bulb planting

pelarg@aol.com pelarg@aol.com
Sat, 28 Nov 2015 05:45:35 PST
Yesterday I planted 100 mixed daffodils, probably about 50 of the 100 bulbs of Narcissis Rijnveld's Early Sensation (really like this one, have a few in my school garden and when winters are mild they do bloom early, against a warm wall they have appeared as early as latest January). 100 Crocus tommasianus, and 50 hyancinths.  Still lots more to go and a small and a larger shipment will be coming in, the last from the last company I was waiting for to discount bulbs.  While yesterday was wonderful planting weather, and we dont expect severe cold (still have quite a few frost resistant flowers in bloom in the garden, no geophytes but plenty of senecio, helichysum, delospermas, nemesias, calandulas and more) for a while, I know I will have to plant on less than ideal days, especially after the next shipments arrive.  My back and hands also arent what they used to be, I was using the hori hori knife to plant and also to slice some and dig out other winter weeds (onion grass in p
 articular, now is a good time to dig it out), then plant the bulbs.  So my "stabbing" hand is a bit sore from, well, stabbing the soil and also both hands from crushing up balls of soil since the soil is a bit wet and fairly heavy except in areas I have amended with coarse sand.  My plan is to put mostly deer resistant bulbs (daffodils, hyacinths, Spanish hyacinths, Allium moly, Chionodoxa, etc)  in the front gardens which are not fenced and the tulips go in the back gardens where there are u-posts and deer mesh that seems to work well even though I am sure a deer could jump it if it really wanted to.  But I dont think we have lots of them here and there are already red tulips in the front garden that I successfully defended last year with Liquid Fence repellent.  I did plant some more tommies in the front but they are easily sprayed with the repellent and are supposed to be more critter resistant than other crocus--anyone have experience with that?   Plus I ordered two vole
  traps they should arrive soon, they are more destructive than deer and not as easily repelled.  Chipmunks and squirrels get live trapped and relocated, so their numbers are low at the moment.   Voles and mice I have less sympathy for.   
I can already see the leaves of ipheon and grape hyacinths, and near the front wall of the house a Amaryllis belladonna planted before last winter is leafing out (as they are at school where they have survived against a wall for years), and also Brunsvigia radulosa seedlings nearby have their flat leaves out too, they also survived last winter.  Oxalis stenorrhynca is looking quite robust and in flower in that same protected area near the front door, as in O melanosticta, the most frost hardy so far of the Cape oxalis I have tested, on the other side of the doorway.  I put some other species of oxalis I had extras out rather late, will see what they do when they come up.   I am convinced at least some of the Cape geophytes can survive in protected localities here in the gentler  part of NY near  NYC.  A sparaxis is also coming up, but last winter it got cut back, so it could either do better this winter as it will probably be a mild one, or die back again in mid to late winte
 r and slowly weaken.  And I do have one geophyte in bloom against the back wall, now that I remember, a Moraea polystachya.   I used to grow it next to the greenhouses at NYBG years ago when I worked there,and it could survive, it grows much like O. stenorrhycha, coming up in late summer and only dying back in late December or January when the cold gets severe.  It doest regrow in spring again as does the Oxalis, but if the season is mild it may store enough food to do it all over again the following year.  
Indoors there is a feast of color in the cool garage, the closest thing I have to a greenhouse, with light fixtures and some sunlight in the two rows of windows in the two garage doors facing south.  Lots of oxalis spp are in bloom, a mystery tropeolum has popped up in a couple of pots (no doubt to me giving up on it and reusing the potting mix, it might be polyphylla, have to do some research) Freesia fucata is blooming as is Pelargonium sericifolium with a few buds.   Where I have plants under t5s they are growing better and more compact than under the t12s, so slowly I am replacing the lights with t5s as they are quite expensive still.  
Ernie DeMarie in Briarcliff Manor NY Z6/7, probably 7 this year.  

-----Original Message-----
From: David Pilling <david@pilling.demon.co.uk>
To: Pacific Bulb Society <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sat, Nov 28, 2015 7:47 am
Subject: [pbs] bulb planting


I got the last of my bought (mass produced in the Netherlands) bulbs in 
the ground this week. It has been a struggle because whilst October (in 
England) was mild, calm and dry, November has been constant rain.

The only flowers at the moment are nerine bowdenii, these have been a 
couple of months later than usual. I have previously sent seed to the 
AGS SeedEx. I got the AGS seed list last week, I've had no seeds so far.

The newspapers this week had photos of daffodils flowering in England 
("due to the mild weather"). Somewhere there must be nerine and 
narcissus flowering together.

The standard snowdrops (galanthus nivalis) have just poked their noses 
above ground level.

(list test message)

David Pilling

More information about the pbs mailing list