Gardens change each year. Sometimes we find things that didn’t perform well and replace them with new things. I’ve always treated my garden as a bit of a trial garden. I wanted to mention these three bulbs because they are usually not sought after. They are a little obscure, but they deserve a place in your garden. You may be able to find them at a local garden center, but you might have to purchase them online since they’re usually not sought after.
Galanthus are also known as snowdrops and they bloom early in the spring. They are usually the first bulbs to bloom and I’ve seen them blooming with a little snow cover. They work well in any setting in the garden and can even naturalize well. All snowdrops will stay under a foot tall and they come in shades of white with touches of green in the petals. Since they are so small, they would best in the border of your garden beds. One good note about snowdrops is that they are deer resistant and generally not eaten by any rodent.
Leucojum are a pass along heirloom plant that can still be found in old homesteads. We have some planted on the property where I live and I’m sure they’ve been there for 40-50 years now since the clumps are so large. These are also known as summer snowflakes and are much taller than snowdrops. Summer snowflakes can get up to 18-22” tall and they’re usually some of the last fall planted bulbs to bloom in the spring, hence the name summer snowflake.
Colchicum are unique and I hope to plant some this year. They are planted in the fall and form leaves in the spring. Then as summer comes on, they will go dormant without flowering. After a short period of dormancy, they will flower in late summer through autumn. This is probably why they have the name of autumn crocus, but they are not a crocus at all. Colchicum come in a series of colors all being pastel. They remain short and will stay less than a foot tall, so make sure they are where you can enjoy these unique flower stalks in the fall without any leaves!
As always, if you have any questions regarding any horticulture facet, feel free to contact Lucas Holman, Horticulture UT-TSU Extension Agent, Wilson County at 615-444-9584 or Lholman1@utk.edu.