The Bulb Measure

I realize I measure my seasons by the bulbs I plant. Tulips, snowdrops, daffodils,fritillarias, and other ephemerals go in October and November. This year, I planted quite a few garlic cloves in the veg garden.

I used to dig dahlia tubers out in the fall as well, but never had much success overwintering them, lacking a cellar or garage to store them. When I’ve tried them inside, the temperature was too warm, and one year’s experiment in a Rubbermaid bin outside was a dismal failure. For the past two years, I have kept them in the ground, sometimes digging the. Up in May to separate and replant,but mostly just hoping for the best. My success rate is nothing to boast of, gifting me too few flowers.

So in go new dahlia bulbs in the summer, and a few canna as well. Bulbs and tubers are easier than seeds, because you plant them and forget about them until you see shoots. Then you can water and fuss.

A friend gave me a pre-potted amaryllis bulb last Christmas that I was delighted to see bloom. So taken was I invested in four bulbs this year. I waited too late to order, and none of them bloomed by Christmas, but one bloomed magnificently that past week, each of its blooms triumphantly opening on two stems.

Three more bulbs have put out shoots, but I have no expectations. That is the way it works with bulbs. Their appearance, in their own time, is never a sure thing but what a glory when the show begins.

Pretty Nymph Amaryllis, 2023
Pretty Nymph Amaryllis, 2023
Pretty Nymph Amaryllis, 2023
Pretty Nymph Amaryllis, 2023
Dahlia 2022
Dahlia, 2022
Fritillaries, 2022
Gavotte Tulip, 2022
Snowdrops, 2022

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