Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The super secret late season bulb patch

November 1 seems awfully late to be doing anything of the planting sort in the garden, but if you are going to try something new just do it, I say.

And these do look rather lovely. I wasn’t planning to plant bulbs this year. I have never planted any before and wanted to wait until I get my tree plan sorted and some hardscaping installed before I planted much else. I was avoiding having to move things in and out of the ground yet again.

But these sweet bulbs found me. I was at the monthly hort society meeting last Monday and I won these bulbs as a door prize. I yelped and ran up to claim my prize. I was thrilled until I realized it was super late in the year and I didn’t even know how or where I would plant them.

I decided to plant them by the back door in a new bed that has nothing in it but a lovely Holmstrup cedar. I wanted them some place I could sit and gaze at them as they poke out of the ground in the spring.

And I know they will. I am very heartened about this because I see that a couple other northern gardeners have recently planted bulbs and they are much more experienced than I.

The only thing I am worried about is the squirrels getting them, hence the sheet over them. I just hope it doesn’t act like a red flag does to a bull. No bulbs here, squirrels, no siree. Just a sheet taking a rest on the ground, so best you keep moving along. I hear there’s lots of pinecones thataway.

Now that I’ve done it I am pretty excited by the idea of flowers in the spring. Wish me luck!


Naturegirl said...

Nothing better and more exciting when you see
those tulips smiling at you after a long winter! I planted some MORE this week..and alliums which I posted about early in the summer and was determined to have my own!As long as the ground is NOT frozen I plant bulbs!!
Thank you so much for your generous recent comment at my blog.
I feel passion when I walk with Nature.

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

I am looking forward to seeing pictures in the spring.
The sheet is a great idea to foil the dreams of those pesky squirrels.

miss m (InfG) said...

There were a number a different bulbs here in the garden when I bought the place. I knew nothing about gardening back then. I enjoyed them at first but as the numbers dwindled over the years, I finally got fed up and pulled them all out. Subsequently, I got use to gardening without them but they are such an asset to have. I'll be planting bulbs again soon, I just haven't decided on variety and color scheme. Your selection has inspired me. (Love the white tulips). Good luck and enjoy !

sweet bay said...

The squirrels will leave the Narcissus bulbs alone -- usually nothing eats those, the bulbs or the flowers. It's perfectly fine to plant bulbs this time of year because they're dormant now. I look forward to seeing them next spring!

Northern Shade said...

A bed by the backdoor is a great spot for the bulbs, since you'll be able to view them easily. On a cold spring day, you can press your nose against the back window everytime you pass, and enjoy the flower show. They also entice you to open the door, and tour the garden to see what's up.

Sarada said...

Good idea to put that sheet...this year I planted some tulips along with some Alliums and sprinkled some chilli flakes to keep the squirrels away, otherwise last year half of my bulbs have been eaten away :(

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Congrats on your win! The bulbs look lovely and I'm sure will greet you with cheery blooms next spring. I like your squirrel deterrant, I hope it works. :)

The Garden Ms. S said...

Thanks for your encouraging comments! I am looking forward to seeing some blooms in the spring.

Earlier this year we inserted some stone pavers in the lawn for walking on and the squirrels tried to dig them up, so I was a little worried about the bulbs but hopefully the sheet works. :)

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Tried to dig up stone pavers? Those are some tough squirrels lol!

Dave said...

Hey Garden Ms S:

We've lucked out and had two weeks of almost decent weather at the beginning of November, so I'm feeling optimistic about your (and my) late plantings. Lois Hole's great book says something like 'three weeks with day highs above 10' (I lent it to a friend and so can't check), but maybe the temperatures we got will be enough.

The Eastern Grey Squirrel is a notorious bulb predator, and perhaps the European Red Squirrel is also a problem, but I think our Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) gets a bad rap in this regard. At least I have always had red squirrels and never had a problem with them going after bulbs. Spruce cones, mushrooms, and baby birds are all on the menu, but they don't seem to know there are edible bulbs available by the hundreds. If anyone has had bulb problems with Red Squirrels, then I'd be interested in hearing about them.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Hi Dave: Great to hear our squirrels can be oblivious to the bulbs (and that Lois Hole might not be shaking her head at us :)).

Now that I have planted some bulbs I am pretty excited about seeing them come up in the spring. If they do well, I expect many more to go in next fall. You understand :)