Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Spring Bulbs

It's that time of year for planting spring bulbs… How many of you have planted yours already?

I'm dithering again, my bulbs have finally arrived (after procrastinating in the first place to order them) and now I have them I'm feeling overwhelmed at where exactly they can go…

So, what is your approach to planting spring bulbs? Do you create a plan, or do you plant them where it 'feels right'?

I do plan… Only when I actually do the job things never actually end up where I had planned… I'm more of a 'feeling' person and go with gut instinct.

Tuesday morning was rather chilly, and I could see frost on the Buddleia (not on the ground though) so it's going to happen soon. Added to the lack of rain, I think the ground is going to be particularly difficult to dig this year… I have to get the bulbs in soon!

My bulb list looks like:

100x Crocus 'snow bunting'
100x Crocus tomasinianus Ruby'
100x Snowdrops
200x mixed spring bulbs (Oxalis, Tulip, Daffodil, Iris, Allium)
100x mixed Allium
20x Allium 'purple sensation'

I do have bluebells left over from last year too that I will try to get in.

That's a serious amount to get in my relatively modest garden, but I do realise Crocus and Snowdrops need to be planted in drifts to look good… I'm sure I will have some left over, and mum is due to have some of the mixed spring bulbs and mixed Alliums.

I do also have lots of bulbs in pots from last year that I planted in desperation in December when the ground was too hard (left it too late, yet again…..) So I need to empty the pots out, and re-plant all the bulbs…

Oh, has anyone else got their spring bulbs already coming up? I have a few Iris and a suspected Freesia already putting their leaves up…


Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....I have planted all my bulbs....daffs, bluebells (native of course), and tulips.

I do not plan.......when I plant in grass I throw them in the air and plant them where they land....sounds odd, but it works really well. Looks quite natural.

Have fun planting........

elizabethm said...

Hi Liz, thanks for visiting mine. I am about a quarter of the way through planting mine. I do plan in terms of deciding where I want them to go and how many in which place. I try to keep a record too because I have lost count of the times I have forgotten where they are and speared them with a fork later in the year. Your mix sounds fabulous.

Joanne said...

Gosh you have a lot to plant. I have a few that got dug up when I weeded that I really need to pop back in but I wont be buying any this year.

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl, Oooh, it sounds like I'm behind with my planting then... I wonder if I would get some done tomorrow after work...

I too have the native, true Bluebells, there's nothing I love more than 'real' bluebells. I do also have some of the hybrids, or rather they were here when I moved in. I cut their heads off and enjoy their perfume in the house without fear of them hybridising with my natives.

Your plan with the bulbs is a good one! I'm unsure whether to plant my crocus in the front lawn... I plan to get rid of it so it'd be a waste...

Liz said...

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for dropping by on my blog :)

Your plan is definitely worth it, and I would like to be like you and be able to plan things and carry them out but I just know when it comes to it, I'll put them anywhere I can find a space... ha ha ha.

Liz said...

Hi Joanne, hopefully with this lot this year once they're planted it will mean I won't need to plant any more next year.

The website I order off only delivers in bags of 100, some bulbs they do in 10s but most are much larger... I had no option but to buy so many, but they are very cheap! They do come up too, I've used them for a number of years now :)

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I got dizzy looking at the numbers. Yo are a hero. I am a lazy slug.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Liz, I shouldn't be commenting at this ridiculous time!! and will be back tomorrow to do it properly but I noticed your query on Cheryl's blog and if you are interested in Piet Oudolf you MUST ask Shirl about him she is a huge fan.

Liz said...

Hi Jan, :P Yes, Shirl was the one who introduced me to Piet and as a result I now have all his books.... I just wish I had the style to be able to recreate what he does but as I'm too 'manic' in my planting I fear it'll never happen... ha ha.

(of course, it also helps if you have a large field to be able to also create his borders)

Liz said...

Hi Tatyana, ha ha, I'm also a lazy slug!

We have rain today... And it doesn't look like it'll be moving any time soon, so my plan of getting some planting done this evening has been scuppered... However it does now mean the ground will be softer, the severe lack of rain for the past 2 months has meant the clay soil is like concrete.

Esther Montgomery said...

I've planted half my bulbs and they are all in the wrong place.

Reason One . . . I had planned to do some re-organising of larger plants but found the ground was wrong where I wanted to move them to (soil not deep enough) so had to abandon plan of putting bulbs in front.

Reason Two . . . got called away after I had started so had to chuck all the earth back ready to start again another time.

Reason Three . . . I've cut the lower branches off everything in the back garden which has exposed a lot of bare (but unpleasant) earth - so I got in a state and simply bunged in bulbs pretty much at random so there will be something to look forward to in the spring.

I bought lots of daffodils in a pick-and-mix bag at the garden centre. I went round putting earlies, middles and lates in the same bag . . . then I went round again . . . then I added some favourites on top. The bag split in my rucksack on the way home so they got even more muddled. I didn't note their names.



ShySongbird said...

Hi Liz, I think procrastination is my middle name! I am really very, very good at it ;)

Istill have my Ground Elder problem so not sure what I will be doing about bulbs this time.

Your bulbs sound lovely, you certainly are going to be busy. I don't think I have ever put mine in as early as the 'experts' advise and I know you can plant Tulips really late so if you do struggle then leave those until last.

I had to laugh at Esther's comments, that sounds like the sort of muddle I get into ;)

Liz said...

Hi Esther!

At least you will have lots of nice surprises as your bulbs come up! Although, I have to say your bulb experience isn't too different from mine!
I bought bulbs like you, in a pick and mix, I had no idea what bulbs they were in the end and just shoved them into my pots as I could! I didn't even realise I'd bought tulips!!

Then when I bought two bags of 100 Iris... It didn't dawn on my to have a 'control' pot, and they were all mixed. So I have no idea which Iris are which... Lots of lovely pots brimmed full of mixed iris though... But when it came to ordering more I didn't have a clue which one I wanted...

Liz said...

Hi Jan,

I have to laugh at Esther's experiences too.. Because they are pretty much exactly like mine! ha ha ha.

I like to think I know what I'm doing, but the reality is, I just don't have a clue! :)

Good luck with your ground elder problem, I assume you have done all you can to get rid of it already!
I would suggest to keep at it, eventually it will be too weak to keep on putting out more growth... Hmmm easier said than done isn't it?!

Tomorrow I have my hair cut, but will aim to get at least some bulbs put in before I head out... Then sunday I plan on cutting the lawns for the last time, getting the mower and chairs in the loft for the winter and hopefully getting more bulbs in.
I have Mon-Wed off next week, and the forecast is for dry weather until Thursday so with any luck it'll all get done.

Bay Area Tendrils Garden Travel said...

Hi LIz
Speaking of bulbs.... ;~) Years ago I planted Schizostylis coccinea bulbs (So. African). Nothing but foliage in this spot, year after year. It looks tatty, and I've tired of it, reaching the point of wanting to pull it all out.
This morning, while cleaning up after our first winter rain storm, I spotted a bloom about to open. And yes, it is a Schizostylis, at last. Gardeners are a patient lot, indeed. Alice

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

No - I haven't planted mine yet - although my largest quantity is Tulips and they don't need to go in yet.

You have got a lot of lovely bulbs - I do both - make a plan and then don't stick to it and put them where I feel like it. But - like Elizabeth, I make a note of it and stick something in the ground to mark the spot (usually shells)

Northern Shade said...

I love planting spring bulbs, and reading about other gardeners' bulb planting. Your crocus, snowdrops and mixed bulbs will make a great spring display. I planted a number of crocus, some tulips, Muscari and some small bulbs like Puschkinia, snowdrops and Scilla. I usually plan ahead, but sometimes improvise as I run out of planting space.

I've heard of throwing them, like Cheryl does, to get a more natural randomness. However I like control, so I dig large holes, and carefully arrange them in a random pattern. ;)

Yoke, said...

Wel done for being this organised, Liz! At least you make a sort of plan and list.