November 24, 2010

A Bulb Planting Project at the Farm

In early October, we shot a television segment with Sally Ferguson, the director of the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center.  The title of the segment was “Sweeps of Blue,” an introduction to pest resistant blue flowering bulbs - rodents don't like them and neither do deer.  I have a particular fondness for blue flowers because they strike me as being evocative of a peaceful calm.  I also love great sweeps of color in the landscape and I thought of the perfect place for a color palette of blue.  About six years ago, I planted twelve beautiful linden trees as a long allee.  Over the years, the trees have grown quite nicely, but nothing of great interest was ever planted beneath them.  Since autumn is bulb planting season, and a fabulous new garden could bloom in the spring, I asked Andrea Mason, the garden expert at TV, to do some research.  Andrea found a great source in the Netherlands and two experts to come and help with the design.

One day recently, the bulbs arrived – all 116,000 of them, a mix of nine different kinds of blue flowers.  We decided to shoot a television segment, as well as a story for the magazine.  Shoot day arrived last week and I welcomed Jacqueline van der Kloet, an internationally renowned landscape and garden designer and Frans Roozen, technical director of the International Flower Bulb Center in the Netherlands.  Jacqueline explained that these particular bulbs were chosen for their balance of color.  Planning a garden is like being a painter and you want the results to be painterly.  Blooming time was also a major factor because this new garden will bloom in succession from late winter until the beginning of May!  All of those bulbs are now in the ground and we await a paradise of blue, a true spectacle arriving in the spring.  I can hardly wait!


20,000            Crocus tommasinianus ‘Whitewell Purple’
12,000            Chionodoxa forbesii
10,000            Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Blue Giant’
16,000            Scilla siberica
12,000            Muscari azureum
12,000            M. botrvoides ‘Superstar’
12,000            M. ‘Valerie Finnis’
12,000            M. latifolium
10,000            Hyacinthoides hispanica ‘Excelsior’

TOTAL            116,000