It's Time to Plant Bulbs and Deal With Deer!

Yes, it's November, and that means it's time to plant spring bulbs! Yay!

Okay, I already planted eighty bulbs last week:

Now please note that while some of the above links will take you to sites that allow you to order bulbs, I do NOT necessarily endorse any of those sites for ordering bulbs. You have to be very, very careful about where you order your bulbs from.

I know this because of a course I took on Wednesday evening from the Morris Arboretum on Landscaping With Bulbs. Some bulb supply companies will tell you that their bulbs are "nursery grown". This means, according to my instructor, that they pay peasant women peanuts to go out and dig up native bulbs; they then "grow" them in the nursery for a week and send them off to you, thus ravaging and depleting the native bulb supply.

What you want are "nursery propagated" bulbs. These are grown either from seed or are propagated from existing bulbs and are not dug up out of the wild. According to my instructor, here are some reputable sources for bulbs:

Brent and Becky's Bulbs
7463 Heath Trail, Gloucester, VA 23061 804-693-3966

Daffodil Mart/White Flower Farm
P. O. Box 50, Litchfield Ct 06759-9952 1-800-503-9624

McClure and Zimmerman
Quality Flowerbulb Brokers
108 W. Winnebago St., P. O. Box 368, Friesland, WI 53935-0368 1-800-883-6998

P. O. Box 1000, Babylon, New York 11702 1-800-622-9997

Well, thanks to my class on Wednesday night I now have five more bags of bulbs to plant:

  • Muscari armeniacum: cobalt blue flowers, great naturalizer, very cost efficient color in the garden, 4"-6", early to late spring, an heirloom bulb first cultivated in 1877
  • Crocus tommasinianus 'Barr's Purple': six-petaled, cup-shaped purple, early-blooming and great for rock gardens, front of the border or early spring lawns, 3"-6" tall blooms in late winter/early spring**
  • Chionodoxa luciliae 'Glory of the Snow': (wait! I already planted these!) 5-10 small starry flowers in a spray per stem, great naturalizers in rock and woodland gardens or in lawns, up to 8" tall blooms in late winter/early spring**
  • Narcissus 'Ice Follies': the world's second most numerous daffodil, creamy white petals and a very broad, 'wide-open', sunny yellow cup that matures to almost pure white, 16"-18", early-midseason
  • Eranthis hyemalis: Buttercup relative with frilly, green collar of leaves; very early blooming, prefers humus rich soil with plenty of moisture in partial shade; reseeds when 'happy', 3"-4"

I am going to be a busy girl in the next week. I should plant them all today and tomorrow when the weather is still nice enough to be outdoors but you can't just get 5 bags of new bulbs you've never dealt with dumped on you and know where you want to put them just like that. Ah, the problem of being bulb-rich. What a luxury.

Now, once you have planted your bulbs, how do you protect the blooms next spring from the increasing hordes of deer currently munching their way through gardens all up and down the east coast? Well, you start by buying Rhonda Massingham Hart's book, Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden. It's a very comprehensive reference. I have not yet found, however, where she describes how the deer, ashamed of the havoc and destruction their number has wreaked upon the globe, switch to the Democratic Party before the upcoming election.

**when everybody goes to Mexico

More like this

I don't know if you've missed me, but I've missed blogging these last two weeks. However, my body has demanded a period of healing and I have acquiesced. The neck and shoulder are screaming less these days, and tomorrow I get my next botox treatment for the migraines, so I'm thinking by next week…
Owing to the fact that the snail eradication project (or at least, my direct involvement in it) is on a brief hiatus while I'm on the East Coast (and while my yard is still in Northern California), I'm going to be bringing you up to date on the garden in whose service I have been trying to control…
tags: Amsterdam Avenue, NYC through my eye, photography, photoessay I don't know if you know this, but the weather in NYC is hell. Seriously. Whether you imagine hell to be a furnace or a freezer, NYC is nearly always at either extreme. The weather here typically varies between hot and humid, so…
It's spring, and everything looks great in the garden right now. Well, except for those pervasive Star of Bethlehem invaders that have to be pulled out by the dozens. Star of Bethlehem is a non-native, very invasive plant that can take over your flower bed almost overnight. I spent about an hour…

I swear, I need a holiday. I read your post title as "It's Time to Plant Bulbs and Deal With Beer!", and I thought to myself, "Mmm, I could deal with a beer about now".

It's 7:30 am.

I'd love to help you with that deer thing. Can you put some of them on a bus and send them over to Michigan?

By nerdwithabow (not verified) on 06 Nov 2006 #permalink

If you just come to my backyard you can have your pick of 4 or 5 on any given night. My next-door neighbor goes bow-hunting from his back yard - from his deck, practically. Or, you could just drive over to Valley Forge National Park after sundown and checking out the grazing herds along the roadside.
I am not kidding. They aren't fazed at all by the traffic.

I have to finish planting 3000 bulbs. I didn't want to wait for the naturalized look to establish on our acreage so I ordered bulbs by the bushel basket. And the deer here love to eat the blooms. A dog helps deter the deer. We also have solar lights that we move around once in a while and that helps to. I have taken to spraying garlic/pepper oil around the plants but it has to be reapplied after a rain. My favorite deer deterent is the motion activated sprinkler - just have to remember to shut it off before I go out.

The deer here also have 'crossing guards.' One deer comes out of the ditch and stands in the road waiting or encouraging the other deer to cross. One problem I have is hitting the crossing guard deer. They really need those orange vests.

By SuzyQueue (not verified) on 06 Nov 2006 #permalink

I think you can put shallow bowls of beer in the garden and the deer will drink them and fall --- wait, that's slugs. Never mind.

When I used to live in deer hunting territory, a couple of my neighbors had those cheesy fiberglass deer lawn ornaments. During deer hunting season all the deer and deer-sized lawn ornaments sported orange vests, I guess since the time Arvid Pokela's brother-in-law shot out the dining room window one weekend.

Thanks for the info about bulbs - I didn't know what the difference was between 'nursery grown' and 'nursery propagated.' I have an enormous new yard and want to put some bulbs in, though a friend pointed out that I should wait and see what's going to come up in the spring so I can' plant around them. I guess there are already lots of bulbs in the yard.