While fragrant paperwhites begin blooming in water in the kitchen, the giant pile of planting mix I made following this economical recipe from Northwest Edible Life has been put to great use this weekend. I may be ¼ way through the pile, and I only made a half batch this time! Grow lights and heat mats are powered up, and I’ve spent hours filling and preparing seed trays in the garden shed, blasting great tunes as I work.
So far, seeds I’ve sown include varieties of sweet pea, lupine, dianthus, anemone, columbine, heuchera, and foxglove. My seed sources include Swallowtail, Territorial, Butchart Gardens, Baker Creek, and my own garden. With more flower seeds yet to sow, and many receiving a chilling session in my fridge, I’ll wait on all veggie seeds until the new year.
Since fall is such a great time for planting, I also added many beauties to Coppertop beds and pots this past week. These were in addition to the tulips I mentioned a few days ago. I don’t save all packages and tags, so often this blog serves as my only record of what I’ve planted. Very valuable to me! 🙂
Where Pacific Giant delphiniums have declined, I filled the remaining area in the side-of-the-garage raised bed with three more peony tubers: ‘Alba Plena’, ‘Big Ben’, and the classic ‘Sarah Bernhardt.’ This row of peony bushes is one of my favorites!
Six additional, somewhat younger peony bushes thrive around the corner from this row, pictured below.
I also added a white ‘Alba Plena’ to the raised bed atop Chicken Hill where it joins the white ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ peony which failed to bloom its first spring.
I’m a fan of cheerful large flowering crocuses or croci, and they are prolific bloomers before the narcissi and peonies appear in the side-of-the-garage bed and also along the front walkway. To bring some early spring color and joy to the deck, I planted purple ‘Flower Record,’ white ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ and smaller ‘Orange Monarch’ croci in shallow pots. One large terracotta pot packed with white ‘Acropolis’ double narcissi will sweetly scent the deck.
Today I planted 30 Tulipa saxatilis in the most naturalized, sunny spot I could imagine, which is on the hillside above the stream. As I love to do with bulbs, I tossed them gently in the air and planted them in clumps where they lay, careful not to lose these tiny treasures.
While it was certainly a digging weekend, later this week I’ll need to get in about 50 more purchased narcissus bulbs on the same hill and into the old foundation I uncovered in 2014. If energy permits, I’d also like to intersperse tulip bulbs saved from last year’s deck pots into the foundation. The abundance of blooms is such a welcome sight each spring.