25 October 2009

How many PG students does it take to plant a flower bulb?

Answer: A lot! Not to mention the full time staff!

All those labels can only mean one thing...


It all starts in the Idea Garden. First the annual beds are demoed, much to the shock and horror of our guests ("WHY on earth are you RIPPING OUT all those BEAUTIFUL PLANTS!?"). If I had a dollar for every time I heard that. Or for, "Why are you putting all those onions out there?" You doubt me, don't you!

After ripping out all those beautiful plants and consoling sufficient numbers of disturbed guests the beds are tilled, raked, leveled, and raked again.

The bulbs in the Idea Garden are set out in a grid pattern. To establish the pattern, two people fumble around with the dibbler and get it just so, then we "walk the dibble" to mark the squares.

Greg's been framed! Or should I say dibbled!?

Once each square is marked, bulbs are set around the perimeter of the squares. From there the squares are filled in with the type of bulb specified on the plan.

Then we get to work setting out all 75,000 bulbs. Yes, I said 75,000.

This is our supervisor Smokey. He personally inspects all the baskets of bulbs.

"Now let's see, was that 56,872 or 56,873?"

And it seems to go on and on and on...

Many hands make, uh, oh you get the picture...

After a week or so in the Idea Garden, the fun moves over to the Brick Walk...

The patterns here are much more intricate.

And there are a lot more bulbs. A LOT more!

Like, about 100,000 more! Yes, I said 100,000 more!

And we can't forget the Square Fountain garden.
After the bulbs are placed and planted, the beds are smoothed over and protected from hungry critters with netting.

Just when we think it's all over, the beds in front of the Visitors' Center beckon!

And then, finally, all the bulbs are tucked into their beds for a nice winter slumber. Come spring, they will wake up and...well, you'll just have to come back and see!

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