Sunday, January 12, 2020

Looking Back

A rare pleasure, only to be indulged in occasionally, is looking back at the gardening-year-that-was. And 2019 had a few good moments...

For example, I feel a smug sense of satisfaction that I planted my bulbs at the right time. Most years I either plant them too early, which means tulips being fooled into sticking their noses above ground in the middle of the mud season, or else I'm out there planting daffodils with an axe. This year I was lucky enough to have a sunny day in November which was warm enough that the ground actually thawed and it only needed a trowel. It had been very cold for several weeks, but I said to myself, 'just wait, there will be a warm day yet' and for once there was.

One thing I'll tell you right now: you don't have enough bulbs. You don't have enough tulips, you don't have enough daffodils, you certainly don't have enough crocuses, and we won't even mention the small Irises, the Pushkinia, the Muscari, the Eranthus... Don't bother arguing, it doesn't matter how many you have, or how small your garden is: you don't have enough bulbs and you know it. None of us do.

Not that my Hillside garden doesn't have a lot of daffodils in it. I planted many different varieties of them about 15 years ago, and they have done very well. They like the clay soil and the good drainage, and every small group of bulbs I planted has now become a substantial clump. From one or two bulbs, they have become clumps of several dozen. But it occurred to me this Spring that it was all too yellow and white! It needed some red to perk things up.

Being, as always, sadly short of shekels, I wasn't able to order all that many but I think what I got will make a fine show next April. I got two tulips: Abba, a short early double red, and Apricot Delight, a medium sized mid-season pinkish/yellowish. Not having a clue as to where the daffodil bulbs were lurking, I just spread small clumps of these two tulips all over the Hillside. It doesn't really matter anyway, because wherever they bloom there will be daffodils nearby and it will all look good.

Abba is short and early and should make a fine contrast with the many Tete-a-Tete daffodils which, by the way, have seeded themselves around most prolifically.

Apricot Delight will, I hope, be delightful a little later when the many larger, and often paler, daffodils bloom. Somehow the main season daffodils don't have the same bright glowing spectrum yellow of the earliest ones, but by then our eyes are searching for more subtle colour anyway.

And crocuses, purple ones. Lots of purple ones! These I  mostly put lower down and nearer the house so I'll see them as the snow goes. The last package of them I put in the  woods at the top of the Rockery. That should be nifty when I take the path to get the newspaper!

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