Dad explains the Corn Plow
Reading About Wasp Behavior

The bulbs are waiting to go in...

Every year I forget how difficult it is going to be to get all of the spring bulbs into the ground in time. In colder climates, winter is a time of rest for gardeners, but not here. We plant our spring bulbs in November or December, keeping them in the fridge until then, to make sure they get enough chill.

My mailorder bulbs came a couple of weeks ago, but then I took the trip to see Dad, and now Thanksgiving is upon us. And the days are suddenly short. (I was walking down the hill to pick up my serviced car the other night at 6:30, and in the dark, it felt like 10 o'clock.) Holiday preparations and rainy days will also reduce the time for planting. But the clock is ticking, and I know I must get all of these promising nuggets into the ground before the end of the year.

I need an old year's resolution, rather than a new one. This year, I will get every bulb into a nice, deep, well-fertilized planting hole before January 1st of 2008!

I have tete a tete daffodils, hyacinths, and crocus. And, for a friend, blue pearl iris, mixed parrot tulips and a purple turk's cap lily (Lilium martagon). This last is so intriguing. It is supposed to grow, to 5 or 6 feet tall, topped with many small purple lilies in summer. It is said to be shade tolerant, so I will put it mid border on the north side of a low fence, next to a camellia, and hope for the best.

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Pam, you should do something on bulbs for the Chron. For example, how long do you need to keep the tulips in the fridge? Or lily hybrids: I obeyed Sunset and cut down some "orientals" this weekend, because the leaves were yellowing, but would they have benefited from a few more weeks? Or would they rather have more dormancy?

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