Scott Kunst conducts “rescue operations” on heirloom bulbs (and corms and tubers) via his company, Old House Gardens. He notes that his bulbs are “rare, endangered, and in need of your help — since the only way to preserve these living artifacts — and their incredible genetic resources — is to grow them!” As a gardener and history buff, this is one appeal that I can never refuse. I like their bulbs so much that you will note OHG is actually one of the categories listed on the left side of my blog.
Scott's most recent paper catalog came in the mail this week, along with the information — printed right on the front of the mailing envelope — that American farmers grow 85 percent of OHG's spring-planted bulbs. Equally important news for gardeners in these tough economic times is the fact that OHG has kept their prices the same as last year and actually lowered the prices on on two dozen offerings. That's a company that deserves support — which is no problem for me, given that I am in love with most of their flowers.
The standout in this latest catalog is a new and rare dahlia offering, "Wisconsin Red." OHG notes "with dark stems and ruby-red flowers, this family heirloom is SO easy to grow and store that it's been a pass-long plant in Wisconsin since the early 1900s." You can read the complete history of the "Wisconsin Red" dahlia in OHG's on-line catalog, which also has many more dahlias and other offerings than the print version. You can order on-line as well. No Badger garden should be without this plant. I can picture a big bouquet of these beauties adorning tail-gate parties all over the state next Fall. Go Big Red! Go OHG!
TOP PHOTO: VICTORIA DIRST/ OHG. BOTTOM: OLD HOUSE GARDENS