Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things I learned while I was planting 160 tulip bulbs last night

  • An hour and a half before sundown is not an early enough start time, especially when we're still in huge-ass-spiders-in-the-garden season. Digging in the near-dark is scary.What was that? Did I just walk through a web? Do I feel something on my neck?
  • Laying them out first, based on color and height is a better approach than what I did last year, where I dug as I went and ended up with clumps of colors and bald spots galore.
  • I tried to sprinkle the bulbs like Jacqueline van der Kloet recommends (so everything looks more natural) but I suspect the whole thing will look kind of stiff anyway.

  • You have to wear gloves when you plant hyacinths because they will irritate your skin. Thanks for the heads up, Brett and Becky's!
  • It doesn't matter how perfect I think my angle is, I will end up tossing the bulb in top-down or on its side.
  • Somehow I didn't run into any of the 75 bulbs I planted last year, which is impossible, right? I must have bulb-stealing critters.
  • Being really hungry while you plant does not make things go faster. 
  • Elizabeth over at Garden Rant says that the process of planting the bulbs is the best part--I'm not so sure I agree. I *do* love the anticipation of waiting for them to come up. It's exciting when they start to emerge from the ground and again when they actually open. I wanted to be more zen about the whole process but the sun was sinking so fast.
  • Man, doing anything 160 times right in a row is boring.
  • Goddamn it, I didn't order any crocuses. Again. Someone remind me next year?
  • I'm going to have to spend some time getting to know this new camera--the colors and white balance in my photos are all off.
I finally bought Rosalie bulbs in honor of my grandma on my mom's side; now I'd like to find a Marjorie flower for my dad's mom. It looks like there's a variety of clematis (C. montana var. rubens 'Marjorie') that might fit the bill. It's pretty and pink and I'm obsessed with incorporating vines into my garden right now, so everyone wins!

In addition to getting the bulbs in the ground I also replaced (FOR THE THIRD TIME) the birdbath top. You'd think I'd get smart and glue it to the top, but it was cold and I didn't feel like it. I went for a red one this time.

I'm totally tempting fate to knock it over again, aren't I?


  1. Been there done that! It's a drag to plant them all but so nice to see the results the following year. I bought one of those bulb diggers for my drill but it bent in half after only 30 bulbs. Unfortunately I found out that squirrels love to eat or move tulip bulbs and only 1/3 of them came up the next year. This year not a single one came back...except for the couple they moved to the ditch.

  2. I love the red birdbath!

  3. Yay, thanks! I *really* hope it can stay in one piece this time.

  4. Those little bags always look so innocuous. Can there possibly be that many? But, digging in the failing light, yes, there can be so very many.
    I love the bird bath top. Will you have to replace it? Probably, yes. My problem is cats. They see the birds and want to catch them, and then they realize that there is a basin of bird-flavored water to be lapped up and oops! Another top falls and cracks.

  5. I second the love for the red birdbath!

  6. thinking of cheating and planting some spring bulbs NOW (never done this before...). Do you have a particular online place you recommend for bulbs? cheers

  7. Brent and Becky's bulbs are awesome and I've also had good luck with John Scheepers. You could plant fall-blooming stuff now, if no one has spring bulb available.

  8. looking them up right now- thanks!