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Tue, 10/16/2012 - 16:10 — Tim Tune
“The Bulb Hunter”
Prowls the South for Heirloom Jewels
Chris Wiesinger can find horticultural treasure in what would be considered the most unlikely places: construction sites, abandoned farmhouses, old cemeteries, overgrown mobile home lots, and other out-of-the way places along the South’s back roads.
He’s found such floral jewels as the Heirloom Snowflake, the Golden Dawn and the Tubergen Gem. Wiesinger has taken these once-rare flowering bulbs and has rescued them from neglect and scarcity. His mission of saving and re-propagating ignored flowers has earned Wiesinger the title of “The Bulb Hunter.”
During their years of obscurity, Wiesinger’s quarry of would-be-forgotten heirloom bulbs acclimated to the warmth and humidity of the South, “thriving and multiplying naturally,” says the website of his company, Southern Bulbs, located on a farm in Mineola, Texas.
Wiesinger started the company in 2004, basing it on a business plan he developed when he was a senior studying horticulture at Texas A&M University. It’s a fairly simple model: He hunts down the bulbs, collects them and propagates them on his Mineola farm, about two hours east of Dallas. Then he distributes them to nurseries such as Calloway’s, and sells them directly through southernbulbs.com.
Calloway’s is always on the lookout for great Texas plants, especially those of rare availability and quality such as Southern Bulbs. So Calloway’s naturally enjoys a great relationship with “The Bulb Hunter,” who has visited some of our locations to share his passion for these heirlooms. This brief video features Wiesinger at the North Plano store sharing the story of Southern Bulbs and how easy it is to enjoy them using a simple two-step process that eliminates annual replanting typical of traditional bulbs.
Now that we’ve reached the Fall delivery/planting season, a great variety of Southern Bulbs, fresh from Wiesinger’s farm, are now available. But this season’s supply won’t be available long. So get to your nearest Calloway’s or Cornelius Nursery garden center now so you can enjoy these rare beauties in the Spring. Here are the varieties Calloway’s is offering this Fall, with a link to the flower’s page at southernbulbs.com if available:
- Double Roman
- Golden Dawn
- Grand Primo
- Heirloom Snowflake
- Lady Jane
- Spanish Bluebells
- Tubergens Gem
- Tulip Combo
For more information about “The Bulb Hunter,” check out these articles in:
Follow Wiesinger’s bulb-hunting exploits, discoveries, and bulb-planting tips on these sites: