Forcing Bulbs

bulbsYour pal Laurie has some “stuff” going on over here–sorry to sound so cryptic but it is the Internet after all so I’ll save the deets for my autobiography someday–and everything feels in a state of flux. I really don’t like it when decisions become so uncertain. I’m a list-maker, a planner, a doer. I enjoy that in October, I place precious spring-flowering bulbs in the earth knowing that in April their blossoms will be waving in the spring breeze like colorful pennants. It’s like putting money into a savings account knowing you’ll be glad for it someday.

Forcing Daffodils via Hedgerow RoseForcing Bulbs via Hedgerow RoseWith all this uncertainty, I debated buying bulbs this year because what if I’m no longer the caretaker of this garden? As much as I love the idea of leaving that bit of joy behind for the next tenant, I have to stick to a reasonable budget. I can’t keep pouring cash into a garden that technically isn’t even mine…something I have to remind myself a lot when it’s so easy to justify just one more rose purchase. That’s why I decided to allow a small splurge on some of my favorite bulbs to plant in containers for winter forcing. If I have to move, they can come with me. Best of both worlds.

Fritillaria meleagris via Hedgerow RoseYou can see my selections in the top photo, and although the price/bulb was much higher than if I had ordered them in bulk from my usual source, this at least allowed me to purchase sample sizes rather than dozens of one specific variety. Of course, I couldn’t bear to be without one of my favorite flowers, the Fritillaria meleagris. I also purchased some Narcisuss: Geranium, Minnow and Thalia (seen below) and I rounded off the order with some old standbys: Galanthus elwesii and Crocus ‘Spring Beauty’.

Narcissus Thalia via Hedgerow RoseMy method for forcing bulbs is pretty simple, in fact, I wrote a post about it over here if you’re interested. I like this kind of gardening activity in autumn when most of my other tasks are more directed at garden cleanup and putting the roses to bed and are far less pleasant. I think I might have been a little too relaxed yesterday when I was planting these as I didn’t leave as much of the bulbs’ noses above the soil line as much as I usually would, but I’m not too worried about it. (Thankfully, for this spaced-out gardener, I’ve found that bulbs are pretty forgiving.) Have you potted up any bulbs for winter this year? If not, consider this your friendly reminder…and happy planting! 🙂

thalia and other narcissiPS: If you’re going to be handling Hyacinth bulbs, may I suggest wearing gloves? They can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Better to be safe, right?

6 thoughts on “Forcing Bulbs

  1. Hello Laurie,
    we all knew that the day might come when you would have to start anew, it’s bitter sweet but I am intrigued at the possibility of seeing you create another garden from the ground up…

    1. Thank you Juliette! I admit there is a part of me that is excited about the prospect of starting fresh…knowing what I know now. It’s all still very much up in the air right now but we should have a better idea of what’s going on in the coming months. Thanks again for stopping by!

  2. Hi, Laurie, boy do I know how you feel! It’s exciting to think about a new beginning for you, but leaving behind your beloved garden. Oh how I miss my roses. I know that whatever happens you will handle it beautifully and at least you will have some lovely forced bulbs in the wintertime.

    1. Thank you Anne! Yes, you would know all too well. 😉 Maybe we can do a cutting exchange next spring and build each other’s rose collection up again!

  3. Hi Laurie – I am sorry to hear that you may have to leave your lovely garden. Change is tough. I know you will create a beautiful space wherever you go.

    1. Thank you Louise! That is so kind. 🙂
      I’m thinking that like a garden in winter, we’re growing roots that can’t be seen just yet…good things to come.

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