26 October 2010

Spring is in the air

Ok, maybe fall is in the air but spring is definitely in the ground! All 150,000 tulips, narcissi, crocus, and fritillaria worth! Check out what happens on the Brick Walk when about 150,000 bulbs (give or take 25,000), about 20 staff and students (give or take another dozen), and a supply of ibuprofen get together!

With a rare free day in our academic schedule my classmates and I found ourselves on the Brick Walk this fine - and freakishly warm - autumn morn. Our mission -  to take this plan:

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With these bulbs (and a few others):

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And get them into the ground before the rain hits. Or Friday. Whichever comes first! First the beds are ammended, tilled, and graded.

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Next, the bulbs are meticulously laid out according to the plan. By meticulous I mean that spacing is measured using wooden plant labels cut to the desired length. Some bulbs are spaced 3" apart, some are 5", depending on the variety. This is my progress on placing these Foxtrot tulips in the pink border.

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The plastic pots mark the future location of spring annuals.

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You can kind of see the patterns here - imagine riotous drifts of color...
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After lunch, planting begins!

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Interesting technique, eh?

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Once in the ground, the bulbs are tucked in and covered with deer netting to keep the squirrels out. Soon as they begin to break through the soil, we'll put up an electronic deer fence at night to keep the hungry critters from browsing the display away. Come April, you'll see something like this!

Photo: Longwood Gardens Digital Gallery 2009
Worth it? Heck, yeah! Now pass me that bottle of aspirin!

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