Everything Old is New
On this week’s show, Scott
Kunst, the owner of Old House Gardens, visits to talk about heirloom spring
bulbs and a few others, like antique peonies.
On his website,
Scott asks: Why Grow Heirloom Bulbs?
answers the question with some great reasons you may or may not have thought
of. Heirloom bulbs offer a living connection with gardeners of the past: Thomas
Jefferson, medieval monks, Chinese emperors, or maybe your own grandmother.
Scott points out that these oldies aretough and vigorous — they’re
survivors, after all. The old varieties are: unusual — offering colors, forms,
and special qualities that haven’t been matched by newer bulbs; bred for
gardens — rather than for pot and cut-flower production in greenhouses;
graceful and wildflowery — many of them are once-wild plants (no longer
wild-collected, of course) or just a generation removed; fragrant — adding
another sensual dimension to your garden; regionally adapted — thriving in a
wide array of difficult climates where many modern bulbs fail.
also reminds us that these heirloom varieties are rare, and in need of your
help — since the only way to preserve these living artifacts — and their
incredible genetic resources — is to grow them!
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