white garden gets some bulbs

Yesterday in the white garden I planted: 25 heirloom white turk’s cap lilies, 20 Mount Hood narcissus, 20 white hyacinth, and 40 Thalia narcissus. Here are some pictures of those flowers:

I’ve never planted this kind of lily so here is a picture from elsewhere:

this image is from Scheeper's, where I bought the lilies

this image is from Scheeper’s, where I bought the lilies

Also from Scheeper’s, I bought the “festival” hyacinth, which have a looser bloom than the classic hyacinth:

This image is from the website of thebattery.org, a website maintained by the Battery Conservancy, which oversees gardens in that part of Manhattan

This image is from the website of thebattery.org, a website maintained by the Battery Conservancy, which oversees gardens in that part of Manhattan

I have Mount Hood and Thalia daffodils in the garden, but decided to add more for the white garden:

here is Mount Hood, blooming May 12 last year

here is Mount Hood, blooming May 12 last year

a patch of Thalia, also from May last year

a patch of Thalia, also from May last year

There’s nothing like planting bulbs in the fall. The gratification may be delayed, but then again I get a lot of satisfaction from just imagining the bulbs in the ground getting ready to emerge in Spring.

new integrated blog idea…

I have another blog called “outdoor adventures: hiking canoeing and camping in northern NY” or something like that. It’s where I write posts and put up photos of canoe trips, hikes, and the occasional climb. I thought of a title for a blog that included that blog and this gardening one: “Gardens: intended and untended” The intended gardens are those around my house, obviously, which I’ve been building and developing for 14 years now. “Untended gardens” represents for me the landscape in the “hands” of nature, un-tidied and un-planned by people. So, garden is probably the wrong word. I’ll keep pondering this and see whether one blog could really include both kinds of landscapes.

Meanwhile, I’ll take a stab at this by including a hike we took yesterday and a home garden report. It was a brisk day for a two-mile walk on the Kip Trail on the edge of my college campus. We all call it the Kip Trail but the official name is on this sign:start of the Kip TrailIt’s a friendly, easy, wide path through the woods. in the woodsBright leaves covered the path, and we noticed some wild-flowers including some wild ginger:Kip Trail wild gingerAt one point the trail skirts the Little River:little riverNear the campus end of the trail a boardwalk takes you out into a pond:boardwalkclouds and pinesBack at home in the tended garden I first took photos of the maple in our front yard that always turns bright orange and gold in the autumn:front yard mapleThen soon after it started to snow. Here’s the frosty front yard:snowy front yardIt’s a bittersweet time for gardening. A relief that the hardest labor is over, and a goodbye to the blooms for another season. I have already started poring over flower catalogs. I have more bulbs coming in the mail, so hopefully this snow will not stick–planting in the snow is not that fun!

Mid-October bulb planting

We had a beautiful week last week and I got some bulbs from Colorblends–100 short red tulips, 100 taller orange/red tulips, their “daffodil 100” mixture, and 100 fritillaria meleagris. I planted the daffodils here and there in groups of five. The tulips had to wait until I bought a big bag of powdered cayenne pepper, since I plant tulips with hot pepper to discourage the mice. To prepare I added many wheelbarrows-full of composted horse manure to the “square” garden. That’s where all the tulips go, since it has a lot of small stones in it which also discourages burrowing rodents, and it has excellent drainage. Here is the square garden:

square garden main path, with a new "log" border and added compost.

square garden main path, with a new “log” border and added compost.

And here is another picture of the added compost, and a nice picture of the winterberry with red berries.compost addedred berriesI picked up some wood shavings and wood chips for the paths we have made through the new bed–we call it the compost bin garden. It’s between the new white garden and the square garden:woodchip pathsAnd also yesterday I scattered a few hundred narcissus bulbs, which I had dug up in the process of renovating other beds over the summer, in the new bed at the top of the front yard. After scattering them around, I covered them with composted manure and then with some old hay. It looks cozy and ready for winter!blanketed front yard gardenUnder the pine trees the raised bed was too dry for the astilbe I put there, so I did some shifting–the astilbe and a few hostas that were getting too big got moved back next to the pine tree trunks, and I moved some daylilies in. Then I added a lot of compost, since the trees suck up a lot of nutrition. I have bulbs in there, but will have room for more drought-tolerant plants.renovated pine tree gardenWe have a new visitor around the front porch: a big black cat we call Midnight. He is friendly and well-cared for, neutered and chubby, so we aren’t yet sure if he is a neighbor’s cat who strayed off or a drop-off. The other two cats don’t think highly of the situation, so we get a lot of yowling, but so far no fur is actually flying.MidnightWe’ve been asking the neighbors–so far no one has claimed him.

Over the weekend my sister and her husband were here–we managed to fit in some apple-picking when they returned from some hiking and canoeing. Beautiful and delicious!apples