Synopses & Reviews
Dubbed the Bulb Hunter in a 2006 New York Times
feature story, Chris Wiesinger took his passion for bulbs to vacant lots, abandoned houses, cemeteries, and construction sites throughout the South in search of botanical survivors whose descendants had never seen the inside of a big-box chain store. The vintage specimens Wiesinger sought came from hardy, historic stock, adapted to human neglect and hot climates, reappearing faithfully over decades without care or cultivation.
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 andldquo;Flowerandrdquo; by his fellow cadets at Texas AandM 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 andldquo;primerandrdquo; 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.
About the Author
CHRIS WIESINGER is the owner of the Southern Bulb Company, near Tyler, Texas (featured in the New York Times, Southern Living, and House and Garden), where he farms and sells bulbs. He speaks to gardening groups throughout the country. WILLIAM C. WELCH is professor and Texas AandM AgriLife Extension Service landscape horticulturist in College Station. He is a regular contributor to Southern Living and frequent speaker to gardening groups across the US.