Empty boxes and bags are proof that all the bulbs are now in the ground.

Planting for Spring

Last week my computer went on the blink and for three whole days, my typing fingers had a rest. The days off-line gave me time to do other things, but instead of using the time wisely, I wandered around feeling bereft.

So it was only yesterday, when all was once again well on the computer front, that I ventured outside to plant bulbs. I should have done this weeks ago but the weather had been so fine, almost summer-like, that I kept putting it off.

Until the snow fell.

 

Snow on November 10? Not a welcome sight.
Snow on November 10? Not a welcome sight.

 

There wasn’t much of it, but it was a clear warning that the job had to be done before the ground froze. Thankfully I hadn’t ordered too many bulbs so the job didn’t take long.

 

Empty boxes and bags are proof that all the bulbs are now in the ground.
Empty boxes and bags are proof that all the bulbs are now in the ground.

 

Planting bulbs lets me hope and dream. Come spring, will I see a sprinkle or a cloud of snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii) alongside the path to  the China Terrace?

 

Daffodils bloom every spring along the path to the China Terrace in May. All being well, the snowdrops will bloom in April.
Daffodils along the path to the China Terrace bloom in May. All being well, the snowdrops will bloom in April.

 

Will the several dozen trout lilies (Erythronium tuolumnense ‘Pagoda’) planted under the witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) by the front door look like they grew there naturally, as I intend?

 

The blossoms on the native witch hazel aren't showy but they shine in the sunshine on an autumn day.
The blossoms on the native witch hazel aren’t showy but they shine in the sunshine on an autumn day.

 

Walking in my mind along the path through the Big Meadow, I dream of seeing a mix of blue and white Camassia (Camassia leichtlinii ‘alba’ and ‘caerulea’) poking their heads through the grass.

 

I planted the bulbs in large groups on either side of the path. Fingers crossed that they will naturalize.
The group of gardeners walking the path through the Big Meadow visited Glen Villa last June. The camassia I planted on either side of the path should bloom soon after, before the grass gets too tall. Fingers crossed that the bulbs will naturalize.

 

And with luck, my dream of seeing foxtail lilies (Eremurus x isabellinus ‘Cleopatra’) towering above the boxwood and nepeta at The Aqueduct will come true.

 

Eremurus isn't reliably hardy in my zone. But the thought of the tall orange-toned spikes rising above the nepeta made the choice irresistible.
Eremurus isn’t reliably hardy in my zone. But the thought of the tall orange-toned spikes rising above the nepeta made the choice irresistible.

 

What I’m most eager to see though, are the blossoms on the long avenue of crabapple trees we finally finished planting. (I wrote about them in my last blog post.)

The Avenue is impressive, whether seen from the road looking north…

 

The ground is a mess now and the tags and trunk protectors need to be removed.
The ground is a mess now and the tags and trunk protectors need to be removed.

 

or from the driveway looking south.

 

The Avenue stretches across the field.
The Avenue stretches across a very muddy field.

 

In the spring we’ll harrow and seed this long strip of earth, now arrow-straight. The grass should be a young, tender green when the trees bloom, pink and white.

Looking along the line of tree trunks confirms that every tree is where it should be.
Looking along the line of tree trunks confirms that every tree is where it should be. Hooray!

 

But first we’ll enjoy another winter, with snow piled high outside and fires roaring inside. There will be books to read and dreams to dream.

And finally, spring will come.

  • Pooh Bear, I like the positive attitude about winter; however I really do prefer the white sand building up on the beach!

    • siteandinsight

      Winter has its good side, as long as I’m inside!

  • What kind of snowdrops did you plant? I know your garden is colder than mine, but I really think you should see at least a few snowdrops bloom in March. I have bunches of camassia still to plant myself. I am ready for winter cocooning!

    • siteandinsight

      I planted Galanthus elwesii and you are right, they will probably bloom in March.

      • Yes, G. elwesii are larger and earlier than G. nivalis.

  • Wow. I hope you have great success with every single bulb. My site is bulb-challenged for the more exotic species, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

    • siteandinsight

      My fingers are very tightly crossed for the Eremurus and Camassia. Having seen Camassia naturalized in England, I’d like to see the same at home.

      • I would think the camassia would have no trouble, but my impression (having never grown them) is that eremurus like it a lot drier than the northeast part of the continent is in spring.

        • siteandinsight

          I planted them once, quite a few years ago, and loved the bloom. They didn’t return the following year, whether because of cold or wet soil, who knows. I thought I’d try them again in a different spot to see if I have better luck.

  • Jason

    And plants to order. The weather has been sending disorienting signals to plants and gardeners alike.

    • siteandinsight

      You are SO right. We go from unusual highs to unusually early snow. The magnolia in the Lower Garden are full of buds for next spring — I’m hoping they stay tightly wrapped until then.