I don't believe I planted about 500 Caladiums today! Oh my back...
Well first, I set down 4 paver blocks (so I can reach my hose faucet and the water company can read their meter without trampling emerging plants). I rooted tip cuttings of Nandina to be planted in the back corners (which matches the Right Front Landscaping Box which is full of hostas and Japanese Painted Ferns).
I was careful not to compress the soil. I spread a plastic tarp 2' shy of the back edge and dropped a sheet of plywood on it to spread my weight (no sense in getting the plywood dirty). Every few inches, I jammed a trowel into the soil, lifted a bit and slid a Caladium bulb in (a corm, if you want to get technical about it).
I put them in irregularly, but every couple of feet I pulled the tarp and plywood forward.
Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat...
I saved the forward front corner for the 2 dozen tulip bulbs I dug up mixing the soil. That should be impressive next Spring.
The soil level is at least an inch lower than the frame. That leaves room to add shredded bark mulch. That part was planned.
I'm annoyed at the person I bought the Caladium bulbs from. I emailed him saying I had a 12x8' area. He said I needed the 40 pound box. Right! There must be 3,000 bulbs in the box and the instructions say to plant them 6 inches apart. So I used 500 of them. They're not perennial even in my area, so I can't just plant them all over the garden and ignore them. Any I want to save for next year, I have to dig up this Fall.
I'll pot up a lot for inside the house (they love deep shade). But aside from that the rest are expensive compost. I hate waste like that. I tried to give buckets of them to neighbors, but no one wanted them (They didn't even know what Caladiums are). I think I will just give it up as a bad idea. I can transplant Snow On The Mountain from my hosta bed next year and that will fill the spot up for a decade. For free.
Well, you live and learn... I went to a garden catalog rating site and gave the company a negative rating. And I think I will contact the company and complain about be seriously "oversold". They might respond.