Bulbs are here!

1187 bulbs ready to be planted!

The last of the bulbs arrived today, all were unpacked and the order checked. There were a few items sold out, but all the most important items are here. It’s a drizzly, cold day so the planting won’t begin immediately. Instead, the “bulb sheets” were finished and the planting plan revised to reflect not only the “missing” bulbs but those that were ordered in a recent “impulse” purchase. After reading a few blogs from “down under” where spring is just beginning, some snowdrops and “Glory of the Snow” were ordered to start the spring bloom earlier. The sooner I can see flowers next year, the better! Plus a few species tulips were ordered to replace some that were unavailable.

Note that there are photos on both sides of the sheets.

The bulb sheets are useful as planting goes on, because it lists heights and planting depth for each variety. Plus the color photos are a quick guide for combining colors and shapes. Once planting is complete, the sheets go in the “Bloom” notebook, where they are used to note the date the variety comes into bloom, as well as the date its flowering is over. The color photos help to quickly identify each variety as it comes into bloom. Notes are also made as to growth (the leaves are just TOO big! or the stems are too weak to hold up the flowers) and colors (TOO PINK! or absolutely perfect!) or bloom period (petals fell off very quickly!) so that when the time comes to order bulbs again there is lots of info.

The top sheet (nearest my ever-present tea cup and some newly cut roses) is just a quick list of the varieties that go in each garden, and how many. Generally, the Front Garden and the Potager’s exterior border have a lot of the same varieties (lots of orange tulips of all heights, crocus along the sidewalk) because they are the two major gardens seen from the road and the driveway. This year, they are also getting some purple alliums. The Front Island gets NO tulips or crocus because the squirrels are too active there, so it will have the tall white alliums and some snowdrops instead. The Deck Garden is not seen by passersby, so it gets a slightly different color combination (more yellows and white) plus fragrant hyacinths and early crocus along the sidewalk and back door. The Potager’s interior border mimics the Deck Garden a bit in tulip color, but also has purple alliums to extend the bulb period. The Fairy Garden will get a few crocus and snowdrops, and maybe some muscari. And since it is rarely visited in spring, the Addition Garden gets a few species tulips, some muscari, and anything else that’s leftover! I always think I’ll put some bulbs in the Cutting Garden for early bouquets, but there are never enough bulbs. Maybe someday, but it’s not high on the priority list.

Planting will be done at a leisurely pace, any day when the weather is decent and the ground dry enough for digging. Planting will begin at the back of the Front Garden and move forward til it’s done, then the Potager Exterior border, followed by the Deck Garden, the Potager Interior border, then the Front Island (less time for the squirrels to find things and dig them up just for fun) and lastly, even if the snow is flying the small bulbs that go in the Fairy Garden can be put in. The Addition Garden freezes last, since it’s along a west-facing brick wall, so it’s last planted, although in fact some years, I’ve run out of bulbs before I got there. As long as everything is in by Thanksgiving, all is well. A sprinkling of bone meal and a pinch of fertilizer goes in each hole.

Definitely looking forward to lots of spring color again!

As mentioned in an earlier post, extra hyacinths and some amaryllis bulbs were ordered to battle the winter doldrums. I’m already debating whether to pot one of the amaryllis NOW (like the minute I’m done with this post!) and maybe even force a hyacinth! The amaryllis takes 8-10 weeks, and I’m sure by then a big flower would really be appreciated.

Are you planting bulbs? Are you forcing any bulbs yet for indoor cheer?

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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18 Responses to Bulbs are here!

  1. Re-Farmer says:

    So exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing photos of them, next year. 🙂

    In our zone, we had to get our bulbs in weeks ago. Two areas in a maple grove will be full of grape hyacinths, and another of snow crocuses. In a sunnier location are several varieties of tulips, and the south edge of a garden area still being reclaimed has irises and daffodils. Aside from the grape hyacinths, my daughters chose the flowers.

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  2. So exciting! My bulbs are supposed to arrive today!! Lots to go in, thanks for the idea of notes – I think I need to get a bit better about organizing my colors and what-nots if I’m going to be selling Spring subscriptions! I still have yet to even put my main garden to bed yet!

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    • carolee says:

      I haven’t begun prepping gardens for winter (what little I actually do!) beyond trimming the frost-killed plants and digging the dahlias! I’m running behind “normal” but I’m trying not to be panicky about it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are so well organised! I always intend to make notes, and map where I put things, but never do. All my spring bulbs have finished flowering in the last couple of weeks. But the lilies are zooming up after some warm weather and rain, and forming buds already. I’ve put in lots of extra tiger lilies this year, because I ended up giving away half of mine last year to a colleague whose daughter is called tiger lily. I’ve put in a dozen splendens because they look like the ones we grew as kids, and remind me of Lewis Carrol’s “Through the Looking Glass”. I hope you get some early blooms to bring you some joy.

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    • carolee says:

      In looking over last year’s notes, I just found one tucked in (but not formally entered into THE journal, that said “order more of those wonderful yellow tiger lilies!” Too late for this year, but I’ll put at the top of the page already titled “Bulb Order 2021!” So, you see I’m not nearly as organized as I may sound!!!

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  4. I haven’t ordered any bulbs this year – just haven’t got round to it – I am never as organised as you! But when I was weeding I found some crocus bulbs already sprouting so quickly buried them again. I have planted so many bulbs over the years I should have a decent show even if I don’t get any more in. Fingers crossed!

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  5. carolee says:

    I do put in bulbs every year because so many things (tulips in particular) do not return here. I think it’s because I plant them in areas that have lots of annuals all summer that need watering well. Most bulbs come from areas that stay dry for long periods. And, every year the squirrels find some of the crocus and other tasty bulbs. Plus, my view is that one can never have too many spring flowers!

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  6. March Picker says:

    Your selections sound beautiful, Carolee! You are the orange queen. That’s quite a number. As I dig dahlias along one border I’m popping in 30 Delnashaugh daffodils that I love in other areas. My tulips (just 250ish this year) a go into pots, and that work’s begun. Like you, I’m adding more alliums. My hyacinths are plentiful so I’m just starting some indoors, and I always force paperwhites as well. Viva les bulbs! (or something like that 🙂 )

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    • carolee says:

      I love my Delnashaugh daffys as well. I always think I’ll plant some tulips in pots just for fun, but I never do. Do your hyacinths really come back each year? Mine rarely do, and if they do, they are skinnier with fewer flowers and often much paler in color. Last spring only one appeared, thus the big box this year. I am looking forward to starting some indoors. What’s your favorite tulip color?

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      • March Picker says:

        Well, it took me too long to see this comment! Yes, my hyacinths return faithfully. I don’t mind if some are less bulky because they stay upright better, actually. I am a fan of all colors in the garden, except for salmon or coral. It’s strange how we are drawn to particular colors. One of my favorite tulip years was when I did orange and purple combos everywhere. They were outstanding! Hope your week is off to a great start!

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      • carolee says:

        We are having record warmth here, with gorgeous sunny days. Spent yesterday clearing my mother’s veg garden and putting her frames and tomato cages away. Today, I hope to put sealer on my potager fence. Can’t believe it’s been five years already! Yes, it is interesting how different people like different colors and combinations. That’s a good thing…something for everyone!

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  7. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Goodness, you’re almost scientific in your approach to planting the bulbs. I usually just shove my in wherever I think they’ll fit, often on top of one another because I sometimes don’t get round to putting labels in the garden.

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    • carolee says:

      Oh, I don’t put labels in the garden either, only rarely if something valuable and slow is there. I did dig up a few “old” bulbs yesterday when planting the Front Garden bulbs, but that’s okay. They were divided and replanted with a bit of fertilizer, or popped into a bucket to go to another location. Seems I found more than usual…maybe it was our very dry summer. Lots of crocuses already showing growth underground. I’m hoping that means an early spring?

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  8. Peg says:

    We’re not planting any bulbs, we are still trying to dig up all the moscari (sp?) bulbs we have in our yard.

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    • carolee says:

      I know some people think muscari is more weed than flower, but I love them and want more. Maybe I’ll be sorry down the road (or a future owner of these gardens will curse at me!!) but I’ll enjoy them in the meantime, and if they become thugs, then they will get moved!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. We’re so excited to plant bulbs for the first time this year, our neighbor across the street has a batch of Bearded Iris and Gladiolas that are so lovely to look at. We went a little crazy with all of our choices but I’m excited to see it all come together in the spring.

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    • carolee says:

      Planting bulbs is exciting the first time, or the 60th time! Hope next spring it looks as pretty as it does now in your mind! I spent most of yesterday planting, and enjoyed every minute! One garden done, six to go….

      Liked by 1 person

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