Welcome to our 37th offering of quality flowerbulbs and seed garlic, and to our cooperative’s 44th year.

As a survival strategy, the virus’s scheme was brilliant, at least as long as people didn’t figure out what was going on. For where else in nature has a disease rendered a living thing more lovely? And not just lovely, but lovely in a previously unimagined way, for the virus created an entirely new way for a tulip to be beautiful, at least in our eyes. The virus altered the eye of the beholder. That this change came at the expense of the beheld suggests that beauty in nature does not necessarily bespeak health, nor necessarily redound to the benefit of the beautiful.

—Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s Eye View of the World

This spring came on in a rush, with many plants blooming early—and then some daffodils got frosted! I cannot remember a spring when the bearded iris and the flowering onions bloomed so early in May. With climate changes, our traditional markers of spring are shifting.

Yet a traditional marker of autumn will be returning this year: the Common Ground Country Fair. We don’t know yet what changes will be made (the pandemic is not over), but we look forward to seeing many of our long-time customers in person again, either at the Fair or at our Fall Bulb and Plant Sale, planned for October 23.

Last year, many people turned to gardening to ease their quarantines, and we saw tremendous growth. Because we usually sell surplus bulbs at the Fair and the Bulb Sale and both were cancelled, we scrambled to find another solution, online. It didn’t work too well— items oversold, and we had to issue a lot of refunds. We learned from our mistakes. And that’s what growing is all about—learning, adapting and continuing to flourish.

2021 marks the final season for Kip Penney, our Bulb coordinator for 19 years. He expanded our offerings of ornamentals and edibles, nurtured our network of garlic growers, and started our Fall Bulb Sale. Thank you, Kip, for your dedication, your dogged persistence and your striving for fairness for customers, workers and growers.

We are excited this year to add the energy and enthusiasm of Lora Scott, who brings the green thumb she got from her grandmothers to her own landscaping and design business. A student of arts and plants, “Lorax” feels right at home in our cooperative, and is thrilled to tie her diverse talents together.

Fedco Bulbs is part of Fedco Seeds, Inc., a consumer/ worker cooperative. Write us with your suggestions and comments. Your interest and support help keep us growing. On behalf of Kip, Lora, Laura Childs (our wonderful art director) and the rest of the Bulbs team, thank you for letting us help you make your world more beautiful.

—Joanna Linden, Bulbs catalog editor