In the last few days we’ve planted nearly 1000 tulip bulbs – by hand – and a fair few Allium bulbs as well.
Highest priority this week were the alliums, which needed to go in earlier than the tulips and were also starting to go a little moldy. We’ve left our Allium ‘Sphaerocephalon‘ in from last year and planted another 100 ‘Purple Sensation’ and also some of the funky ‘Hair’ variety. We’d admired the latter in various catalogues, but were convinced when our wonderful neighbour – who’s a Dutch gardener and retired florist — brought round some of the flower/seed heads from her garden. They are so wonderful and wacky that we just had to get some.
When it comes to tulips we’ve gone for a mix of luscious colours and also some of the more fashionable Viridiflora and Parrot styles. My fantastic Auntie Mary and Uncle Alan (Bek’s parents) came up for the morning, to help plant tulip bulbs and demonstrate the most efficient technique, with one ‘dibbing‘ and the other placing the bulb. It sounds obvious, but when you’ve got 1000 bulbs to plant, it’s worth getting your technique sorted. Once we’d had our masterclass Gary and I spent the afternoon planting the next few hundred. Gary lives in a yurt, not far from our plot, and is a general good egg who helps us with the donkey work when we need an extra pair of hands. It’s nice to have good company when you’ve got a laborious task like this to do, and it turned out to be a very pleasant and productive afternoon.
The other person who deserves a mention is Pip, or Philip, as he is actually called. Pip helped me water-in the Achillea I transplanted the other day, and also helps to keep an eye on our hens… when he’s not climbing over, or digging holes, in our huge pile of compost. We may well have to train him up over the coming years to be our gardener’s apprentice!
Pip’s not the only one digging holes in our plot. Eek. Something has been trying to dig its way out, under the rabbit fence and there were also paw prints all along one of our freshly mulched beds. Could it be a fox? It’s a safe bet that where there are chickens, there are also hungry foxes. Thank goodness I remembered to shut up my hens this evening.