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Ask Cam

Can't keep a good flower down

June 30, 2010

Question:

At the start of every summer, the beds of spent tulips are replaced with summer annuals. I am wondering what becomes of the bulbs that are dug up. Are they stored and re-used? Or is that too labor-intensive, and the bulbs are discarded? I'm asking because I care for a garden at a local nursing home, and I know how much the residents would enjoy those beautiful tulips the following year, if only they could be rescued and planted again; the thought of them being discarded is frustrating to me.

Cam’s answer:

Frustrate no more! All bulbs are left in place.

“As evidenced by the number of bulbs blooming this spring, when none were planted this past fall, the normal maintenance practice is to leave bulbs in place,” says Fred Haberecht, campus landscape architect. “There is no active plan to remove all bulbs when spring annuals are planted. We leave them and hope for the best.”

And hope turns red and yellow every spring with another season of flowers!

Yours in full bloom,

Cam the Ram