The following article appeared lately at http://www.bulbs.suite101.com/ and while brief it does highlight some nice choices that we don't often talk about but never fear such bulbs are available here at Skillin's! (We have the BEST selection of bulbs in Maine for sure!).
Here is the article:
"Snowdrops (Galanthus spp.) for White Winter Flowers
Hardy in zones 3-9. Graceful, drooping blooms are produced that can be lost in a bank of late season snow, but look pristine white in a muddy, early spring. They grow 4-6 inches tall and need rich, well drained soil. Snowdrops take part to full shade and can be used to underplant larger shrubs and ornamental trees. Snowdrops also prefer cooler weather so gardeners will find that by late spring the foliage has yellow, dried and disappeared completely as the bulb goes dormant until the following year. When snowdrops are allowed this process without cutting back the leaves, they will often naturalize by bulblets and seeds.
Dwarf Iris (Iris reticulata) in Early Spring
Hardy in zones 5-8. This small blue, purple, or violet irises only reach 3-6 inches tall, but provide jewel like color in the later winter or early spring garden. They tend to look best planted in large sweeps of color or mass plantings. If gardeners want early blooming yellow irises they should look for I. dandfordiae. According to Missouri Botanical Gardens, if gardeners plant the iris bulbs a little deeper, at least 3 inches, they won't try to spread out via bulblets and the flowering display will be better. Small bulblets will produce lots of foliage but won't produce as many flowers until the mature.
Star-Shaped Blooms With Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa spp.)
Hardy in zones 3-8. A very hardy bulbs tolerates cold winters well and will provide delicate, star-shaped blooms in the late winter or early spring. The species flowers are purple with white an yellow centers. New varieties are available in pink or white. Another diminutive flower, as many early blooming bulbs are, the Glory-of-the-snow reaches 3-6 inches tall and prefers full sun to part shade. When suitable conditions are provided it will naturalize readily, increasing the show each year. Since glory of the snow flowers are not affected by jugone they can be planted under walnut trees and, indeed, they do well under most deciduous trees since their bloom season is over before most broad-leaf deciduous trees will leaf out.
Winter Aconite (Erantis spp.) for Early, Bright-Colored Blooms
Hardy in zones 4-9. One of the most eye-catching choices for early spring or late winter flowering bulbs, the winter aconite has dark green leaves circling bright yellow flowers like a leafy collar. Bright colored and cheerful looking flowers are a forerunner to the daffodil's golden blooms in the landscape. Winter aconite grows 3-5 inches and prefers rich, well-draining soil. They grow well in full sun to part shade and do well under deciduous trees. Bulbs sometimes bloom better if they are soaked before planting and gardeners should avoid periods of heavy drought even after the bulbs go dormant during summer and fall.
Gardeners can plant these early-blooming bulbs in the fall to enjoy late winter or early spring flowers.Read more: http://bulbs.suite101.com/article.cfm/early_blooming_bulbs_to_plant#ixzz0QYKzgzMh"
September 11, 2009