Planting spring bulbs


I have plans for the weekend, but not indoors. The list of chores awaiting my attention is long, but there are bulbs to plant, so the leaky bathroom will have to wait, and there is no need to replace the weatherstripping until it gets cold, really cold.

For each of the twenty years that I’ve gardened this plot I’ve planted a hundred bulbs, or five hundred, and still there is room for more. Today there are fifty Spanish bluebells, a few hundred dwarf narcissus, a hundred and fifty of a few different alliums, and camassias, irises, and trout lilies waiting for planting. I have not decided who goes where, but that should be quite simple once I have trowel in hand. I debated purchasing several hundred crocus, and have a perfect spot for a handful of hardy cyclamen, but the budget was getting a bit out of hand, so those will have to wait until next autumn.

Many of the smaller bulbs can be planted beneath other shrubs, and the heavily shaded area under trees is fine for planting since there is sufficient sunlight to grow narcissus and any number of bulbs that require the late winter sun.

I will not be planting any tulips, though there are varieties that will tolerate the poorly drained clay, and will return annually. One year I planted an assortment of a thousand, or two, and over a few years some were done in by the poorly drained soil, others eaten by deer or dug up by squirrels, and others just pooped out and faded every year until they disappeared. With many thousands of bulbs that return without a fuss, and with no bother from critters, I’m quite happy to plant narcissus, alliums, and any number of other odd bulbs until I have run out of space (perhaps in another twenty years).

One Comment Add yours

  1. linda kay says:

    Thanks for the honesty about tulips. I have planted them with high hopes, put up barriers, got a dog, and the critters still ate my tulips. I heard they are delicious.

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