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Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Johnson Tulip Festival

I LOVE tulips. Love them LOVE THEM.

I love that they come up in the early spring after a long colorless winter. When I see the tulips, it gets me excited for the months ahead I will be spending in the garden. 

I decided that I wasn't going to wait a year to plant my bulbs. I was determined to get them in this year. 

I have grand plans for my own Johnson tulip festival in my own yard. Maybe something like this:

Maybe this will help you visualize what I'm going for.
I'm not ready to tackle this entire area yet, so I decided to start a little smaller.
So I started with this flower bed:

From these pictures, it appears that Reece is the only one doing the work. I think he planned it that way and hopped into each picture with a tool. 

We pulled the weeds, turned the soil, then brought in some top soil and compost. 
Since I'm a little late in the game this year, all the bulbs were 75% off, SCORE!  I've bought bulbs this late in the year before because they were discounted and they came up just fine. 

It is always so hard to gauge how many bulbs you need. I thought 130 bulbs would be enough to fill this flower bed and have some left over for another area, but I was wrong. Luckily I spaced them all out on the ground (as shown) before I started planting.

Come to find out, bulbs don't grow well in this area. Are my hopes and dreams of eventually having the Johnson' Tulip Festival going to be crushed???

The soil is mostly clay and needs a lot of amending. Any suggestions and tips would be appreciated!



Becky said...

Great job cleaning out the weeds and turning the soil, clay resists anything you do with it. It's well below freezing here so I envy you too. I wish you luck in your tulip-growing, my tulips come up the first year and then die, but scillia and daffodils do just fine. (Manitoba)

Take care,


teekaroo said...

I LOVE tulips too! They bring so much cheer to those dreary early spring days.


You're in a different area than me. Try a Master Gardener, the Ag Extension Office, or an area university to learn how best to grow tulips. I enjoy newsletter tips from Sister Erlyn Madsen:


marisa said...

I just checked out the link you posted Maybelline. What a treasure, I can't wait to delve into it more! Thanks.

Dale Johnson said...

We will have a Johnson Tulip festival here at Antietam Glen too. We just planted tulips on Friday. I love the fact that you have to plant them months in advance to get the reward. You kind of forget about them. Then as winter doldrums give way to spring, up they come to drive the doldrums away.

-Sydney- said...

I love the bed shape! It already looks so much better.

Interplanting different bulbs is kind of fun so you get a longer bloom season--crocuses then daffodils and then tulips. In general the smaller bulbs will bloom earlier in the season and larger bulbs later.

For clay soil you can amend with rice hulls, shredded leaves and paper, or other organic materials. It can take years to make it really rich and viable (depending on how bad it is to start) so be patient. Keep piling on the organic materials and let the worms do the work!

claudia said...

Love your blog! I think we might live fairly close to one another! :)

I've got a blog too (all about livin' healthy). The link is: www.getwelllivewellbewell.blogspot.com.

Thanks again for the great blog!


Preciouspeas said...

Try some good ole fashioned cow manure! We planted more bulbs in our front beds too this year and I can't wait to see if they come up.