Bulb planning and planting…and planning some more

Make no mistake about it, planting bulbs is hard work. That is, of course, unless someone comes in, bulldozes the place, and leaves the soil nicely amended and all you have to do is toss the bulbs around and cover them up. That’s so NOT happenin’ at Ranch du Bois, so I try to put a little bit of planning into the new bulbs scheme from year to year. Do I stick with it? Seldom. But I want to try a completely different approach to planting the bulbs this time. I want to replicate/copy/steal the ideas from the New York Botanical Garden’s Seasonal Walk.

Here’s how I am going about this:

First, I pulled together all the information and photos I could get re:Jacqueline van der Kloet’s designs(she designed the bulbs plantings in NY). Here are two of my faves –

Jaq van der Pink red and purple

Jaq van pink tall

Jaq Van der Tulips red and yellow

I looked at lots of her other designs/installations and studied them carefully. I was able to go right to the NYBG Seasonal Walk website and pull off the complete list of bulbs they used last year, PLUS, the planting instructions. How cool was that? Then I started shopping. I made myself a Picasa collage of the bulbs I wanted: as I clicked from Brent and Becky’s to Van Engelen to John Scheeper’s to Old House I saved the images of the plants I liked in a file on my computer, I exported them to Picasa where I created a collage so I could see them all together. And I made notes. And more notes. How tall, early-mid-late bloomers? Supplier? Prices?

Here’s the chicken scratch process:

How I do it

How I do it

The orders are in, I’m shopping for fillers (little bulbs and the ones I know I can get locally), and trying desparately to figure out exactly where I am going to install this mini masterpiece. Stay tuned.

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9 Responses to Bulb planning and planting…and planning some more

  1. It looks great Mary Ann, and I like how you showed your chicken scratch. It’s good to see the process. Ranch du Bois will be beautiful come spring (not that it’s all that shabby now, my friend).

  2. What a great idea to pull together the pictures of all the bulbs and put them in a collage so you can see the total effect. That is going to be one gorgeous display this spring!

  3. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Ooohhhhhhhhh! Aahhhhhhhhhhhh! If they’re this gawjus in pictures, imagine how lovely they’ll be in reality!

  4. I know what you mean about bulb planting being hard work. My wrists always ache afterward. Will you be planting Mysotis to go along with those bulbs?

  5. Kathy Purdy says:

    What do you like best about it, the color mix or the seeming randomness of it?

  6. Victoria says:

    I’ve been doing some online shopping lately also. I realize I ordered 200 (yes, 200!) hyacinthoides from Van Engelen. Want some practice planting bulbs???

  7. Diana says:

    Wow – I’m impressed with all that planning for planting! I’m expanding my daffodil varieties this year — since that’s about all we can grow here in the heat and with my family of deer!

  8. Hey there! This blog looks great! I like the notebook thingy and tags on the side- very clever…

    This is such a helpful article b/c I don’t want the bulbs to come out looking super randomly placed- like how it looks tied together up there but not too Martha… you know what I mean?

  9. A says:

    Hi,

    I found your blog via Blotannical, and am so glad I did, as these bulb groupings are leaving me drooling. SO. GORGEOUS. I just said to my DH, “I know I said I wasn’t going to plant anything this fall, but look at this photo!”

    Your blog looks downright delicious. I’ll be back for more inspiration.

    Ali

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