Last Wednesday finally I received my bulbs. A big and pretty heavy box was delivered at my office. It was white and ‘product of holland’ was written on its side, in blue. I was so happy: my bulbs had arrived! Later that week I spent a lot of times gathering more informations about flowering times and planting tips, then finally Sunday came and I could start the digging.
The bulbs come from Eurobulb.nl, I needed a lot because my garden, especially the grass garden, in spring is rather sad and empty. As I work with heavy and compact soil I mostly avoided buying tulips, daffodils are much more reliable in my case, so I bought a lot. Then I took some alliums, not the big big ones though, for the same reason of tulips. I just want to try some hybrids turkestanica, bulbs are very small and don’t need to be buried very deep, so maybe they’re going to thrive.
Anyway Sunday morning I start unpacking my bulbs, I choose varieties, I open their little paper bags and start bury them. My heart full of hopes: winter hasn’t came yet and still it seems spring to me. I put some sticks over the bulbs ‘graves’ as to remember there’s some kind of treasure buried there and to avoid dogs to walk over it.
I am a little worried about the ones I planted in the gravel garden. Soon we will be finally laying the gravel on top, I hope they will spring anyway. I choose the tougher ones for the gravel garden though: like the huge bulbs of narcissus ‘Mount Hood’ which I put close to a dark green phormium. They’re so big they could spring over plaster too, I guess.
I did not finish my job though because Ale has been working seriously on the rose garden, lately, so he suggest me to plant some of the suffering potted roses or we would have lost some. So I did and the rose garden officially started. The poor bare root rose plants arrived last february and I was forced to pot them because the rose garden was far far away to start at the time. Some of those potted roses I’ve planted earlier are really thriving in my garden, I bet they’re going to be wow next year!
In particular rosa chinensis Odorata is still in full bloom, some tiny reddish spots appeared on the outer petals (I think it’s due to night mist) giving a fall look to the buds. Odorata means smelly but I think they actually mean it as scented. Flowers are in fact sweetly scented but only in hot daylight, in spite of all other old roses which are mostly scented with damp and cool air. I guess all the chinensis are this way but this group is rather new to me as I used to be more fundamentalist with old roses in the past.
In other fronts this languid autumn light is making the Grass Garden glistening at anytime, I just love it.
I’m quite proud of the miscanthus ‘Cabaret’, the last one coming into bloom, surrounded by white small flowered native asters which I only moved from another part of the garden earlier this year. We have some light blue ones too.
Swathes of grasses and perennials are waving me goodbye when I leave for work in the morning
It is such a pity to leave when all you want is stay…
Isn’t it wonderful when a box full of bulbs arrives – just like Christmas – each one a little parcel of delight! The sticks are a wonderful idea to protect the bulbs, must try that. Your rosa Odorata is beautiful, our white roses get pink spots when it has been raining. Your new rose bed looks HUGE – it will be fantastic next summer, I can imagine the perfume as you are walking through.
Pauline, I meant the Rose Garden to be HUGE, bigger than that, this is only the beginning!
You are right, it’s like Christmas but even better… it’s like a Christmas chinese box gift! You open the carton, then the paper bags, then every bulb is a surprise! it’s exponential!!!
I think rosa Odorata is one of those that really look good in pictures. Anyway its strength and long flowering period really pay you back.
In my previous garden I used dogwood sticks, I planted them in a reverse U form, crossing a few. It’s a good looking solutions to remember you have bulbs there and they support the plants in spring, hidden through foliage. The problem is the dogwood sticks catch like mad and every spring I had a lot of useless dogwood new plants…
I hope you manage to get all your bulbs planted… I did half of mine and then got busy and haven’t managed to finish the job yet. Although I am also waiting for plants in my pots to die so I can plant the bulbs… I’m loathe to rip the plants out as they’re still blooming nicely but I also need to get the bulbs in before bad weather arrives!
Also, I had Tulipa Turkstanica last spring and it’s a beautiful plant! It survived well in my clay soil so I am sure it will do well for you too. I was going to buy more this year but decided against it as I planted 100 last year! I hope they survive a second winter and look forward to their pretty faces in the spring.
A hundred? That’s a tapestry! They’re supposed to do well everywhere but in flooded soils. I think they should naturalize pretty easily too. Did you plant yours in the lawn or in beds? …a hundred…
They’re only relatively small, and I had a few places to plant them, so I generally planted them in little groups of around 10 in various borders ranging from full sun to partial dry shade, so in fact it doesn’t seem like many once they’re in the garden!
Here’s a blog post I made on them back in April: http://gwirrel.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/tulipa-turkestanica/
Your pictures are always so delicate. I felt something on my guts… spring is almost here, don’t you feel it?!
Your new rose garden looks huge as Pauline says, lots of work but it will be wonderful I’m sure, are you planting other things with the roses? Daffodils not’s grow at all well for me, it’s too hot, I look forward to seeing yours next spring. I’ve been strong and not ordered bulbs this year, I’ll regret it in spring but I have too many other jobs this autumn. Those grasses are looking fabulous. Great job! Christina
I’ve already planted a seedling of panicum and another panicum ‘Shenandoah’ I’ve just divided. I planned some grasses and bulbs and asters along with roses but I will plant (and plan) the rest next spring. I have to concentrate on roses from now on. I’m waiting nearly 30 plants from Petrovic in Serbia and 20ish from la Campanella, here in Padova. Later I must place an order to Le Rose di Piedimonte as well.
You will love the bulbs Alberto! It is a lot of work to plant them though, like being a squirrel burying walnuts. Marking the sites is a good idea. Mt Hood is a mountain in my state of Oregon by the way. I know the feeling of having to leave the garden when all you want is to spend the day outside working and enjoying. The grasses and blooms are just lovely– I can see why you would want to stay!
Actually I’d like to stick there because it’s so full of things to do… I enjoy the garden only when I take pictures, so I can review them on my iPhone when I start feeling homesick everyday during lunch break! Very sad actually, I almost feel pity for myself…
I had no doubt Mt Hood was an american variety, bulbs are so big, like your pumpkins and everything. I bet if we met in real life you are probably double me too… 🙂
Well I guess I will be generous and assume you are talking about HEIGHTS here Alberto. So let’s just lay our cards on the table (I don’t do metric sorry): I am 5 feet 5 inches tall. There. And I love looking at images of my gardens. I have huge files of them from all times of the year. But my screen image on the iphone is Max.
Huh, because you only have Max! Am I supposed to choose between Mina and Rudy? I couldn’t. So I have a neutral screensaver.
Indeed I don’t use parts of the body to measure people, so I’m 170 cm. I think I won. But I’m rather short anyway. Don’t worry you can beat me next time, when we’ll play the AGE game. 🙂
(deep gardening talk around here, huh? why I bother telling you about my bulbs??)
There will be NO age game. (Such an idea.) 🙂
Alberto, do you have mice there in Italy, or is it too hot for them? Just asking, because mice seem to regard any bulbs I plant as a free Christmas hamper. If you listen carefully, you can hear them squeaking with joy underneath the snow as they unearth yet another delicacy…..
Plus I really hate digging up overgrown clumps of daffodils at the time of year when there is so much else to be done. Hundreds of mini bulbs come to light and they all need to be planted somewhere else. No, on the whole, I avoid bulbs. I plant about two dozen crocuses each year to replace the mouse spoilage. But that’s it.
Well I think it’s never too hot for mice, ever. We are close to Venice by the way, which is not exactly Africa, frost is hard here as well. Tigre takes care of mice but I’ve never heard of them eating bulbs anyway. I think you could select some narcissus poeticus and scatter the bulbs on your big slope, you won’t need to dig up any clumps thereafter I guess…
Ah we also have coypus here (at least google translate it like that), they’re halfway between a rat and a beaver, bred here in the 80’s for their fur and then released on our rivers and lakes. They have Cheddar orange teeth and a long skinny tail. Horrible things they are. They don’t fancy bulbs though…
Italian mice must be better fed than Scottish ones. I do have clumps of daffodils on the bank and the mice usually leave them alone. It seems to be crocuses, tulips and lillies that are their favourite snacks. We don’t have any coypu, luckily, although we do have mink. They don’t eat bulbs, but they do eat chickens.
Gosh, Coypu get everywhere. I think they have them wild in Eastern England – where they escaped from farms too.
I’m feeling very relaxed as I have next to no bulbs to plants this year. Result!
I envy you, I still have some bulbs leftover but I only have sundays to plant them… Frost is coming….