Time to plan your bulb strategy for spring blooms

Beckie Fox

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'Daydream' Darwin tulip (Garden Making photo)

I’ve placed a small order for spring bulbs — late if I had wanted new or rare varieties, but there is still plenty of choice at Botanus, Breck’s, Flower Bulbs R Us, Phoenix Perennials and Vesey’s. Because we have a large squirrel population, I concentrated on adding a few more daffodils as well as early crocus because they are so easy to pop in here and there.

Although I eagerly anticipate and appreciate the arrival of blooming bulbs every spring, I don’t enjoy planting them in the fall. There have been years when I haven’t planted any at all, but I end up regretting this lapse the following spring.

'Daydream' Darwin tulip (Garden Making photo)
‘Daydream’ Darwin tulip

If you’re still in the process of deciding what bulbs to order online or search for at your garden centre, here are some strategies to consider:

•  If you’re looking for tulips that return more than a year or two, choose long-lasting Darwin tulips.

•  Looking at your garden now — when everything is in full leaf — is a good way to find places where summer and fall perennials will hide fading bulb foliage in spring. See “Planning for Spring Bulbs.”

• It’s definitely time to order snowdrops. These harbingers of spring need to go into the ground by the end of September.

Evaluating a pesticide study

Here’s a thought-provoking, possibly controversial, article on a study of the impact some pesticides may — or may not — have on our bodies. The author discusses the implications and limitations of epidemiological research reports based on observational studies.

Vertical gardens of Paris

The concept of green walls first germinated in Paris with Patrick Blanc’s project at Cité des Sciences et L’industrie in 1986. Considered the inventor of the vertical garden, Blanc also designed and installed the 8,600 square foot exterior of the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac with 15,000 plants from 376 different species, completed in 2005. More on his green walls and how they’re constructed here.

Topiary goals

And you thought you were a whiz with your hedge trimmers. Take a look at the collection of photos of this topiary garden in a small town in South Carolina, created by Pearl Fryar. The challenges and obstacles Fryar faced to make his garden are even more inspiring than the towering whimsical topiaries he created.

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