Just over a year ago I read the story on the New York Times titled "The Bulb Hunter." Its a profile of a 20 something with a passion for plants who goes around the south collecting bulbs from abandoned properties. If you haven't read it before take a moment to read it and you'll understand why I'm posting this.
Today I saw an ad on my gardening blog from a company called The Southern Bulb Company and my curiosity got the better of me and I typed in the url and was soon on the company's website. After looking around the site it quickly dawned on me that I was on the site for the company started by Chris Wiesinger who is profiled in the NYT article. A look at the about page for the company company reads:
"The Southern Bulb Company, comprised of two dedicated bulb enthusiasts (plus friends and family), seeks to recapture something that was once "lost" to the Southern gardener: heirloom and rare flower bulbs that thrive in warm climates. Our focus is to provide only those bulbs that will do excellent for the warm climated gardener and any tools, artwork, literature, education or clothing that supports our 'bulb habit.' Each one of us has left good opportunities at major corporations, political arenas and the 'big city' to devote our waking hours to rescuing a small, but significant, piece of history."
How can you not root for a company started by someone who obviously has a passion for what he does? On gardening forums I always read gardeners lamenting that there aren't any "young" people who are into gardening or who worry that one day gardening will no longer be practiced when they die out. Whenever I comes across those kinds of threads I always make sure to point out that I am under thirty and that I'm passionate about plants and now I can not only mention another person under 30 who loves plants but I can link them to a company started/run by a few of them.
The Southern Bulb Company is doing a great service to gardeners by rescuing these long forgotten bulbs, many of which you can't find mass produced in garden centers, and they're being responsible by providing gardeners in dry/humid climates plants that will thrive in their zones. The bulbs available on the site are for zones 6-10 and while that may be pushing it for me here in zone 5 I'm thinking of trying a couple of them. If anything I can always treat them like I do my other tender bulbs and pull them up in the winter.
Chris and his company get 5 out of 5 stars from me because they provide less common plants and because they are helping to preserve a little piece of garden history.