Tulip planting day…

December 30, 2007

Alrighty, it is tulip planting time here in Tejas. I couldn't ask for a better day to do it - cool and sunny. It just rained a bit a couple of nights ago so the soil is soft. I have about 1500 bulbs, although I don't think I can squeeze out enough space for all of them. Anyone who knows me, or works for me, is well acquainted with my approved color scheme. This color scheme never includes red and rarely yellow - but those are the tulips I ended up with this year. Yellow is only allowed to sneak in via Iceland poppies and Iris pseudocorus.I plant mostly white tulips, augmented by purples and peaches. White daffodils, blue Dutch Iris, etc. etc.  One of my employees calls it my "bruise" garden. Appropriately so. But, there was nothing I could do about this tulip "catastrophe" considering I don't have enough tulips left in inventory to fulfill my original order. So, I'm planting 'Big Smile', which is a buttery yellow, 'City of Vancouver' which is a creamy white (and perfectly acceptable in my normal color scheme). The big offender is 'Montepelier ', a brand new variety that I'm not familiar with and can find no photos of. It is supposed to be a "pinky red". We shall see....

I managed to drop in about 600-700 this morning and will probably try to create a few more spots to plant a couple hundred more tomorrow morning. Some leftovers will go to the neighbors. Of course, I'll have to color coordinate them too! Lonnie and Julie - lefthand neighbors - will get yellow (Lonnie's a big Iowa State fan). Phillip and Shannon - right hand neighbors -  will get the pinky/red, because Shannon really likes that color. Won't we be a cute little trio. No, I'm not a control freak. REALLY.

Much winter clean up was required as I've been terribly neglectful of my garden as of late. After all the pulling and pruning work, I found myself all scratched up. Normally, one would think of "Winter" clean up as an activity requiring long sleeves of some sort. But this is Texas yall. It ended up around 70 degrees (yes it's December 30th) so the sweatshirt came off. I tend to be a "gloves off" kind of gardener and I dive in head first. Forget the gloves most of the time...rose thorns..whose afraid of those?? No pain - No Gain. You get the idea. It's not till I'm done that I realize I look like a 10 year old boy...complete with the knee scuffs,  arms that look like a squirrel  scrambled up them and a fine film of soil covering my entire body. Hot stuff, I know. But that's not the best part. I got SUNBURNED. Yes, sunburned. I'll restate that yes, it is December. As any horticulturist or avid gardener knows, fighting the dreaded farmer's tan is a continuous and frustrating battle. But it's not a battle one thinks they'll have to fight in the middle of winter. But alas, here I am, with a farmer's sunburn for my efforts. Jeez Louise.



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