Tulips are best treated as annuals in our region. Bulbs purchased in the fall should be placed in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 weeks before planting to provide the pre-chilling that they require. Remove and discard the bulbs after they finish flowering in the spring. Tulips do not keep their leaves long enough here to store needed energy for good re-blooming due to our early summer heat. Our winter season does not provide enough consistent chilling for them either. The strong splash of color they offer to the Spring garden make them well worth the extra effort they require.
For the Spring Paper-white Narcissus are very well adapted to our area as well as some Daffodils such as ‘Fortune’ ‘Ice Follies’ and ‘Carlton’. Snowdrops (Leucojum) are another spring blooming bulb that will naturalize here. Summer blooming bulbs such as Amaryllis, Crinums, Dahlias, Gladiolus, Gloriosa Lily, Spider Lily (Hymenocallis), Louisiana Iris, Formosan (or Philipine)Lily, and the Zepher Lily perform well here. The Lycoris (Hurricane or Red Spider Lily) blooms in late summer or in the fall dependably in our region.
Many of the large weeds that are troublesome in the spring are cool season annuals. They sprout in the fall, grow through the winter and bloom in the spring before dying from the summer heat. By applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall you can help prevent them from becoming a problem. We suggest spraying Hi-Yield Atrazine or spreading Scott’s Halts now to stop the weeds from becoming a problem next spring.
You are describing the Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans). This upright growing, evergreen shrub starts blooming in the fall and continues into the spring. Although the individual blooms are very small their fragrance is very intense. We count the Tea Olive as one of our favorites and highly recommend planting them for a vertical accent and for their rich fragrance.