The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bulbs, bulbs and more bulbs...

The bulbs I had ordered duly arrived on the afternoon of my birthday - mainly alliums, crocuses and narcissi. 185 bulbs...
Anne and Neil came round shortly afterwards with the bulbs I had ordered from her catalog - more narcissi, crocuses and dwarf irises. 140 bulbs...
I had also bought narcissi, scillas and grape hyacinths from Aldi. At 99p a pack I couldn't resist - another 100 bulbs. And that isn't counting the two packs I bought with planters...

My main spring area is the long bank at the drive end. I had already planted dwarf rhododendrons, azaleas and gentians, and transplanted a couple of large clumps of snowdrops from the high bank earlier in the year. Having weeded it a couple of weeks ago I thought I should be up and running. No such luck. With the rain and sunshine we have been having the weeds had already started to come back. Forget-me-nots appear to have taken over from the buttercups of last year. Still, it was nowhere near as bad and I set about my task with great gusto.

With each little area cleared of weeds I have to decide what combination of bulbs to plant. I try to plant in groups of five or seven. Once decided, in went the bulb-planter only to hit stones/rocks in two out of three 'holes'. Once the stones were removed to allow me to create a hole of the correct depth I then had to remove the stones at the bottom of the holes. Paul doesn't seem to understand the design aspect of gardening, and why it is taking so long...

On a different note Paul and I went to a quiz night with Jean (bridge player) and her husband Sandy at Preston village hall last night. It was 'take your own food and drink' and half way through the quiz there was an auction to raise funds for the hall. It was really good fun, and somehow we managed to win...mainly due to Paul displaying his lateral thinking skills in the dingbats round. We got home quite late, to discover that Poncho (I am guessing) had decided that my Jellybean jigsaw puzzle that my sister had bought me for my birthday may actually contain jelly-beans. The box had been ripped open as had the plastic bag containing the pieces that were scattered around the sitting room floor...

I was not expecting to be able to continue in the garden today as the weather forecast had not been good. It had rained quite heavily in the early hours, but when I got up the sun was shining. Paul volunteered to walk the dogs on his own so that I could get back to it.

I cleared the section at the top of the drive of mouse-eared hawkweed (according to my book of Scottish Wild Flowers (aka weeds)). The soil up there was very clayey and, as per everywhere, extremely stony. I planted up the hostas, astilbe, solomons seal and elephants ears that Maureen had brought down in July. The camassia bulbs went in here - need heavier moisture-retentive soil. That completed that section of the bank - about 200 bulbs, mainly crocuses, dwarf irises and narcissi, with a couple of groups of rockery tulips and scillas.

We were thinking about going to a craft fair at Paxton house this afternoon, but as the weather was still good I decided to keep going. I upped sticks to the house end of the bank. This area of the bank is mainly covered in saxifrages. I had already decided that I wanted to plant the grape hyacinths in between these. I also planted one group of tulips and one of narcissi. Another 50 bulbs down.

I decided to continue weeding the last couple of metres that I had not completed on the previous pass. I filled two sacks with weeds before the rain came down forcing me to stop for the day.

So after 3 days I still have about 200 bulbs to go, but I am on the homeward stretch now...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Put the remaining bulbs in a polythene bag and perhaps the dogs will eat them.

Hels said...

lol

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