Saturday, September 29, 2007


I refuse to change to compact fluorescents. Their light is cold and sterile. It's like I'm sitting back in the orthodontist chair in 8th grade feeling the pain (is child birth like this I wonder?), the South African laugh of my doctor, the grinding, the girdling, the giddy talk of his aides who clearly take perverse pleasure in their iron works. I swear I'll eat less caramel. I swear. Just stop touching my teeth. I'll stick with halogen bulbs that are warm and inviting. I'll save the earth in other ways (penny pinching for a rain barrel as we speak, and spent extra money on organic fertilizer for the yard).

Oh. GARDEN bulbs. Ok. Gotchya.

Well, I've been debating how to plant my 150 bulbs from White Flower Farm. I subscribe to the theory that you plant things where you plant them, and let them do whatever they do. Of course, I shop and plan as much as I can for the right plant in the right place since I'm not a certified moron, but I'm just not going to coddle very many plants. Certainly not bulbs.

But I've been reading that bulbs don't like wet soil. I have clay. I will have clay for a very long time. Many websites advocate amending the soil. But for bulbs? I don't have that many resources. Sorry. (I sometimes think all these gardening websites would, if they had their way, amend the ENTIRE PLANET if they could just get enough people on board). Heresy, isn't it?

So, if I dig a decent size hole for a bulb--which I won't be doing--and amend the soil for better drainage, won't the water collect in this basin? Won't the clay act as a bowl with this nice new soil inside?

I read somewhere that planting the bulb a bit higher than you should might help, especially as they exert energy to come up in the spring. Just hope they don't get heaved out in January.

So, I'm going to use my trowel and shovel, dig a wedge, plop a bulb in, and do that 150 times (minus the allium globemasters which are, well, GLOBEmasters). We'll see if I regret not buying a fancy bulb planter. Hey, I did buy bulb fertilizer. And I do own one compact fluorescent (as a reminder to brush my teeth).


Talina said...

What kind of bulbs did you get?

Benjamin Vogt said...

I got a bunch of Allium, some tulips, some crocus--I think I have the list in an earlier post entitled Alliums, I'll have to go double check that.