Garden Club, All About Bulbs!

Speaker Cheryl Huckabee (center) with Garden Club board members (left to right) Janice Brown, Linda Lilley, Lisa Lebsack, and Lori Slocum (photo by Erminja Maganja)

Erminja Maganja, Garden Club Publicity Chair

The Garden Club’s November meeting was attended by about 40 members, with several new members and guests. Our guest speaker was Cheryl Huckabee, a Master Gardener and president-elect of the Denton County MGA. She presented “The Promise of Spring,” all about bulbs.

Bulbs are perennial plants that store their food underground. There are different types of bulbs: true bulbs (daffodils, tulips, some iris), corms (crocus), tubers (dahlia, anemone), rhizomes (lily of the valley, bearded iris), and tuberous roots (ranunculus).

Bulbs need full sun and fertile, well-drained soil and prefer to be dry in summer, though can tolerate some irrigation. Ms. Huckabee explained that flowering bulbs are an early source of pollen for bees. Once the perennials have bloomed, it is essential to allow the leaves to remain on the plant so the bulb can draw and store its energy for next year’s bloom.

Fall bulbs are meant to be planted in the fall to bloom in spring. These include daffodil, hyacinth, tulips, snowflakes, and allium. Spring bulbs are planted in the spring to produce a summer bloom. These include dahlias, elephant ear, caladium, gladiolus, and cannas. Among the easiest and most reliable fall bulbs to grow here in North Texas include daffodil: Erlicheer, Sir Winston Churchill, and Golden Dawn. Hyacinth, known for their intense color and heady fragrance, also do well—try Dutch, grape, and the more unusual French-Roman variety. Ms. Huckabee explained that our environment isn’t friendly to tulips. They will grow here but are generally treated as single-season annuals. Her favored tulips to try are Darwin Cottage “Renown” and Tulipa Clusiana.

We also learned about the hundreds of species and cultivars of iris—so much to know! If you were unable to attend and would like a copy of the presentation, please email Lisa Lebsack at [email protected].

The Garden Club will next gather on Monday, Dec. 19, at the North Point Café in Denton (2000 W. University Drive). The meeting will begin at 10:45 a.m., to be immediately followed by our annual holiday luncheon. For those interested in carpooling, please meet at the clubhouse parking lot by 10:15 a.m. for departure at 10:30 a.m. If you can be a carpool driver or have questions, please contact Lisa Lebsack at 940-367-3861.