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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I'm Thrilled!

Yes, really.  When I was late planting tulips and hyacinths in wire cages I made from 1/2" wire and buried 10" deep in 2' square holes a but late (Dec-Jan), I didn't know what to expect.  Same for 200 daffodils that don't need cages, so I just used a small auger to make 10" holes.  I'm not a bulb expert.  I know they need chilling temperatures, but I wasn't sure if that was for the bulbs to just grow or for flowers to develop.

Well, now I know part of the answer.  There are tulips and daffodils emerging from the ground all over.  I saw the first tulips a week ago, then there were 15, then 26, then 46, and today I counted 51 tulips.  And I suddenly realized today that one type of the 2 daffodil varieties are poking up all over too.  I assume the other daffodils and the hyacinths are later-emerging and will appear in a couple weeks.  If some are growing, the others probably will too. 

Not anything to take a picture of yet.  An inch tall tulip leaf is rather insignificant, after all.  But I get to watch more appear every day, so when they get large enough in one group, I'll post pics.

I planted the tulips 8 or 9 to a cage; the hyacinths 7 or 8 (they didn't divide up among the number of cages perfectly). 

But even if they don't bloom this year (but have vigorous plants), it will be a success.  Because they WILL bloom next year if not this one.  I was mostly afraid they would just rot, being too warm this first shortened growth season.

In a few weeks, I will be transplanting purple coneflowers and daylilies there too, between the cages of spring bulbs.  Maybe add some Mums for Fall color

That was in just one of the 3 new planting areas I worked on last Fall after I had that annoying english ivy, poison ivy, and wild grape covered ridge removed in September.

The larger of the 3 got spread with some "meadow-flower" mix back in November.  It certainly is covered with "green", but I have no idea if anything good is growing there.  It could be all weeds (and I can tell that some are), but there may be some nice self-seeding annuals and some flowering perennials there.  I am encouraged because it is much greener than the last circle where I planted nothing yet. 

So the difference between those 2 patches SHOULD be the meadow seeds I scatterred.  I probably won't be able to tell much about that until mid summer.  And if it turns out to be nothing but weeds, I will cover it in black plastic to smother the weeds and try again next Fall.  And in fact, I may just grow 100s of individual plants and do the planting more deliberately.  But I'll hope for success this year.  A 20"x15' patch of natural meadow would be very nice.

And not just nice to look at.  The beneficial insects, bees, and butterflies would love it.  So would the cats!  Not just because they would have tall plants to sneak around in, the think undisturbed growth would attract all the voles in the yard for them to hunt.

Speaking of bees, I saw my first honeybees of the year moving among to blooming hyacinths near the house.  My yard is mostly organic (I sometimes have to get lethal with the poison ivy that invades from my neighbors' yards).  But that's not where the bees and butterflies are attracted. 

The 3rd circle is for the lysimachia firecracker.   I love the purple foliage and yellow starry flowers, but it is too spreading for my main flowerbed.  So I'm moving them to an edged circle I can mow around easily to contain them.  They are related to Loosestrife, but not quite as invasive (being a domesticated hybrid, I assume).  But kept to themselves, they are lovely all season long, grow thickly enough to shade out all weeds, and look impressive in masses.  They don't seem to have any serious pests or diseases either. 

So with the 3 patches, I will have a naturalistic meadow, a patch of 2' tall purple plants, and a patch with spring bulbs and summer/fall plants.  It might be a thing of wonderful constant changes though the seasons or a visually-discordant disaster!

You will all find out about as fast as I do.  The good thing is that plants can be moved or replaced or expanded.  

1 comment:

Megan said...

I am really looking forward to seeing the pics.

Sydney, Australia