Bulb time!

The weather forecast was for a mix of sun and cloud, with a high of about 12C.

I’m sitting outside right now… it’s 15, and the few tiny puffs of cloud barely count. I took the day off work. Who knows if or when we’ll get another beautiful day this year?I got out the bulbs I bought about a month ago…hmm, maybe under the powder room sink isn’t the best place to store them. Some of the bulbs (the blue bells especially) are a bit soft. I expected the blue bells to feel more like pearl onions.

I spread them out in the garden bed (still in their bags) and moved them here and there until I was happy with the arrangement of height and color. I’ve already got some King Alfred bulbs in the garden from about 5years ago… they’ve naturalized well. After the color arrangement worked, I removed them from their bags and positioned the individual bulbs, then went around and planted.

Most of the tulips I planted with the Alfreds have finished their lifespan – and those that strive valiantly each year to bloom almost inevitably get decapitated by squirrels.

I hope I have outfoxed the squirrels this year… I constrained my purchases to alliums and daffodils. This year, I planted

  • Narcissus double Tahiti – 16″ high, yellow with orange frond-like petals (sepals?)at the center
  • Narcissus Barrett Browning – 16″, white with a bright orange cup
  • Narcissus Chromacolor – 14-16″, white with peach cup
  • Narcissus Tazetta Geranium – 16″, white with smaller ruffled orange cup
  • Narcissus double Flower drift – 16″, double white petals with yellow-to-orange inner petals
  • Narcissus Tazetta Tripartite – 16″, three lemon-yellow flowers on each stem
  • Allium nigrum… 28″ tall, white balls of flowerets with green centers
  • Bluebells – Hyacinthoides non-scripta – 8″ high, delicate blue-striped flowers… I’ve run 30 of them in a little rivulet in the flower bed, and I hope they naturalize well.

So…a dig of the bulb planter, a tbsp of blood and bone meal, replace the soil, and they are in the ground.

Then I spread more blood and bone meal around, in the perhaps-feeble hope that the squirrels will leave them alone, and I topped it off with two inches of cedar mulch (the leaves from the cottonwood don’t mulch nicely… They are very heavy and don’t break down well, so I feel I have to remove them).

Final comments? That lovely new bulb planter wasn’t worth the money. The soil was quite heavy from the November rains, and it stuck inside the planter very well… I had to poke numerous times with a bamboo stake to remove it from the cylinder. Someone should make a bulb planter with a “flush” mechanism on it that releases all the dirt. And the handle (bent over chromed metal into a triangle) wasn’t sturdy. I over-bent it on the second bulb I was planting (hit a little stone). I think I spent as much time bobbing up and down as I did with my little green bulb planter that’s only seven inches high, so I’ll probably stick to using that in the future. Truly, this was a lovely looking planter, but not very efficient.

All that remains to be planted is the purple alliums in the bed in the front garden where the Japanese anemones have taken over. This will be an interesting challenge, and one I wasn’t quite up to today.

I’m still stuck on dial-up. Until at least next Wednesday. May the top three echelons of workers at Bell Sympatico develop foot fungus. Blech.

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