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The First Reward

February 7th, 2012

Remember all those bulbs I planted this past fall? While we were out tapping all the maple trees on Sunday afternoon and I spotted the first reward from all my hard work. One tiny snowdrop was blooming on the back hillside.

I’ve been meaning to plant snowdrop in the garden for years and always forgot to purchase the bulbs in the fall. I’d always think about them when they were blooming the spring and then completely forget about purchasing bulbs when I needed to. Late last winter, when the snowdrops were blooming, I flipped forward in my calendar and wrote “ORDER SNOWDROPS” in September.

Lucky for me, I did buy bulbs for ‘GALANTHUS ELWESII’ last fall and now I’ll be able to enjoy snowdrop blooms in my own garden this spring. This isn’t the earliest flowering plant I have in the garden, there’s a Mediterranean Pink Heather on the front hillside that starts blooming in early January.

What’s your earliest flower that appears in your garden each year?

Cheerful and Hopeful

October 29th, 2011

Surely the most cheerful and hopeful of the fall catalogues are those of the spring-bulb growers.

Katherine S. White from Onward & Upward in the Garden

Two weeks ago I placed a rather large order for spring flowering bulbs, around 2500 total (YIKES, I know). Most of my money was spent on bulbs that will naturalize, like narcissus, crocus, muscari and bluebells; making my workload a little lighter in years to come. I love tulips, and even though many get eaten by deer, I ordered a few hundred of those to plant as well. We’ll see if I can keep the deer away from them.



Needless to say, I will be spending every waking moment of nice weather and sun we get over the next couple weeks planting these bulbs. I even made a video about planting bulbs for the Your Day blog, check it out. Next week I’ll post about which varieties I ordered and where I’ll be planting them. It looks like this coming spring will be quite beautiful here at Chiot’s Run.

Will you be planting any spring flowering bulbs this year?

A Naked Lady in the Garden

August 10th, 2009

I was just as surprised as you when my grandma said, “Oh look at the Naked Ladies in the garden”. She was referring to Lycoris squamigera of course, also known as the Resurrection Lilly, Miracle Lilly, Surprise Lilly, Magic Lilly and of course my favorite, the Naked Lady!
Naked_Lady_Lilly
The wonderful thing about these lilies is that they bloom so late in the year. They send up their foliage in spring along with a lot of the other spring bulbs, but they don’t bloom until a few months later after all of the foliage dies back. Then all of a sudden, long after you’ve forgotten they were there, in the garden appear these wonderful pink flowers atop these long slender green stems.
NAked_lady_blossoms
My mom gave me these earlier this year. I was wondering if they would bloom since I planted them just this year. Much to my surprise the popped last week, giving me the perfect title for a blog post!

Have you ever heard of the Naked Lady Lilly? Any other great plant names you know of?

One Lonely Crocus

March 23rd, 2009

I have one lonely crocus in my gardens. It’s not that I don’t like them, 7 years ago when we first moved in I planted 300 crocus bulbs throughout the gardens and I only had one bloom the following year. Can you guess what happened?
crocus1
Chipmunks, that’s what happened. They dug up every single bulb I planted except for this one, it’s been blooming ever since. I really want to plant more this fall because they’re a great early flower for the bees (notice all the pollen).
crocus-close-up
I’m going to have to plant them in wire cages to keep those varmints out. I had decent luck sprinkling my tulip bulbs with garlic to keep the squirrels & chipmunks from eating them.

Do you have critters eating your bulbs? Any tips & tricks to keep them away?

So Long Ago: Tulips in Bloom

January 12th, 2009

It seems like so long ago that the tulips were blooming. I guess soon enough they’ll be back up again, how exciting!

Every year in the fall I say, “I’m not buying any bulbs next year to plant”. But then I’m taken by the photos in the catalogues & on the boxes in the store and I end up buying more than I can plant. Then each spring when they’re in bloom I think, oh I guess it was worth the $75 and the hours of work.

I’m really fond of Negrita, Queen of the Night and Shirley Tulips and anything in the cream through purple range, but I have a few other kinds as well including some Mickey Mouse tulips they’re one of the few red flowers I have in the gardens.
mickey-mouse-tulip
I do have trouble with the deer eating my tulips. The ones close to the house usually are left alone, but the ones on my front hillside are fair game to them. By looks of my lack of blooms out front they must be super tasty treats! I suppose I should just plant a few extra for them.
mixed-spring-tulips
I also have trouble with the chipmunks. The first year we moved in here I planed 400 crocus bulbs and I only had one bloom the following spring because the chipmunks dug up every single bulb. I now coat the bulbs with garlic powder and that seems to keep the chipmunks away.
negrita-tulip
Here in Ohio tulips don’t always come back each year. Those big yellow and red ones often do and my Mickey Mouse ones do, but most of the other ones die off after a couple years.

Anyone else have a favorite tulip? Or a great tip to keep the deer from munching on them?

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About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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