The bulbs are in

I wouldn't say I dug 300 holes, but it was close.

Colorblends creates pre-packaged blends of coordinated tulips so you know they’ll look good together – without having a mass of same-looking tulips, unless that’s the look you’re going for.

Over the weekend I planted 300 bulbs in my hellstrip – the area between the sidewalk and street. It hurts to stand up straight now.

If a front yard garden is a gift to the neighborhood, as is said here in Buffalo, then this is my gift to neighbors. It should look stunning in the spring.

I went with three different collections that Colorblends offers. I don’t like yellows or whites in tulips, so that eliminated any of those collections. Light and bright colors tend to “steal the eye.” And whites are too reminiscent of snow, something, at that time of the year, of which I do not want to be reminded.

They look healthy! They sent them to me about the same time they should be planted. They should not sit around too long once they arrive. Though they can go in pretty much until after the first couple frosts.

I like jewel tones, So the “Rainbow Coalition” satisfied that itch with purple, red, and orange tulips. And how could I not order the “Stop the Car” collection just for the name – they’re going along side the street! That has light orange and purple flowers. Lastly was “Lava” which are mostly red, but half will have orange-yellow tips on the red petals.

There are 100 of each collection. There are still a couple dozen past tulips that come up in the hellstrip each year – though they get a bit smaller over time. So there will be well over 300 tulips coming up.

They don’t naturalize, but many of them will re-appear next year without me having to do anything. I don’t dig them up and cold store them over the summer or anything. That’s for hardier souls than myself. My bulb spiritual guide, Elizabeth Licata suggests changing your mindset about spring bulbs – think of them as annuals, and your life and stress will drastically improve.

I also chose them for bloom time. Each blooms a little bit differently than the next which will prolong the ultimate bloom time longer than any one set, or sets that bloom at the same time.

Figuring out bloom time and color coordination was sort of like an algebra problem, but way more fun than algebra.

And here is their final destination. As I was working some friendly strangers stopped to compliment the garden. When I told them I had 300 bulbs to plant in this area, they said, “You can put 300 bulbs in there?” They’ve obviously not noticed my predilection for planting things too close.

I ordered from Colorblends because a few years ago I had some Colorblends tulips that were the healthiest, happiest, tallest and longest lasting tulips I’d ever had. Many neighbors, and strangers, remarked on them. I’d look out my office window and see people taking pictures of them. Someone I know (not well) on Facebook even posted a photo of them, not knowing they were mine!

We got a lot of the fall garden cleanup done over the past two weekends and it’s looking pretty good out there. Only a few more things to do and we’ll get to those before the first snow flies, usually by mid-November.

I’ll be sure to post the hellstrip photos in the spring.

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

1 comment on “The bulbs are in

  1. Stop the traffic! I like to do that, too, except I do it with daffodils. My Colorblends mix was Roadside Yellow. I’ve now got it on both sides of our road. (Asked the neighbors’ permission before I planted them on their side.) http://www.coldclimategardening.com/2014/11/02/stop-traffic-with-these-daffodils/

    Liked by 1 person

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