Call me Pollyanna---some say that’s my middle name, but October has always been one of my favorite months. The blazing colors in my seventy-year-old Maple trees and the fiery crimson of my Burning Bushes elicit smiles from daybreak to sunset. Besides getting the autumn fertilizer on the grass and stacking up three or more cords of firewood for the long winter, I peruse my John Scheeper’s flower bulb catalogues with a vengeance. My problem is cutting back on my “wants” and sticking to my “needs”. These lovelies pictured above are “Raspberry Sundae Bareroot Peonies. I planted them last spring but they may not bloom until 2021. Fingers crossed and hoping. (https://www.johnscheepers.com/)
By the end of October, I’ll be planting new bulbs that will bloom in the spring. All winter long, I dream of the first green shoots peaking up through the dark earth. My early blooming daffodils, hyacinths, Muscari, jonquils and Narcissi fill vases for my house and for friends.
I wish I had a bigger yard, configured in a way that I could have “rivers” of tulips and then irises coming in right behind the daffodils. I love gardens that perpetuate themselves, and don’t require too much gardening on my behalf. Too often, I have to choose between the garden and the writing and the writing wins out. However, there is the fact that I get some of my most creative ideas when I’m “diggin’ in the dirt”. Being in nature and blending with Mother Nature to enhance her glory is a true blessing to us.
About seven years ago, I experimented with Casa Blanca lily bulbs. I’ve always loved this flower, but I didn’t know if I’d kill the bulbs (which aren’t cheap) or if they’d gift me with their mega-fragrant, dramatic blooms. Each year, these bulbs have grown taller—now up to four feet high, requiring tomato cages to hold them up, and the number of blooms on a stalk have increased.
One of the things about bulb planting here in Northwestern Indiana is that bulbs are excellent deer food. If the winter is intensely harsh and the deer can’t find food, they will trek off the golf course and head right for the feeding trough in my garden. It’s hard to catch them at it because they usually take a nightly meal. But this particular winter I caught them.
This year I’m planting dozens and dozens of new bulbs to replace those that are no longer with me. My hope is that I will once again have a vibrant and beautiful spring garden.
I’ll bet you have all kinds of tales of animal scavengers on your gorgeous land, right, Rula? When it comes to serene landscapes, I think of you.
RULA: You're flower pics are all gorgeous, Catherine! They really brighten a day. I love October and I just finished planting bulbs for this coming spring. I think it's going to be a long winter for all of us, so I figure having flowers popping up in March and April will be a much needed spot of joy. I even planted some bulbs over at my parent's place.
I already had some purple tulips out front and a few orangy/red ones in the back, but this year I shopped online for more. I bought Dutch Master daffodils, Red Impression and Queen of the Night tulips and some grape hyacinth. Part of the reason I had to shop for more is that, yes, I have many wild critters and the squirrels love to dig up those yummy bulbs. I dug much deeper this time. Obviously I can't take pics yet (the pics shown are from past years), but I added the the hyacinth and dark purple (almost black) Queen tulips to the front yard where my purple ones are and the red ones along with the daffodils are now in the back around the patio.
And these are tubers...not bulbs, but I always look forward to my bearded iris blooming.
So it may be October and the leaves are beginning to change color and fall, but I think it's symbolic that it's also the time of year where bulbs (and some seeds) can be planted for spring. As Catherine said...we're planting gardens of hope.
Catherine & Rula
Second Chance Christmas
Coming Jan 2021
A beachside Christmas
Brings unexpected gifts!
A second chance. That’s what former navy SEAL Damon Woods asks for when Zuri Habib comes to Turtleback Beach with a nephew who looks just like him. After her sister’s death, Zuri believes Caden deserves to know his father—even if he did break her teenage heart. Can Damon and Zuri forgive each other and give a grieving boy the family he needs this Christmas?