Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Garden diary: planted or interred?

These tulip bulbs were lying around since before Thanksgiving, but in my sloth, I did not plant them then. It then snowed, and the ground froze. But the last few days it rained and warmed up, and the ground was soft again. So, I planted the bulbs - all 74 of them - this afternoon. The bulbs seemed healthy, none the worse for lying around in the unheated sunroom, but with little green shoots like overkept onions. I planted them without the usual rituals of deep digging and of bonemeal, rather I punched six inch holes in the ground and dumped the bulbs in. Banja Luka, Yokohama, Queen of the Night, assorted colors in peony shapes, in what I hope grow up to be dense clusters. In my area, in my experience, tulips are best treated as annuals, the second year of a planting has never come out well. So perhaps I can get away with these atrocities.

If the warm weather continues, there is other stuff I can usefully do outside, like clearing the pine needles from the creeping phlox (if I don't, by springtime the poor plants would have declorophyllated, and won't flower very well).

Note: the bulbs were from Home Depot, the links are to googled catalogs.