It was an amazing fall.
One day the high temperature was 73º F and the next day the high temperature was just 43º F. If ever one was looking for a sign that our amazing fall of 2016 was over, I suppose that 30º drop in high temperatures from one day to the next was it.
What made this fall amazing?
It seemed to go on and on with fairly moderate temperatures. Even now there are still leaves on the Fothergilla, still a few brave violas blooming here and there where they’ve begun to naturalize themselves, and the last of the autumn crocuses are still blooming.
These fall blooming crocuses are just as easy to plant as those that flower in the spring and deserve to be more widely planted. Of course, I am assuming that spring flowering crocus are widely planted, but I don’t think that’s as true as it has been. I think people today just don’t plant bulbs like they used to. I have no basis for that statement. I just have a sense that the numbers of gardeners, like me, who plant hundreds of bulbs every fall is dwindling.
This fall, I planted bulbs for 300 tulips and 500 Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow). That sounds impressive but was easy to do.
For the tulips, I dug large holes on the ends of the vegetable garden beds and planted about 40 tulips in each hole. I also dug a similar large hole near the front walk and planted the rest of the tulips there. In the process, at least in front, I dug up bulbs for reticulated irises and crocuses (which I know are technically corms). I set those aside and replanted them on top of the tulips. There will be room for all.
I planted the Glory of the Snow bulbs in the back lawn. It’s easier to do that you might think. I plunge a narrow bladed trowel (technically a rockery trowel) into the ground, pull it back, drop a bulb behind it, pull it out, pat the ground and move on. After the first one hundred bulbs, I develop a certain rhythm of motion and get faster until I am done. It took me about an hour.
I hope our amazing fall leads way to a picturesque, storybook winter, with occasional snow and moderate, for winter, temperatures. Don’t I deserve that? After all, I’ve done my part to ensure an amazing spring.
I planted bulbs.