August 26, 2010

Bulbs, Bulbs! It's Time to Plan

Today's Butterfly:
Tiger Swallowtail on Lantana montevidensis

Janie sent me a picture of a tulip called 'China Town' in ruffled pink. We can't just plant tulip bulbs in the ground here and expect stems longer than 2 inches because of the lack of chill. We can make elaborate schemes for chilling bulbs in the fridge in the absence of fruit like apples and then planting them. My last attempt at tulips in pots was eaten by the new puppy just as they put on buds.

Tulips just peeking out of the soil that would have bloomed in the spring of 2009 if Buffy hadn't eaten them.

Last winter I forced Amaryllis instead of Tulips.
Amaryllis are much more expensive, but one bulb makes a big show.

It's time to plan, order and remember where the bulbs are stored until time to plant in the fall.

I review past years' spring bloom pics to see what performed well and where there are spaces without bulbs. Sometimes I lift some existing bulbs and relocate them either in the fall if I know exactly where they are or when they show green in the spring if I'm not sure.

The catalog photos are very tempting, but experience shows that the best bulbs for pretty shows in the spring are generally the tried and proven. They are generally cheaper than new cultivars, another consideration.

August 14, 2010

Esperanza or Tecoma Stans?

Whichever name you know it by, it is a beautiful late summer bloomer despite drought.

It plays well with Pride of Barbados, bringing out the yellow in the blossoms. P of B is setting seeds and I haven't clipped them off. Only one of the seeds I set early in the spring produced a plant. It has struggled in the drought.

Other tropicals that have survived drought and bloomed are Shrimp Plant and Curcuma. No Cannas have bloomed and Lantana has very small blossoms.

August 02, 2010

After a While by Virginia Shoffstall

  • After a while you learn the subtle difference

    Between holding a hand and sharing a life

    And you learn that love doesn't mean possession

    And company doesn't mean security

    And loneliness is universal.

    And you learn that kisses aren't contracts

    And presents aren't promises

    And you begin to accept your defeats

    With your head up and your eyes open

    With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.

    And you learn to build your hope on today

    As the future has a way of falling apart in mid-flight

    Because tomorrow's ground can be too uncertain for plans

    Yet, each step taken in a new direction creates a path

    Toward the promise of a brighter dawn.

    And you learn that even sunshine burns

    If you get too much

    So you plant your own garden and nourish your own soul

    Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

    And you learn that love,

    True love,

    Always has joys and sorrows

    Seems ever present, yet is never quite the same

    Becoming more than love and less than love

    So difficult to define.

    And you learn that through it all

    You really can endure

    That you really are strong

    That you do have value

    And you learn and grow

    With every goodbye

    You learn. -- Virginia Shoffstall

    I found a yellowed clipping in some papers with this clipping from an 'Ann Landers' column. She said it was one of the most requested poems of all time.

    I Blog Here & Here too