Looking at our gardens now, it is hard to imagine that just a few short weeks ago they were lush and full of mature plants; and it is even harder to imagine how they will look next year! I did a little tour of our yard today, and I’ll tell you about the changes we made this fall.
Our lovely rhubarb plant succumbed to the same virus that killed another of our rhubarb plants a couple years ago. Its demise came quickly, and in a matter of days; the last of the leaves turned color, wilted, and was gone. We dug out the remaining root, and the soil around it for about one foot on all sides; we’ll replace this with fresh soil next spring and hope for the best!
We also removed some perennials that somehow grew from small clumps into an invading, tangled mess. You know how quickly and quietly that happens: one day you’re looking at the garden and can’t believe your eyes! At first we thought we might keep some of them, but then decided that it was time that corner had a makeover.
So what can you do? The upside of all this toil and trouble in the garden is that we now have a bit more space to do something else. We planted a new daylily that was a gift from dear friends; and I think that I would also like to plant a few more bulbs this fall.
It may seem strange to be out there in our parkas, planting for spring; but bulbs like and need this cool time to get settled in. It’s getting to the end of when we can plant, but it’s still possible. Read the labels on the packages: you will find that most bulbs like to be planted at least six or eight inches deep. They like sunny locations with good drainage. And you always have to keep in mind how they will look next spring: now there is lots of room on the garden, but things will grow back and fill in next spring, so choose your new bulb planting locations with care. And be sure to mark them well so you don’t disturb them in the spring!
Another thing to remember is that you likely won’t want to plant an area of bulbs all on their own: when they are blooming they are glorious and beautiful, but then they reach that straggly stage when the blooms are done and the leaves are kind of tired looking, but yet you want to leave them till they die back completely. If you have a whole patch done with bulbs, you’ll have a sorry-looking little flowerbed for a while! You can get around this by planting your new bulbs in among other plants. They look more natural that way.
For maximum effect, plant bulbs like tulips or daffodils in clumps: dig a large hole and plant them in a circle, each bulb several inches apart. They will look very striking when they are blooming. Please don’t plant bulbs in a row: they look spindly and sad and don’t give any “wow” power to your flowerbed. Take those same dozen bulbs and plant them in a large clump, and you’ll have a beautiful focal point in your yard.
The Yorkton and District Horticultural Society will be holding their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, November 27. This is a members only (and guests) meeting, and will include a delicious banquet, silent auction, meeting, and an exciting presentation by Vicky and John Ostrowercha on their travels to Holland’s “Floriad” flower show.(And if there is time, Debbie and Keith Hayward will do a brief presentation on their trip to the Mediterranean.) Call Liz at 782-2830 for full details.
Good luck with your bulb planting, gardeners, and have a good week!