Friday, September 28, 2007

An altered (spring) state of mind

You have to think of this . . .

Daffodil "Mount Hood," 2007

When it's late September and part of your garden looks like this . . .

Yes, the foundation wall work continues. The yawning pit should be back-filled within a week. No time to return perennials to their rightful homes, but time enough to plant spring bulbs. Here's this year's order (and suppliers).

Along the back of the house, where foundation work is currently underway:
100 Grape hyacinths/purple ( to fill gaps in the border
100 Tulip dasystemon/yellow and white (John Scheepers), again for the border
100 Tulip "Apricot Impression"/orange (John Scheepers)
20 Tulip "Black Parrot"/deep purple (Holland Bulb Farms), just for fun

Corner of the new side bed:
30 Daffodil "Hawera"/yellow (, a miniature, multi-flowered variety

Corner of the old back bed:
20 Tulip "Princess Irene"/deep red, orange, and purple (
10 Allium "Firmament"/purple (John Scheepers)

Front yard, to replenish existing supplies:
100 Iris danfordiae/yellow (John Scheepers)
100 Allium osttrowskianum/fuschia (John Scheepers)

Two concerns I've been wrestling with:

1. How to discourage squirrels from uprooting the tulip bulbs? Alliums and grape hyacinths are said to act as deterrents, so I'll slip them in nearby. Oh, yes, and I'm planning to lay chicken wire over the tulips along the back of the house.

2. How to time transplanting displaced perennials and putting in new dahlias? Except for the species tulips, I treat the other tulip varieties as annuals. No apologies, that's how I was raised. So when the "Princess Irene" tulips are spent, dahlias will go in; and when the "Apricot Impression" and "Black Parrot" tulips are pulled out, the perennials will be transplanted from their over-wintered holding bed.

One concern that I've largely dodged, being fearful that my head will explode if I factor any more variables, is how these blooms will all look together. I'll accept any serendipitous pleasures.


Carol said...

I think all spring blooms look good together after winter time, so I wouldn't worry about that. I think it will be beautiful.

carletongardener said...

The squirrels are a BIG problem with bulbs. I find that they eat all crocus bulbs unless they are covered with chicken wire. Also they'll eat an entire planting of grape hyacinths - even though they are poisonous. They eat a few bulbs of shallow planted species tulips, but not many. I haven't had any trouble with them eating tulip or daffodil bulbs planted 6-8 inches deep.

Last year squirrels ate about 50 grape hyacinth and 50 crocus bulbs in my yard. Very few bloomed. Three years ago they ate at least 100 crocuses planted in the grass of my front year. I'll cover these if I try again.

Once the plants are established, the squirrels don't seem to bother the bulbs. So the chicken wire can be removed the second year.

You plans sound lovely and I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the flowers.

Doctor Mom said...

Thanks for the words of support--and good advice. I have a question: at what depth do you place the chicken wire? right over the bulbs? or an inch below ground surface? I am such a literalist!