We are in the last few days of November headed into the December pre-Christmas rush. These next few weeks are either really busy for people like us, or, depending on Mother Nature very slow. It is a very chilly and VERY rainy day as I write this blog.
There are still a few things we can and should do. Here is an example of what we have to do and perhaps give you an idea of what can be done.
We have a couple of clients we have not been able to complete their fall cleanups. We had snow a couple of weeks ago and that has thrown a spanner into our works. We still need to clear up leaves, clean up perennial beds and a few other “aesthetic” projects. Heck, truth be told I missed the last fertilization of our lawn and there are still a lot of leaves hanging around. In fact, one client reached out and is skipping his fall clean up but we are progressing right to installing his Christmas urns…..
Last weekend, November 24, we planted our bulbs. We planted bulbs for clients last week and are trying to complete the planting at another this week. We have been asked if we are too late. The short answer is NO. The long answer is this:
Some bulbs such as narcissus may not do very well planted this late in the season. They need a fairly extensive period of cool weather (before the soil freezes) to produce the flower and root structures needed to bloom well. They will grow, to be sure, but they may not bloom WELL next season. The following season they will likely be beautiful.
Bulbs like most tulips, eranthis, hyacinth and others require a fairly short period of time to develop the flower structures needed for next seasons growth.
But there is one last factor to be considered. We are expecting a “substantial” snow fall this weekend. Snow acts like a wonderful white duvet for bulbs insulating and moderating the soil temperature. If we get a good snowfall it will take a lot longer for the soil to cool and allow the bulbs a longer period of time to develop flowers and roots.
At the end of the day we are adding wonderful things to our clients gardens. I think fall bulbs are an amazing way to increase the length of time a garden is interesting. One challenge with being a Canadian gardener is our “summer” is so short compared to the winter. Far too many garden designers are focussed on warm weather. We try to create outdoor spaces that have interest in all seasons.
On a completely selfish scale, using bulbs makes our spring easier. We use minor and major bulbs to create colourful gardens that start as the snow is melting and continues through to the end of June. This colour comes from different types of bulbs and goes through many areas of the colour spectrum.
So in May when other landscape companies are struggling to get “on top” of their lawn maintenance AND get annuals planted, we are less stressed knowing our annual plants will not be planted until the bulbs have finished – later in June!
It is a bit late now but there are still bulbs at some garden centres. Pick some up and get them in your garden. And then really enjoy them next spring!
If you ever have a question about what I have written here, please send me a note. I’d be more than happy to answer your questions.
Have a wonderful day.
As always, if you have any questions please contact us.