Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Planting of the Bulbs

Misty morning

The autumn rains have arrived, just at the same time as the spring bulbs I'd ordered. Friday was our one sunny, gorgeous day this week--all of which I spent at work. I was thrilled to wake up this morning to find it merely foggy, not raining. I've been missing my morning walks, so I got up and headed off for a tramp through the neighborhood. The leaves were lovely, the jack-o-lanterns were out in force, and the kitties were relishing the lack of rain as much as I was.

Cat on a Subaru. Pretty much sums up my neighborhood.

After a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs with leftover salmon cakes and a croissant, I headed out to the garden to plant bulbs. I go crazy ordering bulbs every year--I can't help myself. There is no such thing as too many daffodils, a strong contender for my favorite flower. When I was growing up in South Carolina, they were sometimes in bloom for my late February birthday. Later, when I was grown up and had moved away, Mama sent me a pot of daffodils for my birthday every year until she died.  I always thought they looked like ballerinas in yellow tutus and green tights.

Pretty overhead . . .

and underfoot.

So anyway, I had ordered a grab bag of 25 daffodil bulbs to be put in the beds out back for cutting flowers, three heirloom Rose of May daffs for the white garden, 50 blue and white anemones to go around the fountain, some winter aconit out front for a mid-winter splash of yellow, 10 dark, dark purple heirloom crocus bulbs, and 25 bluebells and 25 snowdrops for the shade garden. The heirloom red and white flame tulip bulbs are cooling in the fridge for another couple of weeks, since our winters usually don't get quite cold enough for them.

First, there were two blueberry bushes that had to be transplanted to a sunnier spot. Then, the gargantuan cosmos--seriously, these things were taller than I am--had to be chopped out of the bed they had commandeered, and the always opportunistic mint brutally ripped out where it isn't wanted. Then compost had to be worked into the soil, and only then could bulbs be planted.

It took more than four hours, but I got them all in. Then a hot shower and 800 mg. of ibuprofen before putting together a big pot of chili to simmer for dinner. It's a recipe from a friend who grow up in Texas, and the spices and peppers did magical things with simple beef, tomatoes, and onions. Shout-out to SFL for the best chili I've ever had!  With some homemade cornbread (look Ma, no Jiffy mix!), it made the perfect Halloween supper.  Darling husband was in charge of handing out candy to the Trick-or-Treaters, whom he also entertained with his Elmo and Grover had puppets (he has the voices down).

My husband's dream is to own his own vineyard and winery, and he's often asked me what my dream is. I've never had an answer, until today. My dream is to create a beautiful garden. Not a fancy formal garden, but a simple cottage garden filled with old-fashioned flowers, herbs, and some fruits and veggies.  Not a very exciting dream, but my own, and one I can chase after forever.

Happy Halloween!!

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