Saturday, 21 May 2016

Planting spring bulbs

is a curiously satisfying thing. I am not a gardener. I just put things in the soil, cover them over, water them and hope for the best. 
Until recently I have done almost no gardening. There is a good reason for this. It is the Senior Cat's garden. It has been his hobby. Before that it was a hobby he shared with my mother. I didn't interfere.
The Senior Cat gardens in pots at waist height these days. Our friend S.... comes in for two hours once a fortnight. He does almost all the heavy work, keeping the bit of "hedge" at the front trimmed, clearing things, cutting back the glory vine that keeps the house cool in summer and so on. He will dig over patches if there is time.
Last week he was helping to clear the shed and take a load to the dump so he didn't dig.
I had to dig. The bulbs needed to go in. I have been doing it slowly. I am not good at digging. I am not good at standing on one paw and trying to get a fork into solid, dark brown soil. I am worried I will spear a worm. They are useful things. 
I have been digging slowly, small patches at a time. I have planted daffodils and irises. I have freesias, ixia and sparaxis still to go. I planted one patch of those yesterday. 
No, there is no plan to our garden - well, the only "plan" is that it is unplanned. We prefer it like that. It changes constantly. I have not reminded the Senior Cat that my mother had a plan. Under her watchful eyes the garden was carefully laid out. Plants were told to behave themselves.
We let the plants wander freely once they are planted. Last year I found an iris in among the vegetables. It seemed to be quite happy there. I left it.
And yesterday I dug and I scrabbled around in the soil with my paws and I placed those little bulbs, right way up, into the soil. I covered them over gently and I have left them to grow up on their own. I know they are quite capable of doing this. They don't need me to watch over them every minute of their growing. I'll give them some help if they need it - water them or remove a weed or three.
I am told that this is not the right way to do it. There were instructions about how things should be done. I gave those to the Senior Cat for the hyacinths and tulips he planted in the pots. I made a copy for R....because we gave her the spare hyacinth bulb in another pot but I doubt she needs it. I am sure she is prepared to trust such "children" to grow up on their own.

Yes, they will grow up and flower. I don't doubt that.


Allison said...

"I am told that this is not the right way to do it. There were instructions about how things should be done."

Yeah, we get that in knitting all the time, too, don't we? And it is just as big a lie as it is in knitting. Your garden sounds wonderful.

catdownunder said...

It is a landscape gardener's nightmare - but we like it.

Jodiebodie said...

I really love a garden that is a little 'wild'. The randomness of nature has a beauty of its own.

To avoid the exertion of a big fork, I use little 'bulb planters'. Have you seen them? They are little hand-held, spring-loaded cylinders, open at both ends with a handle at the top. Plunge them into the ground to collect a plug of earth which comes out of the ground when you pull up the bulb-planter again, leaving a nice, bulb-sized hole in the ground. Pop your bulb into the hole and then place the bulb-planter full of earth above the hole. Release the spring mechanism in the handle and all the soil in the cylinder drops down above your bulb and a planting is done!

I suppose that is great for precise positioning but I must concede that digging over a larger area with a fork and tossing bulbs at random in the dug area is much quicker for a bulk planting!

catdownunder said...

Well, I fell over more than once Jodie - what else would you expect from me? - but the ground needed a fork. I know the sort of thing you mean but I had an old-fashioned "dibber" (made by the Senior Cat). It isn't as fast but it is fairly effective.