Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bulbs, Mush, and Odds and Ends

I finally got the last of my bulbs in the ground today. Although the morning was foggy, it eventually turned out to be a very nice, crisp, clear fall day, with lots of sun, no rain (yay!) but cold (barely 45), especially for my middle-aged hands digging in cold, moist soil. I came in with my knuckles aching, and tonight, my legs and back are aching a bit too. It's been a couple of weeks since I did the kneeling and getting back up ritual. After down time, it always takes me a few weeks to break my body back in to the exercise that is gardening.

So, what bulbs did I plant?

Allium sphaerocephalon (Drumstick Allium)
Anemone blanda 'Blue shades'
Chionodoxa forbesii
Daffodil odorus plenus 'Double Campernelle'
Crocus sieberi 'Spring Beauty'
Tulipa pulchella 'Persian Pearl'
Tulipa clusiana 'Lady Jane'

I bought all of them from High Country Gardens, which was having an online sale. They went into the front bed where I planted two new trees a couple of months ago. I'll probably go back out tomorrow morning and cover the Crocuses and the Tulips with some wire mesh to keep the squirrels out.

A few weeks ago I also planted some Narcissus 'Sweet Pomponette', which I bought locally (I've already forgotten where) and two clusters of big Alliums -- 'Globemaster' and 'Purple Sensation', which came from Brent and Becky's. The big Alliums went into the two big culvert planters in the gravel garden, with Mexican feather grass and two Agaves (Agave parryi 'J.C. Raulston' in one planter and Agave ovatifolia/Whale's Tongue Agave in the other).

We also had our first frost a few weeks ago, and unfortunately, I dithered too long about where to put my Brugmansias for the winter. The garage has no light, but it does have warmth, and the shed has light, but no warmth. They got bitten by the frost, and turned to mush. Now they're belatedly living in the shed, but they look very sad, and they make me sad too. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they survive. I'm hopeful, because the roots didn't freeze. My plan is to cut them back in the spring to what looks like live wood, and see how they do. If anyone has any advice, please pass it on!

Poor, sad, frostbitten Brugs, shivering in the shed


I still have lots of little odds and ends of chores that I'd like to get done this winter, when I can. I want to do as much as possible now so that I don't have to do as much in the spring or during the summer, when anything I move will be stressed by drought. I planted a handful of shrubs too far forward in the back bed. They need to be closer to the fence, so that I can plant some flowering perennials in front of them. It's one of those "What was I thinking?" things. Actually I know what I was thinking when I planted them. I didn't have much experience with shrubs when I moved here, and I wanted to make sure they had plenty of room. Well, I gave them too much room, I think. There are a handful of perennials planted close to the fence, behind the shrubs (D'oh!), so basically everything just needs to switch places.

I have several large clumps of Pacific Coast Iris that need to be divided and spread out along the front of that same bed. In another bed I have two large clumps of 'Little Joe' Joe-Pye Weed that are too tall for their spot, so I need to move them. I have a boatload of scattered Lady's Mantle seedlings that I want to transplant into the front. And I planted a Veronicastrum in too much shade, it's lost there and really struggling. It needs sun and it's such a striking-looking plant (IMO) it needs to be front and center somewhere so it can really show off.

Every time I think I'm making progress, as soon as I cross one thing off the list, I add two more...

I wonder if the neighbors will think I'm nuts if I start gardening in my raincoat? Ah, who cares what the neighbors think.