April 2, 2009

A few years ago I obsessively read all of Elizabeth Lawrence’s books. She was a marvelous garden writer, who kept a plant-lovers garden in Charlotte, NC. One of my favorite of her books was a treatise on the Little Bulbs. (http://www.amazon.com/Little-Bulbs-Tale-Two-Gardens/dp/0822307391/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238716744&sr=1-2 )

Miss Lawrence gardened in the South, so couldn’t grow tulips successfully. I don’t know if that is what gave her the impetus to study the “little bulbs”, but if it wasn’t the weather, surely it was the squirrels.

I’m appreciating all my small bulbs this year and feeling closer to Elizabeth L. than ever. Check out this field of chionodoxa forbesii ‘blue giant.’ They have been happily colonizing for a couple of years and would probably be even more rambunctious if I hadn’t stirred up this part of the garden installing tree peonies last fall.

Other small bulbs, planted in the front of the house – ipheon, camassia and anemone — are all getting ready to bloom. They really do add a layer in a bed full of bulbs, and are wonderful punctuations at the front of the border.

The farm work continues. Report from the outside bed: Teeny lettuce seeds are sprouting. Also peas.

Down in the basement, all sorts of seeds are sprouting. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to start seeds according to how quickly they would germinate. Instead, I started them all at once. Now, they are all different sizes – have no idea if this is going to be a problem later.

In the meantime, I also received some Italian Roma tomato seeds so I’m starting those on a heated germination pad that’s all rigged up on top of a box on top of some other stuff.

To make this contraption even more complicated, I’ve got a little fan blowing on the itty bitty plants – evidently this will “toughen them up.” The whole set-up is looking crazy.

I am certainly focused on everything tiny these days… from tiny bulbs to tiny seedlings. And all the wonderful tiny emergences of Spring.

More photos of the little bulbs in my garden http://www.picturetrail.com/mrswheelbarrow

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