The Bulb Hunter
Publication Year: 2013
Traveling back roads, speaking to strangers, looking for the telltale color of a remnant iris or lily, Wiesinger started digging, then began trying to grow and share the bulbs he collected. From its humble beginnings on an East Texas sweet potato farm, his Southern Bulb Company has now grown into a full-fledged business known throughout the world, propagating and selling the rare, tough, heritage plants Wiesinger still seeks out and champions.
Nicknamed “Flower” by his fellow cadets at Texas A&M University, Wiesinger relates his adventures in bulb hunting, telling stories of the bulbs he has discovered and weaving in his own life story as a student, plantsman, and small business owner. He then teams with veteran horticulturist William C. Welch to provide advice on how to grow and appreciate the bulbs that have been rescued and reintroduced. This “primer” gives gardeners information on what bulbs to grow where, when to plant them and when they bloom, and how to incorporate them with other plants in the landscape.
Finally, Welch describes how bulbs have enhanced his personal gardens and brought him and Wiesinger together in the common cause of heirloom gardening. Entertaining, informative, and loaded with beautiful photographs, The Bulb Hunter is sure to be a favorite of gardeners and plant lovers everywhere.
Published by: Texas A&M University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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The Bulb Hunter, by Chris Wiesinger
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I did not understand this at the time, but there is a difference to J. R. R. Tolkien, is a “there and back again story.” One ...
Introduction: The Cabin
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Your feet will begin to sink into the sandy loam soil as you are cot in the little red cabin by the lake, just into my new business within hours. I lay there on a cot in the middle of the main room, scratching my bug bites from the night before, reminding myself black or blue or some other color telling me it was the bite of ...
Chapter 1 A Little Red Tulip
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...birthplace in Lafayette, Louisiana, to our old hometown of Hous-ton, Texas, to the very hot town of Bakersfield, California. Most weekends in Bakersfield were spent maintaining the yard and vis-iting the garden centers,” I continued. “One fall weekend, when I was about eleven, I purchased an object that looked something ...
Chapter 2 People Are Like Crinums
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...hand in hand. I shared with John my adventures for both, and he “That? Oh, that’s a crinum. Some people really don’t care for them.” I would pause and look over at him, “But some really do. They can bring in twenty dollars, thirty dollars, sometimes forty dollars a piece.” Greg Grant had given us an introduction ...
Chapter 3 Lilies and Bulbs That Are Called Lilies
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...bulbs. I personally enjoyed all of the bulbs but was faced with the reality that I couldn’t collect and grow everything. Struggling to to pay some attention to the invoices but try to stay true to the Living in the cabin, I had a lot of time at night, alone, to reflect on this. I began to understand that in the eyes of some who were ...
Chapter 4 Rain Lilies
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...one of those garden centers, holds a special place in my heart. Texas. On each occasion, I see white spider lilies (Hymenocallis), and instead of my usual PowerPoint presentation, I talk for about forty-five minutes outside with only plants in hand. After one fall and asked if I was dating anyone. A little shocked, I said no, and ...
Chapter 5 Spider Lilies Say “Louisiana,” and Oxbloods Say “Texas”
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...some of my hardest lessons in life: lessons about business, bulbs, bulbs. During the life cycles of both, there are periods of dor-though bulbs experience times of hibernation, I find that at least slow down, grass to brown, and people to stay inside, so we don’t in particular can be long and exhausting, but just when we think ...
Chapter 6 Our Most Valuable Bulbs: Roman Hyacinths, Byzantine Gladiolus, and Hardy Amaryllis
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...thing! I focused on growing the business, speaking to garden clubs as the Bulb Hunter, collecting bulbs, and turning the farm into a successful growing operation. As this opportunity to grow the business leveled off and all of my employees had left, it became that still needed to happen with my story. Furthermore, with the ...
Chapter 7 Irises, Rock Garden, and Fischer
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...right at home and curled up in a little bed made for him in the challenges. Often I left him with friends in Dallas or Houston. the guest rooms in some of the nicest homes in Texas with a way-turer. At the time there was a national orchid exhibition in one of the museums on the Mall by the Capitol, and the orchids were ...
Chapter 8 Seasons Filled with Daffodils
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...ers were ready. They assured me they were, and I detoured off the main road into town to stop by the flower shop, her former place “This flower arrangement is on us,” the girl behind the counter told me. She continued, “We all think the world of Rebecca.”I thanked her and left with at least one hundred dollars’ worth ...
Chapter 9 The Cabin Becomes a Home
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...“I picked up the New York Times piece. We’re real proud of you! I showed it to everyone who didn’t want to invest in you down here.” I didn’t respond to Joe’s comment but continued to make read the article, Joe died. He never met Rebecca. I was sad to lose him. When Joe died, another investor pulled out. I found myself ...
The Bulb Hunter’s Bulbs by William C. Welch
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...choice of authentic historical bulbs available for all of us to enjoy. Every season has opportunities for making these easy-to-grow pe-rennials welcome guests for you, your family, and friends. Some will grow almost anywhere, while others respond best to specific some of the fall-blooming bulbs begin “underground activity” by ...
Bulbs in the Evolution of a Garden by William C. Welch
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A Louisiana Country Garden: Mangham
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...there and meet some of our friends. Of course, Jessie Lee Harris was the first there to greet us, and he and Chris formed an instant years; although he didn’t know all their names, he knew all the well acquainted, dig bulbs together, and visit often on Chris’s Chris would often inquire about the house and the history of the ...
A Texas City Garden: Pebble Creek
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...and Dallas–Fort Worth—major cities in the state of Texas. One can imagine then that Chris would become a frequent visitor. To better understand the garden he would often stroll through, and fairly compatible, but the fifteen-foot side space and twenty-five- by eighty-foot strip along the golf course offered sufficient space for ...
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Service Series