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bulb gardening


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From:Date:Zone:
Patricia11-Aug-07 09:18 AM EST 4a   
V. Callinan12-Aug-07 05:00 PM EST 6a   
Patricia13-Aug-07 07:33 PM EST 4a   
Veronica16-Aug-07 08:19 PM EST 6a   
Patricia06-Sep-07 10:21 PM EST 4a   
Nancy11-Sep-07 07:35 PM EST 5   
Nancy11-Sep-07 07:40 PM EST 5   


Subject: bulb gardening
From: Patricia
Zone: 4a
Date: 11-Aug-07 09:18 AM EST

I love tulips. The thing is, being a novice gardener, I've no idea what to do with the bulb garden after the tulips are done. Waiting for the leaves to finish 'doing their thing' till the end of July, leaves me with a desolate ugly garden patch. There must be something that one can plant to hide the leaves and yet let them photosynthesize. Help! I've heard something about hostas, but would one want a garden full of just hostas? Doesn't seem that it would be very aesthetically pleasing, especially as there'd be little variance in height. Any help you can provide would be appreciated.

Also, I have the bulbs in a morning sun garden (till 1 pm-ish). They seem happy there. That OK?


Subject: RE: bulb gardening
From: V. Callinan
Zone: 6a
Date: 12-Aug-07 05:00 PM EST

Hi Patricia, Hostas come in many heights, widths, colours, etc. There are massive ones that would cover any bulb clump (Mr. Big, Blue Umbrella, Sum & Substance). Medium ones such as Guacamole or Blue Daddy would also do well. The small ones probably wouldn't cover the bulb leaves that well. By mixing hostas with bleeding hearts, heucheras, helebores, lungworts, Jaccob's ladder and ferns, the bulb leaves would totally disappear.


Subject: RE: bulb gardening
From: Patricia
Zone: 4a
Date: 13-Aug-07 07:33 PM EST

Thanks for that info. Another question has occurred to me; well two actually. 1.) Do you put the plants that you mentioned in first, and then re-plant the bulbs around those? I can't imagine that I can just leave the bulbs where they are (covering all the space in the rectangle) if for no other reason than that they'd be under the new plants. 2.) Also, if I'm digging up the bulbs, is there a way to avoid spearing them with the shovel, or do I just accept that there will be some losses. (The earth here is mostly clay, and that garden was planted before we understood about amending the soil, so it's pretty compact.) (This was also before we realized that it'd be better for the garden to have a shape other than rectangular, so we'll be softening up the edges of course.)


Subject: RE: bulb gardening
From: Veronica
Zone: 6a
Date: 16-Aug-07 08:19 PM EST

Hi Patricia, It's hard to say without seeing your layout. I'm assuming there's nothing in the beds but bulbs. Don't dig up everything, just bulbs in the spots where you want to plant a shrub or perennial. So if you have three plants you want that will eventually grow to 3 feet wide each (for example), then mark a spot and measure 3 feet away, and a third one 3 feet further. That would be the centre of the plants. Of course you could go larger but not smaller or they'll bang into each other when mature. Then for your second question - use a pitch fork, not a shovel, to lift any bulbs only in the area marked for the new plant/shrub, save the bulbs to plant elsewhere. When that's done, you can then use a shovel to dig out the soil to plant the new plant/shrub. The result should be only a few bulbs need to be lifted in order to plant. Hope that helps. ...vc


Subject: RE: bulb gardening
From: Patricia
Zone: 4a
Date: 06-Sep-07 10:21 PM EST

Thanks Veronica, that does help. It's so sensible when you explain how to go about it without digging up everything, but isn't it funny how the obvious eludes sometimes? We look forward to making changes.


Subject: RE: bulb gardening
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 11-Sep-07 07:35 PM EST

Here's another suggestion. I have a large bulb patch beside the walkway. When tulips have come and gone, I plant either nastursiams (?) or portulaca which grow on top. Works for me; maybe you could try it.


Subject: RE: bulb gardening
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 11-Sep-07 07:40 PM EST

Here's another suggestion. I have a large bulb patch beside the walkway. When tulips have come and gone, I plant either nastursiams (?) or portulaca which grow on top. Works for me; maybe you could try it.


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