the last of the bulbs

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you up to date on the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “One Hundred Tulips”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. You may notice that my Personal Hill is now free from cow pen daisies. I like to lie on my hill in order to survey things that need surveying, and guard things that need guarding. You can never be too careful, these days.

The reason the cow pen daisies are gone is because, as I said it would in my last post, it snowed.It wasn’t the end of the world, or anything like that, but a few plants did get nipped, and were very unceremoniously removed.

The Mirabilis longiflora got nipped (you may recall that he grew these from seed earlier this year), like the native one here (M. multiflora) does, too, and so today the guy I live with dug up the roots so that they could be planted in the garden.The weather changed after the snow. Today it was seventy-three degrees (about twenty-three Celsius) and five percent humidity. When the guy I live with says to say we live in a dry climate, that’s what we mean.

There are some crocuses and cyclamen flowering now. This is Crocus pulchellus, flowering under a yucca. I know that’s a weird place for crocuses, but they were here before the yucca was planted (at which time they had been long forgotten). Not much has been happening except for a lot of bulb planting. Bulbs have been planted here every day for at least a week, now.

Today, after he was finished, he said that was “the last of the bulbs”, unless someone sends him some.

It’s been exhausting watching him plant bulbs. But now he’s done.

It’s a nice time of year, here, even with all the wandering around looking for places to plant bulbs, and the digging. 

Some bagged soil, or maybe I should say “soil”, was spread in the “way back” garden. I’m not sure why this was done. The picture doesn’t do the buffalo grass lawn here much justice; it’s been doing very well. It’s my Private Lawn, if you didn’t know. The fence still hasn’t been fixed. Lots of Crocus speciosus in “the enclosure”. The crocuses have seeded all over the garden.The shade garden has become almost impenetrable from the east side. You know all those pictures of well-ordered, manicured gardens in garden books? This isn’t one of them. The front yard is even less well-ordered. Something was supposed to be planted in that little pile of gravel, but nothing was. I’m not sure exactly what happened there. Things here can often be mysterious.

I still get biscuits upon request. This is me looking like I need one. Or maybe two.And my walks have suddenly become much longer. We walk all over the place. Here and there. Sometimes back again where we walked before. In circles, in other words.

There is still water in the canal. Today I saw the ducks. The water level is a lot lower now. The guy I live with said yesterday that there was a muskrat in the canal, and that I completely missed it. I was looking at something else, I guess. We looked for it today, but didn’t see it. I wouldn’t mind seeing a muskrat.

We walk over to what’s called a “frontage road” and walk down the sidewalk. Though the landscaping there is what you might call “industrial”, at this time of year it’s quite nice. I think these are Acer rubrum.

At this time of year, even the deep green lawns don’t look strange. I think that’s about it for now. I’m not sure what the guy I live with is going to do, now that all the bulbs have been planted. He said something about painting the house, a while ago, and so maybe that will happen. I’m not going to help. 

Until next time, then.







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20 Responses to the last of the bulbs

  1. tonytomeo says:

    I know this is irrelevant, but what is that yucca foliage hanging over the crocus?

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with said these were obtained as maybe Yucca harrimaniae but they are certainly not that, and certainly not Y. angustissima, which they sort of resemble, but do not really have filiferous margins. They’re probably hybrids; have never flowered.

      • tonytomeo says:

        You really should get rid of that guy you live with. He seems to be quite useless. Anyway, it does look like Yucca angustissima, but I do not know that one very well beyond pictures. It looks like a yucca that is native to Oklahoma that I never identified. You would think that it would be easy because there were only a few that were native there. If yours is not native, then it would be even more difficult to identify I suppose.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with says that you probably couldn’t get two botanists to agree on which yucca species grows where, so we just call them “the yuccas”. There are lots of other yuccas here, but they all have names. Botanical names, I mean.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Well, perhaps the guy you live with is not as worthless as you portray him to be. I have made the same observation about the yuccas. There are only a few that I can identify without question, and they are not even the natives. Even Joshua tree can get confusing, with all the varieties that continue to be identified. I happen to be writing an article about yuccas presently because they should be more popular here than they are. (I will write a better article for my garden column later.) I was really finicky about identifying them back when I had 49 of the 50 identified specie (that were known at the time). The guy you live with is apparently how futile that can be.

      • paridevita says:

        I guess. We have Joshua tree here.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Oh my! I meant to say, “The guy you live with is apparently aware of how futile that can be.” Sorry about that. Anyway, I did not know that you had Joshua trees there.

      • paridevita says:

        Yes, we have one. Grows very very slowly.

  2. My C. punchless are under the edge of a clumping bamboo which is outgrowing it’s space, so you are not alone in viewing these charmers through foliage. And MY fence still has not been mended either. When you mend yours, I’ll do mine.

  3. Personal Hill, different from the Private Garden? Obviously, I should pay closer attention. I enjoy a good patch of gravel in the garden, empty and waiting. Wow, are those beautiful roots. The guy you live with grows healthy. Many bulbs, huh. Guess we can look forward to more great photos. I especially like the photos taken in the light of this time of year. Does the guy go out early or late with the camera? Hard for me to tell. Observing someone painting is greatly amusing, and I predict many exciting moments for you. Probably you will not like the smell, though. If the odor gets too powerful, you have Doggy Daycare in reserve.

    • paridevita says:

      Yes, my Personal Hill is in the middle of the lawn (more or less in the middle), and my Private Lawn is in the “way back”. The pictures are taken at any old time. What happened was—and I know this is super hard to believe—the guy I live with read the instructions for the point-and-shoot and then read some about how to take pictures in blindingly bright sunlight (which we have here). To be precise, the camera is a Canon PowerShot G15, set on “P”, with exposure compensation set to something like –1 (depending on how dark the pictures come out). The paint doesn’t have much of a smell. When the guy I live with paints inside he uses a “low v.o.c.” paint, because we purebred border collies are very sensitive to weird smells. The outdoor paint isn’t like that, but still doesn’t smell much.

  4. I envy you being done with bulbing. Mine arrive tomorrow, and I rather dread the sorting (for clients) and then the planting.

    I like the look of your garden very much

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with planted a hundred and three crocuses, and half that number of snowdrops, in his friend’s garden last week, “in no time at all”. His friend was very uncertain about how long this would take, but he told her he had a method. What you do is instead of planting one bulb at a time, which takes forever, you make a wide hole, stick a bunch of bulbs in it, and then cover up the whole thing. The guy I live with used a perennial spade made by Sneeboer, but he also uses the old Army shovel (“entrenching tool”) to dig holes. He says to make sure you plant the bulbs right side up. (He doesn’t always do that.)

  5. bittster says:

    It must be so distracting watching all that work going on. Things are much calmer here although there has been talk of sanding and painting something or other.
    The snow is not so nice but the rest of the garden looks quite happy. Our crocus are flowering today, but that means the rabbits will find them tomorrow.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. Of course I am super tough when it comes to rabbits. The guy I live with still makes cages, sometimes out of chicken wire, sometimes out of stronger stuff. Though when chicken wire rusts it doesn’t look so bad. There is an awful lot of talk of painting and fixing things now that everything has been planted. It’s making me slightly uneasy.

  6. Dana Carlson says:

    Sampson the doberman, here. The lady I live with says you should ask the guy you live with if he’s tried a bulb auger. She got one this year and pressed the guy that I live with into drilling holes for her while she threw bulbs in as fast as the holes were made. She said it was a miracle. He said maybe an old spade bit would work for the little stuff like crocus and ranunculus, but he wouldn’t let her use any of the spade bits she found. So are you supposed to keep the squirrels away? I don’t remember agreeing to do that…

    • paridevita says:

      Indeed, the guy I live with said something about an auger just a while ago. Not for here, though, but for his friend’s garden. It’s on drip, and so some of the soil which doesn’t get drip is pretty hard. But this year he didn’t order the hundreds of tulips from Van Engelen that he said he might. The way things happen, you know. I sort of keep the squirrels away. They keep coming back after I chase them around the garden, so I don’t know if “keeping away” is the right phrase.

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