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Spring Bulbs In The Garden

Let me beging by saying "Welcome" to all the new followers  & subscribers of the MrBrownThumb garden blog

Spring arrived in my garden a while back, but the only thing blooming then was a clump of daffodils so I decided to wait and make one post about the spring bulbs in my garden. I've posted before about cheap bulbs for your garden and how you can find them in places other than garden centers and nurseries. 


The first tulip isn't one of those bulbs that I've found at a local grocery store. This is "Flaming Parrot," and was a gift to me from a gardening friend I know online. I've had it for a couple of years now and every time these tulips bloom they demand my attention in the garden. I also have "Black Parrot" tulips in the garden, though they are just at the bud stage. The "Black Parrot" blooms aren't as big and dramatic as the blooms of the "Flaming Parrot."

spring garden bulbs, daffodils, wild violetThis spring I decided that I'm really not a big fan of daffodils. I have a clump of these garden bulbs because they were gifted to me by the same gardener that gave me the "Flaming Parrot" tulip you see above.  If you look at the larger daffodil image above you may see that I created a border at the bottom of my wrought iron fence with a strip of weed blocking fabric. It doesn't look to bad and actually does help with blocking urban trash from being blown into the garden. I can't tell you how good it works at blocking weeds but it helps keep my garden a little neater than it otherwise might be.

The smaller daffodil is one that is sold as a "miniature" daffodil and I don't know where it came from because I don't remember planting that clump of daffodils in my garden.  The blue flower is a wild violet that is growing rampant in my neighborhood at the moment. I'd like it a lot better if it grew in areas where there is suppose to be grass and not among my flower beds where I can't easily reach in and pull it out when it gets to be too large.

cheap tulips, spring garden bulbsThese are some of the tulips that are growing in my garden that I purchased at the ALDI grocery chain over the past couple of years.  I have a variety of different colors blooming now and it kind of looks like someone dropped a bag of Skittles in my garden and up grew these tulips. There is no real plan here since all of the tulips I've planted don't have IDs and come in a medium sized box and cost about $4 to $5. 

One a personal note: If you've been wondering why I've been quiet on this blog there is a hint in  this video. Pay close attention when you see the ladybugs. I'm also part of the committee putting the finishing touches on Chicago Spring Fling so that has been keeping me a little busy. Can't wait for all the cool things happening at the end of this month.

What's going on in your garden? 

Posts about starting seeds for your garden for newbies:


  1. Taste the rainbow, dude! ;-) I actually love daffodils, moreso since the groundhog eats almost all my tulips. In fact, I'm going to mark all my tulip bulb locations this year and dig up the bulbs in fall and offer them to me blogging friends. The catch is, I don't know what color they are since, well, they didn't bloom for the last few years (see groundhog above!). If you want some, let me know.

  2. Forgot to mention about Aldi: It's actually a German company and the guy who owns it (Karl Albrecht) is the 15th richest guy in the WORLD. I don't have an Aldi nearby but will make the trip in fall if they have good prices on bulbs. I've also gotten cheap bulbs from grocery stores after their potted tulips etc. have faded.

  3. No bulbs in my garden, unless you count Rain Lillies. They are so short lived here it doesn't seem worth the effort.
    In my garden many cacti are blooming. before long, there won't be much at all!

  4. Mr. Brown Thumb! Great to have you back! I presumed you were "MIA" due to Spring Garden detail. ;) Beautiful bulbs, keep up the good work. Once again, welcome back! Sweet dreams Mr. Brown Thumb! xo~

  5. OMG I love the 'flaming parrot' .. fine gift you received there MBT. You will have to share with me how you blur the background :)

  6. Nice tulips! And daffodils. I have way more daffodils than tulips for the same reason as Monica - the critters don't eat daffodils, but love tulips. A lot of my daffodils came from mixed bags from Costco years ago.

    The same rich guys who own Aldi also own Trader Joe's, BTW.

  7. I'm the bringer of death to flowers so I stick to herbs. I do have a lemon and orange tree that makes me very popular in the neighborhood.

    What I loved in your garden is your violets. My grandmother lived in Indiana and in the spring had wild violets and lily of the valley in her back yard. Us kids would pick them and she'd put them in a jelly glass on the table for Sunday dinner. Ah, the simple life.

    The Chicago Spring Fling looks fun.

  8. Caught that bit about you on the Chicago Now video. I'm so glad things are happening for you! Keep up that great momentum you have going. I love those violets, by the way. They're so delicate and old-fashioned. Invasive? Never!

  9. How great Mr. Brown Thumb! I saw your bit in that video clip!!! Awesome! Good luck with the Spring Fling!

    Interesting that a "Flaming parrot" is on the cover of the latest book I am reading, called "New Moon", (the second book in the Twilight series)!!! I did not know what it was called until now!!! Thanks for info!!!

  10. Hi MTB! it has been quite sunny and hot for the past two weeks over here in Malaysia. Fortunately, my Desert Rose loves the heat. The plant is blooming a number beautiful pink flowers now :-) Your tulips are beautiful also. So is the daffodils. Looks like your work with Chicago Now will be an exciting one. The video is super. And your ladybug is obviously a shinning star. Have another great week!

  11. @Monica, Sorry to hear about your tulips but that's a very nice of you to share them with your friends.

    @Aiyana, You just reminded me I forgot to take out my Rain Lilies last year and a couple of others. Your cacti must look awesome. I'm about to stop by your blog for a long overdue visit.

    @Marcy, Thanks for the warm welcome.

    @OhioMom, There is a setting on the camera that I use that sort of does it too. I'll have to see if I can do it on a camera that doesn't do it "automatically" and get back to you.

    @Entangled, I guess it is a good thing I don't have rabbits around here because I don't think I'd like to have more daffs like you and Monica do.

    @Moon, Thanks for sharing thats story from your childhood. When I was a kid we didn't have wild violets around here--they just sort of popped up in the last few years.

    @Walk2Write, if you want I'll send you some of those violets :0)

    @Stephanie, I'd love to get my Desert Rose to bloom. I'll stop by your blog to see if you have pictures.

  12. Hi, I am a new follower of your blog and but I am sure that flowers in Edinburgh are prety much the same as in Chicago! I planted lots of tulips the year before last and only one variety have come back again this year, most disappointing.

    You have a dislike of daffodils for me it is bluebells which grow like a weed in my garden and seed everywhere.

  13. Hi, MBT! I had a few questions about you tulip bulbs! Mine came up all weird this year (first year I've ever tried bulbs). I will post a picture of them up on my blog today (later this afternoon pac. time). I was wondering if there was any certain thing you are supposed to do special for tulip bulbs? My mother-In-Law had two random tulips come up a few inches away from where the rain drips off her roof and they look gorgeous! Mine, not so nice....

    I also was wondering when is the best time to dig them up and move them? After they've gone there stuff for the spring?

    Your tulips are really really nice, I too am not a major fan of daffodils. I don' t know why, they're generally some of the first bulbs out in the spring and bring sunny smile with them. I just don't care for them.

    Oh, I too am curious how you blur the background of your pictures. It is a very stunning effect!

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful spring picture, good luck with the Chicago Spring Fling! I bet it is going to be a blast!


  14. Good to catch up with you tulips are only partly blooming yet (the smaller species types) but I adore the parrots. (Although I do hear John Cleese arguing about the parrot 'pining for the fjords' whenever I hear the word parrot, tulip or not.

  15. I love that you got tulip bulbs from ALDI!

  16. chicago4:30 PM

    Wow...Really beautiful shots here. Great job.

  17. Wow...Really beautiful shots here. Great job.

  18. So I dreamed last night that I had whole bunch of the Black Parrots in my garden, and couldn't think why. Then I remembered this post. Thanks for the nice dream!

  19. Nice bulbs! Don't you just LOVE a great bargain? Our Aldi's is fairly new, and I won't shop anywhere else...they're just too cheap! Recently they were selling blooming orchids for $12 each-love it!

  20. Love that first tulip! And congrats on the Chicago Now deal- that looks very cool!

  21. @ Scrimcat Thanks for following. I think if I have some varieties beyond the generic ones that I may like them more.

    @ ~M~ I'll check out your blog after I leave this comment. You know, it is recommended that you amend the soil and add fertilizer to the area you're planting bulbs in but I've never done it and so far have had great luck with mine.

    I'd leave them alone until they are done blooming and when you see the leaves start to turn brown you can probably safely move them.

    @Jodi LOL, you know I've been seeing a lot of species tulips this year and I've told myself I have to plant some. Hope I remember in the fall.

    @Rosemarie, That's where all of my spring bulbs usually come from. With the exception of the "black" flowers. It is cheap and you get so many for the price.

    @Chicago office Space. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    @Lisa Make sure you check them out when they have the hanging baskets for sale. Nothing unusually fancy but the prices are pretty good for filler.

    @Dee, Thanks for stopping by Dee.

  22. @~M~ I just tried to visit your blog and your profile is set to private, so I can't see your pics.

  23. @Xan, Sorry I left you out of my group reply above. That happens to me all the time. Things I hear during the day seep into the dreams.

  24. MBT, it should be working now. I didn't know that I had it blocked. Thanks for the heads up.


  25. I'll be looking forward to ChicagoNow to keep up with my home town! (I do hope my direct tweets weren't off-putting :-)

  26. @Alice,

    Not at all. I found them interesting, I didn't reply because I was waiting for you to finish the thought so I could read it all at the same time, then I forgot about checking the DMs.

  27. And here I was expecting to see a picture of the elusive Mr Brown Thumb.

    Anyhow, congrats! Be sure to link to the new site once available.

    PS - Spring Fling might out your super hero identity!

  28. Anonymous7:35 PM

    Wow. neat blog! Definitely a blog of note. I am a brown-thumbed gardener myself, :) but the pictures are amazing. Please check out our blog, at We are a newly-minted blog looking for followers! Thanks!

  29. Loved those tulips! I so hope that someday I can grow these stunning flowers at our garden. :)



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