Time for Change…. Fall bulbs and Pansies!

As soil temperatures drop, it’s time for planting bulbs here in zone 7.  This is always a bitter sweet time for me.  I absolutely hate pulling up perfectly lovely annuals, but I know that winter is right around the corner and the pansies must be placed and the bulbs buried.

 

SONY DSCYes, I’m pulling up the pentas.  I think I might have had tears in my eyes while taking this photo.  (Below) On a brighter note….Lola loves to dig in the dirt with me. She has to investigate all the flower beds.

 

SONY DSCAfter ripping out the pentas, time to drop the bulbs. In this small bed, I planted 35 tulip bulbs. Usually, I’d never plant these bulbs without covering them with chicken wire to give them a defense against the pesky squirrels, but I’ve never seen a squirrel venture this close to the house and this is Lola’s territory. My fearless squirrel attacker. (Just hope she doesn’t decide to dig up the bulbs.)

 

SONY DSCLuckily, this small bed has great pliable soil so digging the holes for each bulb doesn’t require an auger or arms like pop-eye. And placing the pansies over them is a joy. I like to add a little blood meal, but I caution the use of this fertilizer with a pet. Lola likes the stuff, but by the grace of god she’s not a digger. (At least, I haven’t caught her yet.)

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(Above) In this larger bed I planted Spanish Blue Bell bulbs, because they do well in shade and Thalia Daffodils. I love the slender almost orchid like petals of the Thalia variety. This variety also naturalizes well, so more plants in the future. And luckily, daffodils are not tasty treats for squirrels.

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I can’t wait to see what this bed looks like in the Spring. It’s pretty now with the hostas still thriving and the autumn ferns on beautiful display, but this winter the dwarf nadina and pansies will carry the color through until the bulbs emerge next spring. I’m already imagining the delicate white daffodils gently waving in the spring breeze above the blanket of colorful pansies. (Whoever decided to name pansies- pansies. There is nothing pansy about a sweet little flower that can survive through winter.)

 

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