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.


kenju said...

Love the color of your lantana. I have seen more swallowtails this year (on my lantana) than any other time I can remember.

janie said...

Nell, do you remember when you started teaching me about growing bulbs? I printed out all that material, and I keep it in a 'garden planner', a big 3" 3-ring binder, so it is easy to access.

This past week, my grand daughter was talking about planting some daffodils, and said she would like to learn to grow them. I let her do 'research' in the 'garden planner'. She was so excited about that book, and then she got to looking at the journals that I have kept over the years. She spent hours in those books. She does my heart good.

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