What follows bulbs

Boyce Tankersley btankers@chicagobotanic.org
Mon, 16 Aug 2004 10:09:12 PDT
Hi All:

In my garden a number of annual/biennial herbs run riot in the mixed borders after bulb season is over including parsley, Salvia turkestanica, Borago officinalis, oregano and dill. They compete, sometimes a little too vigorously with the perennials in the beds and some of the shrubs (mostly roses) but are easy enough to hoe or pull. In my garden, the alternative is to let the various thistle's have their way (we have a bumper crop courtesy of a neighbor who thought the flowers were pretty and didn't heed my suggestion to get rid of it after flowering ... the wonders of Cirsium arvense!).

I have to say at this point that a number of edible annuals also find a home in the garden when space in the Veggie garden is full and in my garden it is not uncommon to see tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions and squash mixed in with the traditional flowers. They have to be planted with a 'certain eye' but the textures, growth habits and fruits offer fertile ground for a creative imagination. My wife is aghast! but loves me dearly (with all of my faults).

I've yet to find a location in the wild where Mother Nature (MN)did not provide companion plants for bulbs. Whether they be annual, perennial, shrubby or tree-like. In my experience, MN abhors bare ground, and if suitable moisture is available will cover it with greenery.

Boyce Tankersley

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