Wills and Ways

IMG_3282The large box of Peter Nyssen bulbs still looks at me accusingly every day, even though I have sorted it into batches of tulips/alliums/others and have ten pretty hyacinth vases tucked away in a dark cupboard, each with a sleepy hyacinth bulb sitting in the top of them. The first batch of non-prepared hyacinths have also been planted up and are in the greenhouse, along with the first of 6 pots of ‘Paperwhite’ narcissi, the rest of which will be planted at approximately fortnightly intervals. I have not grown Paperwhites before other than ones which came as a gift, so this staggered planting is a new experience. As per PN’s instructions, the remaining narcissi are stored in the fridge until their planting time is nigh. Also in the above picture is an offshoot of Helleborus niger ‘Christmas Carol’, potted up in the hope there may be some earlier flowers as suggested, I think, by Julie of Peonies and Posies.

IMG_3280As it turned out, further bulb planting did not happen today either and the box is still sitting there, glaring. Instead, maybe rashly, I was planting out some late summer sowings. Previously, the only things I have sown at this time of year are last year’s aquilegia and sweet peas, but enthused by the small but encouraging success of my forays into cutting beds I wanted to try and have things flowering earlier next year so several different packets of seeds were sown in late August. Most of them were bought from eBay, following a suggestion in a comment on the blog after which I realised how easy it was to find seeds for a specific plant on eBay and at reasonable cost. Seedlings were duly pricked out and spares thankfully passed on, but some were looking so sturdy and healthy and the weather is so mild that I decided to take the chance and plant them out. Having planted out all the aquilegia earlier in the week, half the seedlings of Centaurea ‘Black Ball’, a white centaurea and Papaver somniferum ‘Swansdown’, were planted out today, along with some red antirrhinum that were sown in February but have been hanging around and not doing a lot, just in case they decide to flower next year instead. We’ll see…

Not quite as much was achieved this afternoon as could have been, due to executing another of my bright ideas – taking advantage of the reorganisation of the fruit cage to liaise with the Master Carpenter (aka the Golfer) and knock up a veg planter for the resultant ‘spare’ space, thus freeing up another of the beds beside the greenhouses for a further cutting bed – where there’s a will there’s a way!

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13 Responses to Wills and Ways

  1. Julie says:

    Thats interesting to read about putting Narcissi bulbs into the fridge, does that apply to other bulbs too?

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Julie – not sure, but these were already ‘prepared’ so would quickly sprout if not kept cool. I suppose that any bulbs would keep fresher for a while if put in the fridge. I think mine would glower at me even more each time I opened the fridge door!

  2. bittster says:

    Your transplants look extremely promising. Here with our harsher winters it’s hit or miss with them, but I’m sure your snapdragons will do great things since mine always seem to do best after overwintering.
    I also have many bulbs scolding me from inside the garage. I will continue to ignore them until it becomes unbearable and then plant them all in a one fit of wet, cold fingered digging 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      🙂 glad it’s not just me! I may regret planting out the seedlings though – although I have kept half of them back just in case!

  3. Christina says:

    Creating space seems to be what we gardeners spend our time doing. The new cutting bed looks VERY interesting; you have really started something very positive with your meme!

    • Cathy says:

      I am amazed at how I have been able to keep on making more space 🙂 The bed in the last photo will be for the few veg I grow, so the bed that had squash and courgette in it this year will be an extra cutting bed – as will the one that currently has the old rhubarb in – no wonder I am excited! And after mixed success with flowers for cutting this year I am determined to build on that for next year – the learning experience has been really valuable and the meme has been a big part of that, so I am really grateful to you and all the other contributors

  4. AnnetteM says:

    I planted some narcissus yesterday that had been hanging around the garage for a few weeks. I wish I had known about putting them in the fridge as they were not looking totally healthy. Time will tell if they are OK. You may not have all your bulbs in, but you have been very busy! I’m sure your antirrhinum will flower next year – I often keep them successfully for a second year . Red ones are my favourite but I can’t always find them. I really should grow more seeds myself.

  5. There is always something that needs to be done in the garden. It seems like you have a pretty good start on Spring.

  6. Anna says:

    My box of bulbs from PN is looking at me accusingly too but it arrived after yours Cathy 🙂 I like the look of ‘Paperwhites’ but sadly find their perfume too overwhelming. I found a bowl of hyacinths when I was tidying up the other day – they have been outside since they finished flowering earlier in the year and one of them is showing pink! Have fun with your new veg planter. I wonder what will be going in there.

    • Cathy says:

      What an amazing hyacinth! I tend to plant my spent ones outside when they are over so in due course the garden will be overrun with them :). Hmm….I can always keep the Paperwhites in the greenhouse (which is where they are starting) even if they do get a bit strong to bear, I suppose….

  7. Chloris says:

    I too have bulbs waiting to be planted. There is always so much waiting to be done in the garden. It doesn’t help if you have new beds to make like you, or horrible great bushes to get rid of like me. Never mind, the tulips don’ t need to go in until November.

  8. rickii says:

    I’ve been lazy about bulbs this year. Come spring, I will be reading your posts with green eyes.

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