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Friday, July 19, 2013

This time next year


The last flower bed is sorted out, in spite of the stifling heat wave hanging over us.  We screened a lot of dirt and moved a lot of plants in a couple hours each evening, since the last time I've mentioned gardens.

Starting at the steps, we dug up more than four hundred colchium bulbs--our dad's fall blooming crocus. Jan figures she brought about forty bulbs from the old house, and planted them in front of the porch rail. 

As we unearthed them we sorted them first into a bucket.  When it was full Laura planted the bulbs in a section of the other front garden.  The bucket refilled; Laura planted more.  Over a hundred in the last sweep of the other garden.

The next bucket full went into a grocery bag.  So did the next. Hot, dirty, sweaty, Hamilton on shovel grew careless with the shovel, slicing into bulbs.  Hot, dirty, sweaty, grandma did not mention it. We filled another bucket one afternoon before we knocked off.  We went back out in the evening to continue excavating the damn things. We'd left off in the vicinity of that third grassy sidewalk crack. There were exactly three more!

Hamilton moved Aunt Laura's miniature iris into the ramp angle and along the bottom of the deck. Jan, Laura and I picked out ten perennials to plant and have fill in the next couple of summers.  Laura and Hamilton planted them, Hamilton put down the first mulch layer.  We leaned on our literal and figurative shovels and admired our work.

And the bulbs?  Laura and I packed them fifteen to a paper bag.  We stuck on the label Jan wrote about our dad and the bulbs that cost ten percent of a week's pay.  We've given them away to family and friends and friends of friends.  There are four bags left on the bench, and I know I have homes for them.

17 comments:

  1. Do you sometimes get the feeling that these vigorous cultivars will creep on into the house and your bedroom and your bed and grow right over you in the night? Felt that way about my crocosmia out front. Let it be a lesson to us about abundance. When we feel like we don't have enough, we can remember that of some things, we have plenty! Congrats to you all on your plucky perseverance!

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  2. You don't want my ditch lilies then?
    Jane x

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    1. I am please to report that in addition to ditch lilies, we have ravine lilies blooming.

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  3. It is wonderful to keep up with the gardens and the pictures are great. They are gonna be so beautiful next year.

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  4. Well done! What a project. Glad you've finished and you have a great idea of how to share the wealth.

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  5. I love hearing about your co-operative garden. The early results are brilliant and it will keep getting better. Which is wonderful. I am sure that the recipients of the colchicums will be thrilled.

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  6. I treasure those perennial plants and bulbs that were given to me by friends and family.. Looking at them brings back wonderful memories of people I have loved in my life. When we moved twelve years ago, I took with me two bushes (one given to me by my son, and the other, my sister), and many pulled up bulbs from my mom's gardens.

    I know your friends and family will be thrilled with you gift of love.

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  7. Wow! That's a lot of bulbs and a lot of digging and sweating. I'm sure those that get these bulbs will appreciate them!

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  8. I'm tired just reading this!

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  9. Wow! Lots of work, Joanne.

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  10. I love perennials and use them mostly. There are few annuals I will plant. Sweet peas, zinnias, pansies and violas.

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  11. What a wonderful idea to give out the bulbs with the story of the original. Lucky recipients!

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  12. Don't have much luck with bulbs, plant them in the ground and when it's time to dig them up they have disappeared usually rotted.
    Merle.......

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  13. I think after reading this I shall plant my bulbs in pots and then bury the pots. That should keep them from spreading too far.

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  14. I planted daffodil bulbs 50 years ago... got custody of them in the divorce (had to dig them up myself)... planted them again (by this time they had multiplied to several hundred), and again 30 years ago when I met Bill. Those bulbs "offspring" now live at kids homes in New York, Ohio and Texas... and are still multiplying and doing well. So I can really appreciate your Dad's love of that original bulb and love your story about its "offspring". Lovely Garden!

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  15. I didn't realize that a great deal of work was done to prettify that place. Give a couple more weeks and it will look even lovelier!

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  16. WE on the prairie are sharing your heat wave. Whew! I had to dig up about 40 of my lilies of the valley as they are spreading into my moss roses. I gave half to my neighbor and half to my sister and nearly died from the heat....

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