planting depths are to the bottom of the planting hole where the base of the bulb rests. Planting depth can vary depending on how light or heavy your soil is – plant deeper in light soils, shallower in heavier soils. Tulipa viridiflora ‘Artist’ should be planted 8″ deep to perform as a perennial.
Here are some ideas for ways and places to use bulbs that you may not have thought of. One idea is to plant small early-blooming bulbs, such as many of the species tulips, where the ground is exposed in spring but will be covered in summer by spreading herbaceous perennials like Desert Four-O’Clock (Mirabilis multiflora), ‘Orange Carpet’ California Fuschia (Zauschneria garrettii), or Wine Cups (Callirhoe involucrata). Also, meadows and drifts of ornamental grasses are usually dormant until mid to late spring, and present a perfect stage for a brilliant display of many types of early spring bulbs. Also, deciduous groundcovers that emerge in mid-spring, like Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides), can partner nicely with the early miniature Iris (I. reticulata, I. histrioides, I. danfordeai), small species tulips and, later in the season with Autumn Crocus and Colchicum.
Last fall, we planted groupings of ‘Heart’s Desire’ Waterlily Tulip and ‘Red Riding Hood’ Greigii Tulip in our newest display garden, the Dry Slope garden along N. 26th Street. They took beautifully – the species tulips are such jewels of the spring garden, and they are so tough!
Complete descriptions and photos of our Garlic and Flowering Bulb varieties are available at our store, and on our website at
Only 2 weeks left before we close the nursery!
Last chance and excellent time to apply organic fertilizers and pre-emergent weed suppressant:
Fall is our primary time for fertilizing because it is when plants take nutrients down into their roots to store for winter and for making fruit buds. This is important for strengthening a plant in preparation for winter and spring nutrient needs.
Corn Gluten Meal: non-toxic pre-emergent weed suppressant and 9% nitrogen, organic fertilizer. It inhibits seed germination, but harmless to plants with root systems, people, worms and microorganisms. The effect can last up to 6 months and is especially useful in lawns. Apply again in March for significant weed-reduction.
Alpha One: a locally made organic fertilizer: 7-2-2. It is an alfalfa-based product with a high organic matter content, very high humic acid value, low pH for Colorado alkaline soils, and is non-burning. It also contains blood meal, cottonseed meal and bone meal. Excellent for vegetable gardens and lawns.Slow releasing over a long time. Feeds soil microbes.
Nature Cycle Lawn Fertilizer: locally made from composted chicken manure and wood chips. 6% Nitrogen. Excellent for normal fall lawn fertilizing and recommended forrejuvenating flooded lawns. Also a favorite for boostingraspberry production. An economical and general organic fertilizer for shrubs and perennials.
ROOT RALLY WITH MYCORRHIZAE (0-3-0) from Age Old Organics: Excellent for putting in the hole when planting bulbs, as well as any other late plantings. A complete blend of Endo-and Ecto-mycorrhizae spores with fossil rock minerals and nutrients. Provides mycorrhizae life support for trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Applied to the plant’s root system this premium organic blend will reduce transplant shock, encourage root growth, increase water and nutrient uptake.
Only 6 weeks before our Holiday Gift Market opens!
Stay tuned for upcoming blogs with details of our Holiday Gift Market products and our Holiday Open House schedule!
Thank you for your continued support! We look forward to seeing you soon!
Mikl & Eve Brawner and the awesome staff at Harlequin’s Gardens