Could this be a new tradition for the Eve of Thanksgiving up in Fairy Holler?
After having normal madness up here (normal for madgardener and her Catron Clan of assorted motley crew of a family <g>) the evening before and the actual day....(we traveled for the first time in quite a long time to celebrate the gathering instead of the family comin' over the river, thru the woods, up the ridge.......ect ect ect,) I had before me a day after everything had slowed down to do biddings to the fairies and the planted area.
I had more bulbs. No, let me explain.....I always knew of the insidious "sticky pot" syndrome. But no one told me about the even more dreaded "sticky bulb bag and package disease" with flare up's of "I gotta have more since they're reduced 50%, even if I don't know WHERE to put them" rashes.
This is the third wave of this problem. I caught this little virus when the bulbs came in a little late at the end of September and a couple of days when I was actually off in a row and when I returned, (it being a bit harder to know about this sorta thing since I now work as a cashier in the LUMBER department and that's at the opposite end of a super Lowe's store...kinda like being in a different store altogether sometimes....if it weren't for the carport leading out to the fresh air, I would go insane.....I do love it outside more than in-)
but I digress........I got this little virus of sticky package and net bulb bag when the first wave of crates came while I was away. I juuuust happened to go past them in the greenhouse before I took my lunch that day, and saw the fresh crates of Jackson and Perkins's multi-packs sitting there just unpackaged.
I love those things. The J & P packages...It really gives the every day gardener an opportunity to find SPECIES tulips, those original tulips that inspired collection in Turkey and brought back to be hybridized and become what people are more aware of as tulips, and a nice narcissus that is now considered common but to someone ten years ago, was hard to find if not impossible.
These little packages of two or three types of bulbs to be planted into little fairy gardens of spring time are really neat and something that I've done ever since discovering the magic of bulbs on my own.
Different alliums that not every gardener might know was available. Not just Drumstick, but Cristophii Alba, and Gladiator, and even Blue Stars. And this year, they floored me with having Camasia's in both blue and white. And Chinodoxia's, sweet wood hyacinths to be sown like seeds in the woods and let them naturalize....
To even think that there are little bulblets and corms and tiny tubers that could satisfy someone with limited space and no yard is even neater with crocus and hyacinth's to force for inside growth. Put those little tinies into pots on a windowsill after a good chill in the veggie drawer and watch as little grassy leaves emerge with tiny little stars and bells and all manner of fairy flowers to be taken in by their tiny perfections.
Hyacinth's with the name of Woodstock returned and is just as psychedelic pirkle magenta you wish the flower would be when it emerged in mid-springtime, but your planting last year was either spirited away by angry elves or eaten by starving tree rats (I have plenty of those and the fact that they don't ravage my beds of every delectable bulb is for two reasons...I have a LOT of woods and pastures and those black walnut trees, plus pin oaks with lots and lots of acorns, and lordy, they snack on the stolen tomato or what not of my farmer/neighbor below me. And I plant my crocus, scillia, galanthus, alliums, tulip, and narcissus in mixtures. The toxic flavor of the narcissus is enough to deter most of the rodent problems.
I'm unsure of what the voles and moles were capable of eating of my bulbs.
I bought a few boxes of the mixture of Species tulips. Looked for Red Riding Hood tulips which are one of the few that are perennial in Tennessee, and saw that they were in those kinda pricy boxy packages of three kinds of bulbs. I couldn't see spending $8 for them despite that they were fresh and healthy and good size.
I spotted the LARGE bags of number three size bulbs in the crate that hadn't been completely set up yet and saw that the narcissus bulbs were two and three nose (unheard of for narcissus bulbs on common market, I'm used to young bulbs with single noses, I think I'd die if I could ever see what people who live near bulb farms can purchase that I can't get hold of). Black tulips that were three inches across and had weight. I almost drooled.
So I found two bags of daffs and a bag of tulips sticking to my hands and before I knew it, a Species box, and some Camassia's. A little time went by and before I knew it.... the bulbs were reduced 50% and they were tucked in a little corner of the front of the store and unless you're a gardener and know of this in your face little nook (think purloined letter, the most obvious is the most ignored) it goes unnoticed, and on a whim, I went thru the boxes of bulbs and discovered no one was taking the nibbles. I loaded up with most of the species, some more daffodils of the different type, Pretty in Pink, Pink Salome, White Lion, Tahiti, crocus, muscari Blue eyes.
It got worse. I got tricolor Siberian crocus and Dutch iris and more Camassia in blue's and decided to stop. Or thought I had stopped. There had been a frantic planting of bulbs one day when I realized the back fridge was heaving and groaning like a few years ago when I got that order from Dutch Gardens and it was over 900 bulbs............... this wasn't as bad, but close.
Then my gardening friend who was having a fit to visit and talk gardening got together with me and we grabbed a bite to eat one day and then hit Lowes after lunch and prowled thru the bulbs together. They had moved the bulbs out of the in yer face hidden nook by the front entrance to next to the returns desk to move them faster, and had put signs that said in larger numbers 50% OFF ALL BULBS. The carnage was more evident.
She wanted tulips. I wanted her to try the different narcissus that were still there. Even Thalia was still there. And I spotted the third crate of bulbs still over in the nook unnoticed. We went and crawled thru those. I picked up that itchy dust on hyacinths and scratched my neck and it was on.................we rummaged thru those crates and bags and packages like frenzied squirrels, chattering about each kind as I tried to sell her on the odd ball bulbs. I slipped a Hillstar bag in my basket for her, she grabbed the only box of species tulips that was left and I realized there weren't any more because someone by the name of me had cleaned almost all of them out a few days earlier when they were first discovered to be two for one (half price) <g>
Once we got outside, I insisted on ripping some of the net bags of those huge daffs and giving her one large two nose each of each kind. she gave me huge tulips out of her painfully chosen bags (the colors had been picked thru). We shared and I placed the bags together in one and left them in the back for a couple of days since it was cool enough
I also nabbed more Hillstar's for me that are a tiny little miniature daffodil that I hope will naturalize once it blooms next spring. They seemed to be sticking to me everywhere.
The huge bag of them hung later,on the projecting support bracket of my shelves that I hang chimes and assorted fairy and garden things on in my nook. They kept reminding me it was warm in the house and they'd either like to be in the fridge keeping fresh, or planted, now.
I sat here in my chair and glanced at them and decided last night that it was the weekend after Thanksgiving. And it was also damn near the end of November. I know I've planted bulbs as late as December, but not here. I did that in Nashville once or twice. I stepped outside with the bag of them and hunted out my black handled Sears trowel that can take the cold, wet clay of our soil and my loose black stuff that is even starting to tighten with winter's fingers.
It was just cool enough to need a long sleeve shirt, and a soft fuzzy cap for my little head. I grabbed the green one.
I noticed that dusk was on the coat tails of the birds that were settling down. I had almost waited too late. I held the door open for Sméagol the puppers to come out. He's such a wuss. Sugar bounds out with no regard to the offer. Most times, she'll go out herself without asking. Or if I leave her inside, she says, "Oh yeah?? well I'm coming out where YOU are" and slips thru like a cat and I hear a little muffled pop. Rose would bounce out the door and shove it aside with her shoulder and you'd hear whichever door she went out of, slam and pop loudly. Sméagol hasn't mastered the art of dodging the door as it closes or opening the screen door (old fashioned wood and screen on a springy spring) and he'll stand there crying and whining as if he's sitting in hot coals. It's soooo pitiful.
So I took pity on his young ass and held the door open and had to wait while he came out sniffing the cold wet leaves that were back on the swept boardwalk that leads out and into my nook and the den. He followed me like an obedient child. I had purpose and went to the garden tool bucket on the opposite side of the house and there it was. The wide one. Back to the side yard to see if I can squeeze just two or three more bulbs in the soil under the black cherry tree with all those old woods hyacinths that grow in every old neighborhood in Suffolk, Virginia that Pottingshed gave me one year.
Slip a few near the astilbe and Arum shoots that rise three foot into the air from the rhizomes I got from a sweet gardener here. Hope that's the roots of the Anemone I got this fall that I feel. Ohh can I tuck a couple of small ones here? Yeah if I'm really careful in case I've already planted here and have forgotten.........
The air was chill and very damp. Sméagol was beside himself. Sugar had taken off with Mike and Damon and was he was lost without her. He whined after me as I bent over in the waning light and felt with my fingers the loose, cold soil in the raised bed under the cherry tree. The puppy bounded over the more gentler slope on the eastern side of the house, and I slipped in a few bulbs. Reach into the bag, don't look, and plug it into a hole after wiggling the trowel back and forth to make a wide gouge. I did this careful so as not to slice a bulb in half since I could barely see with the waning light.
The dog did a little careful wandering and piddling and lost track of me as I moved westwards down the driveway.
The light was sifting out of the sky fast, with that odd orange light that sunset has been glaring out lately. I moved quickly, feeling spots into perennial pots and tucking in bulbs here and there. My eyes adjusted to the darkening and I slipped thru the arbor of spent aster boughs and waded thru the fresh carpet of fallen fuzzy fig leaves (say that three times fast).
I sat on the wide side of the BBQ pit fountain fairy garden and started plunging the trowel carefully into the black, rich, loose soil of the bed. I have still got the wire laid over the top because now there's a PUPPY that likes to dig only he's intent on excavating me a newer and wider driveway.........the little dude found me and had tagged along way behind me unnoticed by myself.
The pup wandered onto the kitchen deck and fooled and worried Pye and barked his boredom to play with him, come down! Pye voiced her retort and announced herself to me as she loves it anytime I'm outside. She thinks I'm there for HER.
I see the bounding shape of soft peach fuzzy rabbit-cat or cabbit.....Piquito, my tailless longhair hilarity has found us in the side yard in the fairy minutes of the day. There is obvious magic in the air and around all the plants and side slope as I see him bounce like some obscene rabbit towards the puppy. He plays rough with him, not sparing his feelings, his nose, his face, anything he can wrap his little fur encased needles into when he plays like he used to with his brother and how he plays with Pester's the mini cat and Polluxx who used to contend with HIS sibling brother. Sméagol has no clue the cat is about to blind side him.
I can't see around the corner of the deck and smile to myself at the mental image when the yelps of pain cut thru the quiet of the dusk as I slip the trowel into the black cold soil and plant a bulb. Sméagol is ridiculous. I keep planting and laugh out loud almost hearing the tinkling answer of the fairies hiding under the leaves of the variegated Arum.
I worked my way down the steep slope, tucking a few odd bulbs into the end of the tomato box now turned perennial experiment. Shove some bulbs in between the cold rhizomes of the old Quanzo daylilies that are encased in the sticky red clay soil over the boulders in the first natural ridge of my side yard. THAT ought to be interesting.
Sméagol is being tag teamed by the cats and I work my way down to the next terrace in the now obvious dark. I cheat and go turn on the side light. It's just enough. Back to the first real terrace on the north side and sit on the side of the box on the higher end and tuck some bulbs underneath the dianthus and Iberis that is slowly taking hold at the edges. Bulbs rising thru the ground covering mat will be really neat next spring.
The cats have become bored and Sméagol realizes he's alone, or rather he's just lost sight of me and starts his "where are you??????!!!????" whine. I call to him as I keep planting bulbs. The attempt to extend onto the woods box has loose soil, so I sit on the tree trunk that lines the edge of one side and tuck a few in together. I have a few more. I call the pup again and he's found me somewhat and is standing in the end box and looking down. He's reluctant to jump down and follow me. He's agitated and a baby. And it's dark and I'm cold I almost hear his baby whine and I have to go back up the slope and show him that the ground is close on the south side and he jumps down and bounces with me to where I first was. He's leery though as it's quite dark and he's starting to get cold and tired and stays close to me as I tuck the last of the bulbs into their cold holes. Like having a child all over..........were Sugar here, she'd have him slipping thru the natural hole where the chain link goes over the boulder that straddles the property line and is in the pasture next door. I am excavating more of that neat boulder later on on both sides...........it will make an interesting little fairy garden later on.
Gather the boxes and bags into the Lowes bag and put it in the garbage sack on the deck where son placed it for later taking to the cans at the end of the driveway. Sméagol is more than happy to follow me back to the light and where he knows it's warm. Put the trowel back into the bucket, let the pup in, Piquito slipping past him like a fuzzy slipper cabbit, and Pye materializing from thru the cat window and into the kitchen as I walk into the kitchen door. She loves to beat me inside and won't come in behind me. She likes to pull a Fwit on me like this. Little cat transporters. Didn't know they had dilithium crystals!
The pup is just happy to be where it's warm and I've got soil to get off my hands and under my nails. This feels like a good new tradition for the Eve of Thanksgiving weekend in Fairy Holler. Planting spring bulbs by the dark of the almost full moon. This might just become a regular thing. Did I tell you I started this with asking the fairies where to plant some two and three nose Pretty in Pink and White lion narcissus at my daughter's house on Thanksgiving day? While she was setting the table, I slipped outside and took a bag of pinks and the stray white lion's and tucked them in four places where the fairies told me to, questions from three of the four little fairy grandchildren chattering behind me as I tucked them in where I was told they belonged in her new yard.. Next spring, there will be surprises that she won't realize until they're up and her little girls show her. I wonder who the picker will be?? Only time will tell <gbseg>
Now if I can only not buy more bulbs when they reduce them to 75% off........................is there a midnight December planting in the future??
madgardener up on the cold ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36