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Cultivating Place: Heirloom Bulbs With Scott Kunst Of Old House Gardens

Photo courtesy of Old House Garden.
Scott and Jane Kunst, with Toby on the porch at their home in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Credit Photo courtesy of Old House Garden
The cover of the first xeroxed “catalogue" Scott and Jane Kunst sent out in 1993, when Scott realized that if he was going to save his favorite old tulip - the fragrant “Prince of Austria” from disappearing from commercial cultivation he was going to have to do it himself.

Today is the Autumnal Equinox. If gardening at its core is an activity of optimism, then planting fall bulbs is one of its most profound gestures of hope wherein you plant something that looks like next to nothing and then some months later – perhaps when you might need it most — it appears out of the cold, damp earth and then — it blooms. 

This week Cultivating Place is joined by Scott Kunst, founder and soon to be retiring owner of Old House Gardens — purveyers and champions of heirloom bulbs varieties from around the world and throughout time.

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Jennifer Jewell is the creator and host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father.