Today, I’m digging up most of my bulbs in the front yard. I’ve hired a landscape designer to help me with the gardens. Are you surprised?. Well, the photo on the left is my home’s front view taken early last spring. This looks good.
The photo, below, is of another bed to the right of my front door. It doesn’t look so great and breaks lots of landscaping rules. See that long, straight line of rusty brown cutting in the middle of the bed in half?
Garden designers will tell you that isn’t good. Straight lines say “formal,” and in some settings (like Buckingham Palace) formal is good. However, in front of a log house out in the woods, it’s a no, no.
It’s a little like Mr. McGregor’s Daughter’s famous green mustache, which she fixed last summer.
I’ve looked at that straight line for six years and always wondered how to fix it.
For one thing, HH’s back is bad, so he can’t help remove the concrete edging, and I’m not strong enough either.
So, when the Diva’s high school had an auction, I bought the services of Tony’s Tree Plantation. Before I bought the package, I saw Tony’s work at the Diva’s school. I was excited that he relied on high quality plants and used natural elements in his design, like stone walkways, boulders, mounded earth, and dry riverbeds.
He developed a site plan, and was supposed to start work in February. That would give me time to move my bulbs and perennials. His company will move some of the existing shrubs and replant them elsewhere. I’ve still got to decide just where elsewhere is.
When most contractors say they’ll start in February, that really means March. (I say this as a contractor’s wife, and I understand better than most why schedules can change.) Imagine my surprise when Tony called today and said he can start Tuesday. That’s next Tuesday, as in the 27th.
He, like most landscapers, usually deals with blank slates at new homes. My home is so not a blank slate. It is filled to overflowing with perennials and shrubs and bulbs. In fact, last fall, inspired by my bulb planting friends on Plurk, like Elizabeth, Kathy, Cindy, Carol, Leslie and Mary Ann (have I missed anyone?), I planted more bulbs than ever. I don’t want to lose my pricey bulbs, and I want a floral Easter, so all of them must be removed.
Here’s my plan. I marked where all the new bulbs are planted. I’m going to use a shovel to scoop under them and move them mostly intact to a box. I’ll fill in the edges with potting soil and then water. I’m re-using all of the boxes which brought Christmas gifts to my house. I saved them for this purpose. I hope the bulbs will only be out of the ground for a week. Once the other landscaping is in place, I’ll plop them into the ground, and we’ll pray all is well.
Thank you for a look at your garden, and the instruction for digging the bulbs. I’m going to dig those iris bulbs you gave me and take them to AL!
CurtissAnn´s last blog post..Monday’s Fair Light~ Perfect Writing Weather
Hi Dee, I wish I was there to help you too, I am pretty handy with a shovel. Be sure and go way down and if you cut one, replant it anyway. It is going to be so wonderful, your first photo is just a dream. I love that you helped out the school too with the auction. School’s always need all the help we can give them. And why is it that all we gardeners have bad backs? 🙂
Frances´s last blog post..Some People Are Just Lucky
Me too, Frances. I cut several of them, some in half, but I got most of them. I’m going to work on them some more tomorrow if it doesn’t ice over.~~Dee
What fun! I sometimes play with the idea of hiring a landscape designer–it would be fun to see what someone had to say about my problem areas. Sometimes it’s difficult to “see” our own gardens as other people see them too.
I can’t wait to get a look at how it all turns out. But I’m really, really, glad I don’t have to help you dig up all those bulbs. 😉
Susan Tomlinson´s last blog post..Changing our national palate
Susan, I don’t blame you. He’s not expensive by landscaper standards. We’ll see what he does with the space.~~Dee
Better early than late…the bulbs should complain less. I can’t wait to see the end result!
Leslie´s last blog post..GBBD January 2009
Leslie, we can hope so at least.~~Dee
The bulbs should be fine. I will be interested to see what you do here!
Thanks, Eliz, as the Bulb Queen, you should know. I wonder about the Heucheras though.~~Dee
Good for you for getting help. A landscaper with a trained eye and the help of hired fellows with strong backs will go a long way toward making your garden what you want. We don’t always have to do everything ourselves.
Can’t wait to see the photos in the spring, Dee!
Ntl Gardening Examiner
(also at Bumblebeeblog.com)
Robin Wedewer´s last blog post..The most influential garden bloggers
Robin, I sure hope so, but I find I don’t want everything changed. Oh my.~~Dee
Wow, Dee, how ambitious! No surprise there, though. Your land is your palette and we will see no end of your creations I have no doubt. Blessings on the bulbs. They wouldn’t have it here, as they are already starting to bloom, but maybe in OK they won’t mind. 🙂
Hi Kathryn, they’re barely above ground, so I should be safe. We’ll see. Thanks for the kind words.~~Dee
Good luck on a big job. Are you going to share any divisions?
Gosh, Deb, I hadn’t thought about it. Most of them were new, so no divisions yet.~~Dee
Wow what a great splurge to have a professional designer.
And, I’m impressed that you hired him by contributing to the Diva’s school at the same time.
Since it’s not too late to plant bulbs here, your plan should work perfectly well.
Gardeners are such optimists. Digging out hundreds of bulbs to improve the look of our beds seems like nothing to us.
We are a great, energetic lot, aren’t we?
Martha´s last blog post..Gardening Is Part of Muskogee’s Wellness Initiative
Martha, I think gardening is what keeps us young.~~Dee
Dee, good luck with the new gardens! Can’t wait to see the pictures.
Sherri´s last blog post..It is a sunny day here today!
Thanks, Sherri. I will definitely show photos.~~Dee
Lisa at Greenbow
Oh my gosh Dee. I would have thought the ground would be too frozen to move anything. Good luck with your project. What a stroke of luck that the fellow is coming when he said he would. Almost unheard of in any profession. Ha… This will be fun to watch. Please keep us posted.
Carol, May Dreams Gardens
I sure wish I could be there for the big dig. Digging is fun, isn’t it? I hope it was a a big success! Your plan sounds very reasonable.
Carol, May Dreams Gardens´s last blog post..A Chance To Win Free Seeds From Botanical Interests
I’ve considered hiring someone who “could see things more clearly” myself. I look out at the landscape and just kind of go blank for the most part. Having someone with a fresh eye might be rather nice. Let us know how it goes for you.
Brenda Kula´s last blog post..Serene Overcast Friday
Brenda, I hope you do. Life is short, enjoy it.~~Dee
How fun. I know it will be a lot of work for you, as well, but I’m sure you will be thrilled when it’s all done. Good luck with your bulbs and your beautification project — Take lots of through-the-process pictures for us!
Diana´s last blog post..Yummmmmmm~
Thank you, Diana.~~Dee
Annie in Austin
Good luck with getting those bulbs rescued, Dee! Your story brought back memories of having a fireplace installed more than 20 years ago. The contractor showed up early and before I knew he was there, a load of stone blocked my car inside the garage. I had no wheels for days!
Here’s hoping you get that floral Easter ;-]
Annie at the Transplantable Rose
Thanks, Annie. Your story is hilarious now, but probably wasn’t so much back then.~~Dee
What a fantastic opportunity and so exciting. I shall look forward to seeing the in progres photos and the done photos
Thank you Helen. I think we’re getting ice on Tuesday though, so it will probably need to be postponed.~~Dee
I know the new design will look smashing! May the bulbs bloom bountifully once they’re in their newly refurbished digs!
Cindy, MCOK´s last blog post..The Head Gardener & Her Handiwork
Thank you, Cindy.~~Dee
Good luck with the redesign, Dee. I think it’s great to get a professional opinion about a trouble spot. You’ve made some big changes to your entry hardscaping this/last year. It’ll be so fun to look at the before-and-after in a year or so.
Pam/Digging´s last blog post..Antique Rose Emporium in San Antonio
A big good luck to you on the great bulb dig. I have mixed feelings about bulbs – especially the big ones like tulips and daffodils – since the half-dead foliage drives me batty for about as long as the blooms delight. But what would spring be without them? Here’s hoping all of yours survive and the finished bed is gorgeous.
VW´s last blog post..Garden at Santa Barbara Zoo
Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening
Good luck, Dee. Remember to self-medicate after all that work: hot soak at the very least.
Brit' Gal Sarah
Dee I adore you’re new header – gorgeous! How exciting to have a landscaper coming, although I think you do superbly on your own!
Dee, I wish I was there to help you! I move bulbs when they are blooming and they never die! Have fun….digging is a time of meditation for me! I marvel at how long we look at a feature we don’t like before we give ourselves permission to rip it out or change it! gail
Good luck, Dee … I’m a big bulb lover, anxious to see the fruits of your labor, which sound delightful on this cold winter day!
Mr. McGregor's Daughter
Murphy’s Law of garden projects at work here? Hiring help was a good idea. The green mustache may be gone, but the area isn’t completely cleared yet, much less finished. (Thanks for the shout-out, btw.) Bulbs are pretty sturdy, I agree that a week out of the ground probably won’t kill them. Good luck getting them all out!