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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Why I Love Being A Member of the International Bulb Society

posted by on April 9 at 17:06 PM


Yes, I am a member of the International Bulb Society. My membership was purchased for me by a friend who knows I planted 90 bulbs last fall in a frenzy. I also love non-bulb plants and flowers, but there is no society like the International Bulb Society (IBS).

It is run by a man named Herb Kelly, who goes to bed at 1 am every morning, but welcomes calls at any hour in order to be at your service around the clock for any bulb-related matter. He makes this clear when he calls personally to welcome you to the society. Evidently he promised the founder of the society, on the founder’s deathbed, that he would take care of the society after the founder was gone, and he intends to make good.

In addition to access to Herb Kelly, being a member of the International Bulb Society means that I get emails like this in my personal account all day long:

Hi folks, I’m … in La Place, La. which is about 30 miles upriver from New Orleans. I was active in the group years ago but due to some family issues, travel with work and Hurricanne Katrina I sort of got lost. I’ve got my act together along with 3 more adopted kids and I’m ready to start having fun again. I have a nice crinum collection and all my life I have collected bulbs along the River road and old homesteads in the area. Many places I collected are now large subdivisions and many would have been lost. My latest project is coming across an abandoned moonshine a couple of years ago while running rabbit dogs I came across old garden plots. It was overgrown and even in winter (it’s warm down here) I collected about 40 hippeastrum (we call them amaryllis) about the size of a nickel growing in the undergrowth and planted them in my garden. I did some research and the place was raided and no one has lived there since the 50’s. Some of the old timers remember the lady of the house having beautiful gardens. Well they started blooming this year and they are a bunch of beauties. I don’t know if they were seedlings or the original bulbs which had diminished in size due to lack of sunshine but they are beautiful smaller stature blooms. I also have collected some old narcissus and a few variations of crinum x herbertii from some old slave quarters. Much has been lost due to progress and many people don’t really enjoy their yards as in the past. Anyway just breaking the ice and thats what I like to do. PS: I’m also a Pre War Lionel train collector.

Might I also remind you: The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is underway.

RSS icon Comments


That's lovely.

Posted by homage to me | April 9, 2008 5:45 PM

that tulip is gorgeous.

Posted by angelfish | April 9, 2008 5:49 PM

IBS? No, that's lovely.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 9, 2008 6:17 PM

IBS = Irritable Bowl Syndrome

Posted by don't break the oath | April 9, 2008 6:28 PM

Jen--If you like bulbs, check out They've got some fantastic historic bulbs that you can't get anywhere else. I've been a satisfied customer for years.

Posted by Michigan Matt (soon to be Balt-o-matt) | April 9, 2008 6:34 PM

there are no tulips in skagit this year (so far).

Posted by cochise. | April 9, 2008 7:08 PM

Ms. Graves--you are a wonder! (I have some beautiful scarlet hippeastrum in mid-bloom in my yard here in Savannah.) This native of the PNW is still swooning over the fact that there are gardenias budding in the parking strip...

Thanks for the 'heads-up' re: IBS; and thanks, too, to Balt-o-matt for '' Gardening can be one of the best forms of meditation. Join a P-Patch!

Posted by Laurence Ballard | April 9, 2008 7:17 PM

What a great post. I think the IBS may soon have another member.

Posted by kuzibah | April 10, 2008 6:06 AM

That was fantastic. As a student applying to med schools, I have no idea where I'll wind up living next year, so I have to make do looking after other people's gardens. I can't wait until I have my own!

Posted by kmonkey | April 10, 2008 8:21 AM

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