“Winter should not be considered as only negation and destruction.
It is a secret and inward working of powers, which in spring will burst into visible activity.”
Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, “Conversation IV: Spring-time on the Western Coast,” 1850
I felt Slack’s words were so important to remember at this time of year. Winter can feel dreary and sullen. It’s clearly not the best gardening weather. But, despite this, I will still garden. In the garden, the bulb is one of the most “secret and inward working of [the] powers” of the garden, do you not think? It’s rather magical to set them into the ground and see their green shoots springing up in… well, Spring.
Speaking of bulbs, I stumbled across some tulips the other day whilst tidying up my greenhouse and decided to plant them out in the garden in the grass which sits alongside the pond.
You can see which area I am referring to in the photo below. The pink dots are where I planted the tulip bulbs:
I used a wooden dibbler I received as a present for Christmas to make a hole into the grass, then I dropped a bulb in and squeezed the soil back into place. If I remembered to, I also sprinkled in a touch of compost into the hole after dropping the bulb in. Due to the wet weather, it was not ideal for me to be kneeling on the grass (even when using my garden kneeler) but needs must! The grass wasn’t looking too happy with me afterwards, so I finished off by lightly pricking the grass with a fork to aerate it and then I sprinkled some fresh grass seed on top.
I also had an excess of bulbs because the tulips made many tiny bulblets from last year, so I dug the rest into the left hand raised bed in the Blackberry Garden (see photo above). I decided to leave the right hand raised bed alone because there are daffodil shoots appearing, so I didn’t want to disturb them.
I hope we get a nice display from the tulips again this year! They were a welcome sight in Spring last year. They will certainly look beautiful edging the pond with their colour reflecting off the water. Now all we need is some sunshine…
Written by Bethany Wright