16 September 2011


I signed up for a bulbs class yesterday.  I say type this gingerly because I've come to a realization since turning 24 that my Saturday mornings are rarely filled with hungover breakfasts, sleeping in or clothes shopping anymore.  I am officially an adult!  And I love gardening!  And I'd be happy if every Saturday morning for the rest of my life was filled with gardening and birdwatching classes!

With fall just around the corner, it's hard to believe it's already time to start thinking about and planning for spring-flowering bulbs.  I planted masses of daffodils and tulips last year but with no particular plan in place.  They looked great, but there's always room for improvement each year.  I have my eye on a few different varieties, all cool tones, that should work well in mass plantings and borders alike.

above photos here

With the striking effect I'm going for, I'll need tons and tons of bulbs. I'm trying to decide if I should be ordering wholesale through an online distributor, or just stick with the local nurseries. Either way, it will likely be expensive.  But hopefully well worth it (if I don't go too overboard!).

One dilemma that I experienced this year is what to do in that awkward stage between the end of tulips and the start of annuals.  I hate to dig up the bulbs but in some prime areas I just have no other choice.  I did read an interesting tip this morning on a nursery website about what to do in this precarious stage;

Areas in the garden usually dedicated to annuals are good spots for bulbs, but it gets tricky when it's time to put the annuals in and the bulbs haven't died down.  Get around this by planting bulbs in plastic pots and  then planting the pots into the ground.  Put compost and sand at the bottom of the pot and plant about 5 bulbs per one gallon pot.  Fill with soil and sink the entire pot into the ground.  It can then be moved when flowering is over, leaving a hole to be filled with something for summer colour.  Use the same trick if you're planting bulbs in a fancy pot or container--it makes it easy to do a quick switch and to keep your containers looking great all the time.

Interesting, right?  Not that I would have the patience to do it, but if you have a smaller garden I can see this working great.  

If you love tulips as much as I do (or any kind of gardens for that matter), check out this post on Ben Pentreath's blog for some more great visual inspiration.  His garden makes me wish I lived in the English Countryside, and his success with tulips this year is palpable.

This is a great shot of a small fraction of the 10 billion bulbs that the Netherlands produces each year.  I guess I'll stop complaining about the aching work of planting only a hundred in my own yard.

 Photo here


  1. re first paragraph - i see a post on FB from around 3 - guess the hangover,sleeping in part might still be in effect.....

  2. Not on Saturday mornings! Sunday, however, may be a different story.



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