Interested in heirloom flower bulbs suited for Zone 8b

Asked December 10, 2013, 8:59 PM EST

I'd like your opinion on the most suitable bulbs for an ordinary residential flower garden in Sherwood, Oregon. I'd like to use heirloom bulbs accustomed to a permanent location in a flower garden. I'm not interested in planting bulbs that were bred for nursery or potted plants. I need various bulbs that are very hardy, beautiful and expected to last for many, many years. Sherwood is in Zone 8b

Harris County Texas bulbs horticulture flowers: annuals and herbaceous perennials

1 Response

A number of bulbs sold in local garden centers will naturalize to provide a yearly display in local gardens. Some of those are heirlooms, some not. In general, you’ll receive the most reliable advice from the smaller specialty garden centers as well as the larger retailers Dennis’ 7 Dees, Portland Nursery, Al’s Trees & Shrubs, and local wholesale growers of peony, iris and dahlias.

Among your many choices are most daffodils; crocus; dahlias; iris; lilies; peonies; and some of the tulips, especially the Darwins and the smaller species. But beware of planting certain bulbs because they will do so well they will take over in our region; among these overly prolific fellows are Muscari armeniacum, Arum italicum and Spanish bluebells.

I’ve also had good experiences with Old House Gardens (http://www.oldhousegardens.com/), a specialty mail-order business which sells heirloom bulbs. One of my favorites from there is the yellow and purple bearded iris ‘Gracchus’ which was released in 1884.

Have fun planning your garden!