Bulbs are Planted!

Finally, the last of the bulbs are in the ground.  Recent thunderstorms have made it a challenge to complete, but it’s finished and can be marked off the “TO DO” list.  The crocus “Cream Beauty” are always included.  Although they are good at  repeat Crocus 2-26-18 compressed  performance, each year I add 100 to be able to plant additional spots and to replace those eaten by critters or that rot over winter in our cold clay soils.  The perky Tulip batalinii “Bright Gem” are a staple for the potager’s two central paths’ edges.  They are just so darned cute,Tulip edging close 5-8-18  with their big flowers on tiny plants.  I smile every time I see them.  Barring extreme weather, they are long-lasting as well, and it’s certain that the fairies love them.

Otherwise, this year’s selections were a bit different from past years.  After careful observation of the past three year’s show, it was decided that more color was needed later in May rather than early May when some daffodils are in full force.  To remedy that, a collection of 300 late May tulips was ordered, and the number of earlier tulips was reduced to only two very choice varieties.  Foxy Foxtrot  The big winner last year was a new one, “Foxy Foxtrot,” a double-flowered early beauty in my favorite color, marmalade orange with shading to lemon yellow and apricot.  It edged out the previous favorite “Charming Beauty” because it seemed to last a bit longer and was just a tad brighter.  Only 12-14″ tall, Foxy Foxtrot is a standout in the front edges so, this year their number was doubled so they could be planted in the Front Garden, in the conspicuous part of the Deck Garden, and in the potager’s interior border.  “Foxy” bloomed in late April last year into early May, just as the early daffodils were disappearing.  In those same areas groups of Triumph (a cross between Darwin and Early tulips) “Annie Schilder” went in.  Isn’t she gorgeous!  Just luminous! Tulip Annie Schilder “Annie” is a luscious warm orange with a deeper orange interior and a yellow base.  At 18″ she goes behind the “Foxy” plantings and struts her stuff from the very end of April into the second week of May.

So, now we come to the newcomers to the gardens here, the “Late May” collection from Van Engelen which is made of 6 tall (28-30″) tulips (50 of each) that will go in the back of borders.  By the time they are fading the perennials will nicely hide their browning foliage, but the flowers will easily float above any emerging perennials.  The two shortest of the group (28″) are Tulip “El Nino” and Tulip “Hocus Pocus.” Tulip El Nino “El Nino” is a luscious apricot amber so it will go behind the groupings of “Annie Schilder” due to its height.  It should be perfect against the paler apricot brick of the house.  A few will also go into the potager interior border, to add some late color before the alliums bloom.  Tulip Hocus Pocus  Because of its bright yellow petals with red streaks, “Hocus Pocus” is a departure from the normal palette of apricots and oranges, so they will go into the Front Island, and a few in the potager exterior border.  Tulip Blushing Lady  Tulip “Blushing Lady” is one I’ve had before, and a few of them actually returned for an encore performance the following year, something that does not usually happen here with any but the species tulips. It’s going into the back of the potager’s exterior border, where its pale yellow petals with pale rose shading will stand out against the fence.  And a few of them went into the Front Island along with “Hocus Pocus” since they are similar.

Three 30″ varieties were mixed together before planting in the potager’s interior border, largely where the tallest dahlias came out.  Tulip Big BrotherTulip “Big Brother” is listed as apricot-salmon.  I’m hoping it’s not too pink! Tulip Temple of Beauty “Tulip “Temple of Beauty” is salmon-rose, although in this photo from Van Englelen’s website it appears more orange, and I’m hoping that will be the case.  However,  I suspect it will be too pink for my tastes, but it was part of the collection ordered, so it gets a chance.  “Tulip “Temple’s Favorite” (sorry, no photo) is nasturtium orange, so I expect to love it!  hyacinthoide excelsior  Also in the Front Island, because it is lightly shaded on the north side went 12-15″ Hyacinthoides “Excelsior” with it’s purple-blue spikes.  It’s deer and rodent repellent, and I’m hoping the squirrels that visit the black walnut trees there will avoid not only them but the tulips as well!  Wishful thinking?  They are listed as blooming in May, so we’ll just have to wait to see exactly when in May that happens.  And, hopefully they will naturalize a bit.  I received 2 huge (the size of duck eggs) hyacinthoid bulbs “Blue Arrow” as a gift from Simple Pleasures Bulbs & Perennials.  Hyacinthoide Blue Arrow  Unfortunately the packaging doesn’t say how tall they will be but judging from the bulb size, I’m guessing 2′ or more so they are also in the Front Island.

Also in the potager’s interior border went 10 white allium “Ping Pong.”  The majority of allium bulbs planted there in the past two years have rotted, so I’ve raised the soil level a bit and will try them again.  Wish them luck!  That’s 837 bulbs, and I ran out before any were planted in the North or South Islands, the Cutting Garden, or under the Lady Cottage’s window box area!  I guess I should have ordered more!  Maybe I’ll just check to see if there are any “end of the season” sales going on….



About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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13 Responses to Bulbs are Planted!

  1. All that beauty just waiting to happen!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Going Batty in Wales says:

    They sound like a srunning display waiting to happen. And again I am in awe of your meticulous planning! I buy bulbs, mainly daffodils, every year and when I get a sack struggle to get them all in. Partly that is because I have not recorded acurately enough where i put them in previous years! So this year I bought fewer and ran out before the area was finished. I really must take a leaf out of your book Nd keep better records! I hope you will show pictures in a pist when they all come out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolee says:

      A few existing bulbs, mainly daffodils, did get sliced by the shovel when I dug holes for the tulips so my method isn’t foolproof. I really MUST get some of those larger, crowded clumps dug and divided though. Photos will happen!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bcparkison says:

    I can’t wait for your Spring photos.


  4. Tanja says:

    You just reminded me, I still have to get my bulbs into the ground. October was very wet here in North Texas. So, I didn’t garden as much as I wanted to do.


    • carolee says:

      It has been wet here, too. Lots of fields of soybeans and corn still out there to be harvested, when/if they can get back in the fields. Looking around, it is hard to believe it is November with so many crops still out.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I still have a few dozen tulips to get into the ground. Craziest weather ever. It stopped raining here today, but it is COLD! Every time I go out there to plant, I find so much that needs to be done in tidying up the garden that I never quite get to the planting part. Better get a move on before snow flies!

    I do love your focus on orange – how lovely. I tend toward being a willy-nilly color scheme kind of gardener.


    • carolee says:

      Planting takes priority for me. Once they are safely buried, the ground can freeze and I can still clip off dead plants, drag in hoses, and do other tidying that catches my eye. Orange is a happy color, and goes so well with blues and purples. I like it much better than pinks or reds, although I’m thinking a bit more white and less yellow might be a nice change….Lots of winter time for contemplation!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. jennerjahn says:

    LIKE several other readers, your pictures make me anxious for spring just to see the show at your house. How lucky I am to actually SEE THE SHOW, not just the pictures.


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