The Last of the 200 Bulbs…

The last of the 200 bulbs went in today. It was cloudy and cold in the garden, which urged me to finish. We nearly always have snow on Halloween and even though the forecast calls for a warm, sunny day, old habits die hard and I am not taking any chances. Planting tulips under the first snowfall is possible, but it is not fun.

The last eight daffodils just before they were tucked away.

Yesterday morning, I slipped outside into the sunshine, camera in hand to try and capture a bit of the frost that has finally spelled an end to the remaining flowers. It still felt like October then, but today, November looms large and next week, the time will change and the days will suddenly become much shorter.

Clara Curtis, a lovely single chrysanthemum, covered in frost

There was ice on the pool cover this morning.

The plants are weary ready for rest.

I brought in the creeping rosemary, which had been sharing a pot with some now dead flowers, so I made it move over to share some space with a parsley that is still recovering from its onslaught of parsley worms this summer. I don’t know if parsley and rosemary are good bed partners or not, but for now, the rosemary is perfuming the kitchen with heavenly scent. Come to think of it, parsley is one of the partners in that 60s Simon and Garfunkel song, “Scarborough Fair”.

 Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Remember me to one who lives there,
For once she was a true love of mine.

The song was based on a folk love song and I guess it was kind of a protest song in the 60s – I wouldn’t have noticed; I just remembered the reference to the herbs which made it quite lovely to me.

And now, outside the garden waits for its winter coat. Glenn prepared the lawn yesterday, hope in his heart for a velvety expanse of green next spring. He truly is a gardener – all lawn guys are to my mind – they just express themselves in green perfection. This year, I convinced him to mulch the leaves into the grass, saving his back and giving the grass and the trees a treat of their own making. He is quite entranced with this idea now that he has tried it. He added some seed and turkey trot, a local organic fertilizer, and was quite pleased with himself.

Pat-a-cake’s brother came by this afternoon. He is not at all as friendly as his sister is, but he is just as curious. He paid a little visit to each of my bulb plantings, sniffing them and trying to figure out if what was under the ground was of any value to a cat. He seemed quite intrigued by the scent of the grape hyacinths.

This cat was the only sign of life in the garden. Not even the sparrows are around just now although they will come back when the snow flies. They love to gather in the giant cedars around our house.

This is an impatient time of year. I begin to long for the hush of snow that will soon tuck in the plants and keep them warm through the winter. Inside, it will be time to light the fireplace and candles and pay some attention to the poor houseplants that are so sadly neglected, unless they are outside, from May to October. So far, the ivy I brought in is doing well and so is the Christmas cactus.

At my sunny office, I am having a struggle with mealy bugs – where did they come from? It’s heart breaking to see the little suckers emerge overnight and begin to sip the life out of these plants. I have tried everything – drenching the leaves and soil with neem oil this summer seemed to help, but I noticed the fuzzy devils on my beautiful jade plants Friday. I have a friend who swears that mealies can live in a carpet for years.

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14 thoughts on “The Last of the 200 Bulbs…

  1. Norma Chang says:

    Glad to hear you got your 200 bulbs planted. I can imagine the gorgeous carpet of flowers in the spring.
    We had snow, lots of heavy snow on Saturday, Oct 29, most unusual for this time of year in the Hudson Valley. Brought down many trees in the area, a number of people still without electricity and phone service.
    wonder if any of my fall/winter crop survived. Will have to wait until most, if not all, of the snow disappear to find out.

  2. Justin says:

    Thanks for the like, Dorothy. I need all the encouragement I can get when it comes to gardening.

    I like the way you write. It is a good reminder to ‘just be’ when it comes to gardening, and let the plants and soil decide what needs to be done.

  3. Granny says:

    Your Blog is like a travelogue, recounting the daily, peaceful journey of the gardener. Your little beasties remind me of the year I found two snails in a plant, in the house, well into November, when it was too late to take them out. I could actually hear them chew on the leaves. I bought a small aquarium and made a winter retreat there for them, forgetting that snails can reproduce with any snail or even by themselves. By spring I had hundreds. I crossed my fingers when I released them, that I would not cause an ecological disaster because I was unable to kill two little snails on a November day.

  4. Margie says:

    Tulips are my favourites – so much bang for the buck. I must have thousands of them scattered throughout my flower beds!

    • Here in Manitoba, Darwins do not usually survivie more than a season or two — we have to rely on the species tulips to get a good showing in spring. It tskes along time to build up to thousands . . .

  5. Justin says:

    Thanks again for the like. Your words actually helped inspire my latest blog post, “Blogging is like Gardening: Don’t expect instant gratification.” Just wanted to share it with you!

  6. charliebenn says:

    A reader (and new friend) of mine pointed me into the direction of your blog, and I can only say that I’m glad he did! I love tulips, and this year am hoping to be able to force some inside. I’m an urban apartment gardener living in New Brunswick, and have spent the better part of the last 130+ days blogging continuously on my trials and triumphs:) I’ve still got a long way to go to finish my Daily Garden Blog Challenge!

    http://365.charliebenn.ca if you’re interested, I’d love to see you there!

    Your bio is inspiring FYI!

  7. […] “The last of the 200 bulbs went in today. It was cloudy and cold in the garden, which urged me to finish… It still felt like October then, but today, November looms large…  And now, outside the garden waits for its winter coat. Glenn prepared the lawn yesterday, hope in his heart for a velvety expanse of green next spring. He truly is a gardener – all lawn guys are to my mind – they just express themselves in green perfection… This is an impatient time of year. I begin to long for the hush of snow that will soon tuck in the plants… [Read full article] […]

  8. 200 bulbs? Now, that’s amazing. I’ve never planted bulbs before, but always wanted to. My husband talks about it every year. I did plant garlic this year. I guess that’s considered a bulb, but not what I have pictured in my head. Do post when they come up. We’ll be looking forward to seeing them!

  9. Garlic is definitely a bulb and they can be lovely. I love the garden in springtime so I will be showing the brilliant progression of the days as they march toward summer . . .

  10. Hm, I’ve been following you on Twitter and never noticed this lovely blog until I found you via Granny’s Parlour/Weekend Highlights. I am also a gardening Canuck.

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