Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How Bulbarella Got Her Name

A funny thing happened after the Garden Rant interview. Bulbarella became a search word. Curious readers must have wanted to know what is a Bulbarella. The google wasn't sending them to a post that would help much in the matter and Bulbarella is an Italian surname that was cluttering up the search results. So I will help inquiring minds who want to know.

In about two months or less depending upon this winter that isn't, from the bare forest floor of the wild cultivated garden 10,000 daffodils and an equal or greater number of minor bulbs will awaken to welcome in the spring. Those will soon be followed by the later blooming lilies and alliums.

That is why I spend days like today hand mowing the still standing dead dried sticks of the perennial flowers. I like a clean slate for the bulb extravaganza about to come.



I moved to the mountain top in the summer of 2007. Imagine my surprise and delight in the spring of 2008 as I watched this spectacle of 10,000 daffodils plus unfold before my eyes. Do you know what your parents have been doing while you were away?

For a good twenty years my mother had been buying, planting, dividing and seeding all kinds of bulbs that the varmints won't eat in her mountain top garden in North Carolina.

That first spring on the blog I had called her the crazy bulb lady. What else was one to think? One Faire reader objected, saying there was nothing crazy about planting so many bulbs. Blogging being the social media that it is, suggestions for a better name were asked for. Annie at The Transplantable Rose came up with the winning moniker and it stuck. Bulbarella is my mother's blog name.

Spend some time in the archives from late February to April of 2008 and you will see what I saw for my very first Bulbapaloozathon.



Bulbarella is a well deserved moniker. Not only have the bulbs been spread from end to end of the ridge top garden, they have spilled into the sunny utility meadow, over the fence into the next county and off the side of the driveway into the wild forest below. The expansion continues unabated. The addition of the garden to be next door has allowed Bulbarella to spread her bulbs even further vicariously through me.



Now the overflow from Bulbarella's annual fall dividing operations are rolling down the mountain to my place. And much like her I plant them and promptly forget where they are. Each new spring is a revelation. I wonder what bulbs will come up this year?



The 10,000 daffodils and counting are just beginning to awaken. It's almost February. That is the right time. This winter that isn't does keep you a bit on edge though. A nice long cold spell of suspended animation would be welcome.



Many of the minor bulbs like the Snowdrops have also spread down to the garden to be. The expansion continues unabated.



Bulbarella is her name.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

And what a great mom you have.
Sallysmom

Christopher C. NC said...

Indeed Sallysmom. The very best.

Cheryl Kotecki said...

I hope she wears the name proudly - perhaps she could even have a t-shirt so the world will know she earned this honor.

Christopher C. NC said...

T-Shirt! Good idea Cheryl. I know a good artist and a good screen printing place.

Lola said...

That's a perfect name for your mom. She so deserves it. All that beauty for others & herself to enjoy.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I hope she returns to the mountain top for the Fling. Can't wait to meet her and we will know who she is by the tee shirt she will be wearing. :)

Anonymous said...

What a great tribute to Bulbarella - and what a legacy is left on that mountainside, long after we are all gone! Love the t shirt idea....

bev

Annie in Austin said...

I was thrilled back then when you liked my suggestion, Christopher - still am!

Lisa asks a good question - will Bulbarella be in town for the fling? Sounds like she has a fan club waiting to meet her.

Annie

Gail said...

That's a marvelous story. I didn't remember that Annie gave the winning name. Looking forward to meeting your mom. She sounds delightful. gail

Christopher C. NC said...

Yes Bulbarella will be here for the Fling visitors. I could probably get a t-shirt made. Doesn't mean I could make her wear it.

Fairegarden said...

Bulbarella is my role model for living life and gardening every minute you can! I look forward to seeing her again. Her bulb planting is the stuff of legend!
xo
F

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

The winter that isn't does keep one on edge. I can't wait to meet your mom. I am impressed by how many bulbs she managed to plant on her rocky hilltop.~~Dee

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I should have said mountain top Christopher. I meant mountain top. I live on a hilltop.~~Dee

Christopher C. NC said...

Frances she could be the cover girl for a bulb catalog. And if they paid in bulbs so much the better.

Dee compared to Colorado this would be a hill. Mom is looking forward to the Fling. Both my parents have very much enjoyed having happy gardeners come visit.

And thanks Annie. You did pick a very appropriate winning name.

Kathy said...

I have decided I want to follow in Bulbarella's footsteps. I have 10 acres at my disposal and hopefully I have another 20 years in me. I was wondering what tools she uses for efficient planting. Any other tips she cares to divulge would be most welcome.

Christopher C. NC said...

Kathy I hope you are coming to the Fling. You can ask her yourself. One of her more efficient tools for bulb planting was probably following behind her shovel wielding husband.

Jean said...

Thanks so much for the explanation! I wasn't blogging back in 2008, so I appreciate you directing us to those posts. It all looks heavenly! I am trying to figure out how to spend my very limited time at the Fling. I was thinking I would have to miss meeting your mom but now I'm having second thoughts. Hmm...

Garden Broad said...

Fun to read the explanation-I was reading your blog back then but never got the story of her highly appropriate nickname. I think you should trademark it-along with "Bulbapaloozathon"! (Lisa-formerly of Millertime :)