Monday, March 10, 2014

Living Gardens

There are a few perks to having a modest little garden blog. I don't make it easy, but every so often I am contacted by a company offering me some kind of deal for access to my blog or my content. Usually it is a lousy deal and the answer is no.

I can be bought with bulbs though. Living Gardens asked me if I wanted a free potted Mixed Bulb Garden to try out. Why yes, I will accept a free bulb garden to grow for a little writeup on the blog.

I received the Deluxe Dutch Garden. It arrived quickly and in perfect shape, all ready to start growing.

All I had to do was set it in a sunny location and add water. It was nice that the basket even had a plastic liner.

I have read plenty of Elizabeth Licata's posts at Garden Rant on her bulb forcing adventures and while she makes it look easy and the pay off high, I am simply too lazy for all that work. I don't have a cold basement or garage to use either for the chilling and storage needed until you are ready to force them.

An already arranged and potted, delivered to your door, just add water bulb garden is much more my speed.

I did have an ulterior motive for accepting this gift. When Bulbarella told me she was returning on March 1st I knew nothing but the snowdrops would be blooming then. I thought a bulb garden would help tide her over until the crocus started blooming.

I read the growing instructions for the bulb gardens and it just so happens that the cool, between 40 and 60 degree temperatures recommended for more compact growth and slower bloom were available next door in the house that was being maintained at 45 degrees.

My house is set at 64 and stays at 70. It also has three cats bouncing off the walls.

It grew quite nicely, undisturbed in the cool sunny house next door. But would it be in bloom when Bulbarella arrived?

No it wasn't. But the heat over there got turned up to 70 and the bulb garden picked up speed. Within two days of her return the daffodils and hyacinth had begun to bloom.

By the end of the week at 70 degrees the Deluxe Dutch Garden was in full bloom with five red Seadov tulips, three Jenny jonquils, two Blue Magic grape hyacinths, two Delft and one China Pink hyacinth and six white miniature Star of Bethlehem. It doesn't look quite like the catalog picture, but Bulbarella wasn't willing to turn the heat down and the higher temps sped things up and stretched them out. Gardeners understand these things.

 It got her seal of approval. That was all that was needed and she loved the fragrance of the hyacinths.

So thanks Living Gardens for the free bulb garden. It was hit and at less than the cost of most flower arrangements I'd consider it a good deal.

And what happens next? I'm going to plant the whole garden just as is. This is bulb country. You certainly can't do that with a cut flower arrangement. Most of it will likely come back. It's always the tulips that are iffy. I think the old chimney in the sunny utility meadow could use a little bulb garden. It's cooler out there. Next year it could look even better.

And now the crocus have begun to bloom. The first stirrings of the Bulbapaloozathon have begun.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

This would be my kind of bulb enjoyment too. Love it.

Barry said...

I think the Living Gardens people
would love to hear your detailed evaluation - who knows, they might add your post-bloom plans for it as a way to make it a gift that keeps on giving.

Lola said...

Such a son to make mom happy that way. It sure was a gift of love. It looks great. A perfect place for the bulbs afterward also.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lisa it can't get any easier than just add water.

Barry I debated divided the bulbs and spreading them out, but decided a bulb bouquet would be a nice surprise in the garden.

Lola when I told her I was taking it back when it was finished blooming, she was like what? Planting it by the chimney is sort of a compromise since that is in her part of the garden.