The Scituate Garden Club will be holding its 2020 Bulb Sale online.
The bulbs are usually sold at the annual Garden Club Plant Sale, which has been canceled this year due to concerns about COVID-19, but can be purchased on the Garden Club’s website at scituategardenclub.org.
“The bulb sale has been a project of the garden club for many years,” said Betty Tufankjian, chairman of publicity, and junior gardeners, at the Scituate Garden Club. “We sell them at cost and enjoy seeing them blooming all over Scituate and the South Shore. They are easy to grow and are a good way to introduce people to gardening.”
The mission of the Scituate Garden Club is to learn and share all aspects of gardening, horticulture, floral design, and conservation with its members and the community. The vision is to help the community go greener by promoting knowledge of native plants, pollinators, conservation, and the practice of organic gardening.
This year, two different daffodil bulb choices are being offered, Tufankjian said.
“The two varieties we picked are a little different, very special, and so beautiful,” she said.
Bell Song is an elegant sweet fragrance flower of showy ivory white petals with a pale pink/rose trumpet for the center – a 14 inch tall multi-flower with two to three flowers per stem.
This daffodil is late spring blooming, naturalizes well, and will come back year after year.
It is deer and rabbit resistant and is known to attract butterflies and bees.
The Bell Song daffodil is the recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticulture Society.
Bell Song should be planted in the fall.
Narcissus Thalia is the showiest of all the white daffodils. It is very fragrant and vigorous. “Thalia,” as it is known, has three to four large pure white flowers per stem with a slightly arched petal and a flanged bold cup. It rises up 12 to 14 inches in height, is a great naturalizer and multiplies quickly.
Thalia is the winner of the prestigious Wister Award of the American Daffodil Society for outstanding garden merit.
It is deer and rabbit resistant and should be planted in the fall.
“It is a perfect old variety that will always be a winner,” Tufankjian said. “It is the best of all the whites and the best variety ever.”
Both varieties are sold in bags of 100 bulbs. The cost is $45 per bag.
“Sometimes there might be a problem with rodents eating the bulbs so I included some ideas to help,” Tufankjian said.
Protecting the bulbs
Chicken wire cages are one way to keep bulbs out of the reach of rodents.
“The holes will allow your bulbs’ leaves and roots to grow but will keep pesky rodents at bay,” Tufankjian said. “Place a layer of sharp edge gravel or grit below and above your bulbs when you plant them. Most animals do not like to dig through sharp debris and will avoid going after your flower bulbs.”
Bulbs can also be placed in strawberry baskets – the green plastic baskets strawberries come in at the grocery store – or in empty yogurt cups with holes punched in the bottom, to protect spring bulbs from underground attacks. This can still leave them open to being dug up from above, however.
Repellents can work well for flower bulbs that have already been planted.
“These methods tend to be short term, though, and will need to be replaced periodically as time or weather will reduce their effectiveness,” Tufankjian said. “Blood meal is the standard repellent for flower bulbs as it not only helps to keep away small rodents but also helps to add nutrients to the soil.”
On the downside, blood meal can attract other unwanted animals such as raccoons or skunks. Hair or urine from dogs, cats or even humans can be added to the area to help ward off small rodents, Tufankjian said.
Powdered or liquid chili pepper can also help to deter rodents from dining on flower bulbs.
“Sprinkle the area over your bulbs liberally with this fiery stuff to keep rodents away,” Tufankjian said.
Visit scituategardenclub.org for more information and to order the bulbs.
Follow Ruth Thompson on Twitter @scituateruth