When I told my neighbors I was planting thousands of flowers in my small front yard, they looked at me in disbelief. Most people put in a few flowering perennials here and consider their yard done–if they have any flowers at all. Annuals are rare here, and bulbs are almost complete strangers in our rock-landscaped front yards in the desert.

So when the zinnias (pictured above) came up in my front yard and started to flower, my neighbors walked over to say something. They loved the flowers. They have come by again and again to tell me how much they enjoy them when they walk by to get their mail.

All I can say to them is, “Just wait until spring. There will be even more flowers.”

I think they believe me now.

I ordered seeds in the thousands.

I also ordered 900 bulbs for the front yard.


Most of the bulbs have to be pre-chilled for 6-10 weeks before they can go in the ground, since I’m in a zone 9a, but a few hundred can go in the ground now. For the most part, I chose types that should return year after year (some may be iffy in our warm climate), so that every year I can enjoy these flowers. Some, like the tulips, are a one-time deal, but others will naturalize, which means they will multiply as the years go by.

Most of the types I ordered are still available, so I thought I would share what I ordered if you would like to plant your own white garden (if you live in a cooler zone you have a lot more options, too!). I’ve ordered bulbs from this company in the past, both at my old house, where I planted several hundred bulbs after the 10 weeks in the fridge time while I was 3 weeks overdue with Ezrom (my husband said he knew it was close to the time for the baby to come when I stopped feeling up to working in the garden) and at this house (the 500 daffodil bulbs that I planted several years ago have multiplied exponentially!)

The company I ordered from is a wholesale company, and not only have they been really consistent with quality, but their prices are amazing. The company is Van Engelen. They have a smaller sister company called John Scheeper’s, which sells bulbs in smaller quantities, but I have a thing for planting bulbs en masse. Van Engelen does have a minimum order requirement of $50 before shipping, but you could easily end up with 500 bulbs for that price, depending on the type of flower.
The iris above are 100 bulbs for $11.75, or 500 for $54. (Note: Though the tag says that they bloom in May/June, in a warmer climate like mine they will bloom 2 months before that).

I also noticed that they start marking down whatever bulbs they have on clearance by the beginning of November (except for paperwhites or amaryllis since people buy those for indoor forcing).

Here’s what I ordered for my white garden:

Narcissus Curlew (A white daffodil)

Narcissus Ziva (aka Paperwhitesthese bloom in November in the ground here in my backyard; since these are being planted now and the others are already coming up in my backyard, these should be up the week before Christmas this year, but next year I expect they’ll return in November.)

Tulip White Emperor

Ranunculus White Shades

Ornithogalum Umbellatum (aka Star of Bethlehem)

Leucojum Aestivum (looks like a late-blooming snowdrop)

Iris Reticulata Nastacha (a short rock garden variety)

Iris White Wedgewood

Oriental Lily Casa Blanca

Paperwhites in my garden in November


I’ll be taking and posting lots of pictures as these bloom. They should bloom over several months.

So even though I’ll be posting a white garden reveal soon, you won’t be able to see all of what it can be for a while, because these beautiful flowers will still be hanging out in my refrigerator, waiting to be planted.

The best is yet to come!

Note: This is not a sponsored post. I have just been really happy with this company’s quality, selection, and cost. And I’m more than a little giddy about all of these flowers, including digging in the dirt to plant them!

Similar Posts


  1. Sounds like it will be gorgeous! I’ve wanted to do a “planned looking” formal type garden for some time but seem to lack the eye and creativity to lay it. So my plantings of things are pretty but not the same. I will live vicariously through you. 😉

  2. Do a search on Pinterest for formal gardens and see what you really love. Then draw out your favorite shape on paper. (It’s okay to copy!) Then measure your garden and draw it out again on graph paper. Get some upside down spray paint (it’s used for landscaping; it usually comes in fluorescent colors) and paint what you want out on your yard, and make it happen! You can do it!

  3. I have really enjoyed your gardening posts, and admire you and your family for your determination to grow anything in Vegas. Been there a few times, and yes it can get hot. I am excited you will post photos as I am especially looking forward to seeing the front yard. blessings, jill

  4. I do not want to want to criticize you or be rude, but I am curious as to why you spend money on flowers? I understand fruit trees and edible plants/vegetables, etc, but spending time and money just for the beauty of the yard does not seem to make sense to me. I can get a lot of grocers with $11.75.

  5. Flowers feed my spirit. Those flowers will come up each year. The flowers in the front yard also disguise the fact that I am growing food there. My neighbors notice the flowers and don’t really see the food. The flowers that I cut and bring inside make me immensely happy–as doesstanding in the garden.I think life is meant to be enjoyed. Unlike many, we do not take vacations. One day I hope to, but until then, enjoying where I am is helpful. People often comment that they couldn’t stay at home as much as I do (I often only leave the house once a week to go to church), but because I can go outside and enjoy my garden, I don’t feel that I need to go somewhere else. I don’t feel like I’m “stuck at home” in any way, because home is a beautiful place to be. I don’t feel like I need to have a second car and drive to the park or somewhere else to enjoy being outside.Buying flowers every week would be rather expensive, so I seek to grow them so that I can have arrangements inside the house.God has created a beautiful earth. I want to do my best to enjoy my part of it.I’m sure you have something that you spend money on that brings happiness to you, too. I think we each answer that question differently for ourselves. This is what works for me.If you have a place to grow a few flowers, would you like some seeds? I would love to send you some flower seeds.

    1. Brandy,
      You work so hard and creatively to save money in every way other single way that this the perfect thing for you to enjoy.

  6. May I ask if you had to tear up something decent in the back when you planted? If so, was that hard (mentally)? I’ve seen your pictures of what was in the front. We have approximately 8 4×8′ raised beds in the middle of the back yard that now have excellent soil after much amending over 6+ years now (starting with the infamous OK red clay) and I guess I hate the thought of starting over back there and losing that soil advantage for my veggies for awhile.

  7. Spending money on flowers makes perfect sense to me. It is kind of like having kids. If money was the only thing in life you would not have them. IMO saving money on lower value items is a skill that allows you to create more happiness in the form of wise spending. Once you have the necessities covered, I think it is just fine to buy some things that bring comfort and joy.

  8. Did you ever check out the White Garden of Sissinghurst Castle on the net? You will enjoy Vita Sackville-Wests creation. I admire your energy…planting 100 tulips in pots was enough for me:)

  9. Mentally, the back wasn’t hard at all. There was a small 7 foot patio cover (weird height; it felt like everyone would hit their head), and that’s it.I would shovel out all of that soil that you have and keep it in a pile and then use it in the garden again. I certainly wouldn’t get rid of the soil. You can do a new garden and reuse the dirt. Part of the dirt we used out front was from a friend’s garden that she pulled out. You can put down raised beds in a different shape/configuration and add some more to the design as well, and put back all your wonderful soil. If you want a different design in the garden I would do that now so that you have it ready to plant for spring.

  10. I enjoyed the pictures of Sissinghurst that kept coming up on Pinterest (I checked out their official page, too), but I want to have more blossoms than what I’ve seen there, and in a smaller space 🙂 They definitely had an influence in my decision to plant a white garden, though! I’ve also come to really admire Monet as a gardener. He wasn’t my favorite of the Impressionists (Mary Cassatt has always been my favorite) but now that I have come to understand his own words that he was a gardener first and a painter second. He painted his gardens after they grew.

  11. Thanks for replying. We have just replanted for fall and winter crops so will need to decide whether it’s worth it to do this now. I will be doing some browsing and dreaming at the very least. 🙂

  12. I just ordered bulbs from them – thanks to your suggestion! Do you plant them in rows or in bunches? I read once that you should toss them up in the air and plant where they land. Not so sure about that one – but I just wondered what you do.

  13. I plant them in rows. I like things formal. It depends on whether you want a formal look or a naturalized look. I measure them out to the right depth and to the right distance away from the edge of the planter so that when they come up they’ll be straight.

  14. I love flowers of all kinds but especially white ones. I think my most favorite is the white cosmos. Thank you for the link to the bulb company. I’ve bookmarked them to look at later this weekend.

  15. I love Van Englen, but usually try to wait until their clearance in November. It’s a gamble in here in zone 5A (the ground could be frozen) but so far I’ve always been able to plant, and get so much for my money. You’re right though – they’re really a good deal all the time.I’ve already received orders from Breck’s Wholesale and K. Van Bourgondien this fall – have you ever ordered from them? They don’t have great reviews online, but I’ve ordered from both several times with no issues, and the prices (they always have coupon codes) just can’t be beat.Happy planting!

  16. Another more practical reason for flowers–they attract pollinators to the garden. I had a lull of a couple of weeks without any blossoming flowers in my garden this year. My two poles of beans had a few flowers, but none of them were pollinated during that time. Next year, I’m going to put in more annuals in hopes of attracting more bees.

  17. I can’t wait to see your garden in bloom. The zinnia and paperwhite you have photographed are gorgeous. I’m looking forward to doing some digging the the dirt myself. Have fun! Heather

  18. Thank you for sharing. We do all have our own pleasures! This response made me think about mine. Thank you for making me think. I love your blog.

  19. I’m amazed. I have never heard anyone talk about planting so many bulbs! I can’t wait to see how it looks . . . and I think I should plant more bulbs in my yard 🙂 You’re inspiring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *