Thinking ahead

Leslie and Terry planting tulips in the cutting gardenWe know it’s fall – that it’s still only October – by the color of sky and the leaves on -and off- the trees. Temperatures tell a different story. The last few days have so been beautifully warm and sunny that planting the bulbs was a (day)dream-job and not a chore at all. But even though the weather was so mild and spring-like, it still felt a little strange to be thinking so much about that distant season right now. That said, it doesn’t feel half as strange to think about spring now as it did in August when we sent out our order.

Since then I had completely forgotten what we ordered and which gardens all of the bulbs were intended for. Thank goodness we wrote it down. (If only our gardens intern Lilah had pasted the pictures in our garden notebooks like she had done in years past… She wasn’t slacking. I blame myself for misplacing the extra catalog somewhere within the chaos of the potting shed.)

Mary and Pat back to back in the Rose Garden - that was easy digging!We’ve got some pretty pink and yellow tulips going into the Rose Garden – including many more Lady Janes because we loved them so much, along with chionodoxa and more snow drops for the dry shade bed. The North Garden has a new scheme too that includes ‘China Town’, which is a pink and green tulip with variegated foliage that we trialed in the Cutting Garden last year. And the Cutting Garden was planted with last year’s favorites from the Rose and North gardens along with a few new to try –  like ‘Antoinette’, ‘Perestroyka’, and ‘Lemon Snow Parrot’. Tulipa clusiana 'Lady Jane' fully openWe also tucked a few special treats like foxtail lily and fritillaria into the display beds. I’d say I can’t wait to see them all bloom, but the fact is, I can wait. I’m not ready for spring and because fall is so lovely I don’t want to even think ahead to spring quite yet. So I’m going to put the tulip lists and catalogs away, completely forget what we planted, and just look forward to being surprised come April.

Are you thinking ahead to spring? – I know you are if you’re planting bulbs. Are you also trying not to think ahead too much? (Are you thinking of Christmas yet? The mansion is already a whirlwind of decorating activity – I’m definitely not ready for that.)