Tuesday, October 12, 2010

done with bulbs

I finally finished the last of my bulb planting today, squeezing 20 Red Impression tulips in along my picket fence, in between my rose bushes and lilacs, and found a spot for 100 allium sphaerocephalum bulbs.

I also pulled out my morning glories, as they'd given up the ghost.  It was quite a task unwinding them off the trunk and branches of my peach tree, and untangling them from the clematis paniculata.  In the snipping mood, I cut back my boltonia and tansy.

Finally, I dug up a lot of the wild violets and lily-of-the-valley that infests my back yard, alongside the neighbor's privacy fence.  I mulched it heavily to try to prevent it from coming back (I left two small hydrangeas back there), and will figure out what to do with that space soon.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

more bulbs

Almost done with the bulbs:  I bought some Dutch Irises, hyacinths, and a few more tulips from my favorite garden center (yes, they still had many in stock, though some selections are thinning), and put those in the ground this afternoon.  It was a brisk day, so I expect to be pulling a bunch of annuals tomorrow after a frost tonight  (which is fine:  I'm getting tired of them.)

I still have to put in a dozen red tulips along my picket fence (to supplement the ones already there), but I'm going to have to wait until I cut back the perennials in that area, as it's impossible to get that close to the fence without trampling everything.  

And I ended up with 100 allium sphaerocephalum that I don't know where to put.  They're beautiful, but I'm running out of room for bulbs.  I may have to find a spot for them in the back of the house, since digging a trench seems to be the easiest way to plant so many.

Friday, October 8, 2010

bulb planting time

I got a chance to put some of my bulbs in the ground today.  I first checked the soil temperature (58 degrees) to make sure it was safe to plant them yet.  It should be below 60, otherwise they'll start to grow.  We're expecting nights in the 30's this weekend, so I'm sure it's safe.  So I got out my bulb auger, which I can attach to my power drill -- a great time- and shoulder-saver.  With a couple hundred bulbs to plant, I wasn't about to dig that many holes, and my garden is too full to dig trenches.

I put in my little species tulips (Little Beauty), Iris Reticulata (short rock garden irises called Blue Harmony), three bare-root Bowl of Beauty Peonies, and gobs of alliums.  I still have some full-size tulips and more alliums to plant, and I'm hoping my favorite garden center will have some more bulbs in stock so that I can fill in some spots that are bare in the Spring.  

This year, I am feeding my bulbs with bone meal, to give them a little boost.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall cleanup

Without a frost yet, most of my plants are still doing well, though some of them have exhausted themselves.  Yesterday I spent some time pulling out snapdragons, daylilies, morning glory, cleome and others.  I also dug up what I could of my gladiola bulbs.  I've never saved them year to year, so this will be new for me.

In bloom now:  my chocolate Joe-Pye weed is looking great, and my asters and mums have opened.  My zinnias and cosmos are still going strong, and I have a little bloom left on my Autumn Joy sedum.  Other than that, most of my garden has faded.