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Monday, October 15, 2012

October BGC Newsletter: Horticulture by Toni Gruber


As we all know, Patience is one of the best virtues that a gardener can possess. This is particularly true in the case of planting bulbs. If we want the colorful burst of springtime flowers, we have to take up a spade now & break ground before it freezes. If you can have the vision, and can muster the energy to plant some bulbs in the next month or so, you’ll be duly rewarded for your efforts with the magic that is Nature’s, come Spring

Stainless Trumpet Daffodil
I like to plant bulbs in “bunches” or “zigzags” rather than in straight lines. This results in a more natural look. You can dig a round hole, or a trough, & sprinkle some bone meal or Bulb-Tone in & mix into the loosened soil. If using a circle, place some bulbs around the circumference, then fill in towards the center. If the area is more rectangular, then use a triangular or zigzag pattern. The depth & spacing depends on the size of the bulbs.

Sometimes it’s nice to mix bulbs. For example, if you’re planting early-blooming tulips, try mixing them with some hyacinths. I particularly like the combination of ‘Heart’s Delight’ (a dark pink & white tulip) & white hyacinths. Another nice combo is ‘Tete a Tete’ (a 6” tall, yellow daffodil) & blue scilla. Or, try ‘Stainless’ ( a 16”tall, white trumpet daffodil) with Muscari (6” tall grape hyacinth).

A few favorite daffodils worth mentioning are: ‘Avalon’, a 14” creamy yellow; ‘Thalia’, a 10-12” White; and ’Edna Earl’, a 16” white w/an orange eye. As far as tulips, some suggestions are: ‘Peppermint Stick’, a 10” red & white; ‘Pink Impression’, a 24” pink; and, ‘Golden Parade’, a 24” yellow.

So…if you do find the time to place some bulbs in the ground, pat the earth down firmly & trust that, after a few cold months, they will defy common sense & push their beautiful little heads up through the cold, hard mud.

By Toni Gruber