Ah, the bulbs are all in. It took me the best part of a month to plant about 700. Yes, the figure is correct. I have a bad dose of tulip fever and there is no cure. Well, that is not entirely true. If tulip fire appears in the garden then my infatuation will end. This disease, often prevalent in continuing wet weather, demands a three year break. No tulip planting whatsoever. Perhaps I will find another horticultural remedy, like herbs or alpines. Meantime, I await the joy of all those flowers and that garish colour. They won’t be alone, at least 200 daffodils were included and various other species bulbs. The rather wet soil in my garden demands that I plant certain species to see if they will tolerate the wettest spots. Tulip time feeds my soul and keeps me balanced.
I am not entirely happy, a little green niggle in my brain. I was shown the tulip fields in Holland as part of a zoom on nature burials in that country. Not a good sight. Sandy soil, rows and rows of bulbs but no hedges or trees. It did not look a good environment for insects and birds. Do they apply chemical controls to the developing tulips? Nobody comments on this. I don’t want to plant anything that actually harms the environment. Holland is also an odd country in that it does not possess any wild areas. That gives them a strange attitude to nature, as if it is only horticulture that matters. This cannot be true as we gardeners can still do more harm than good.
However, I need to relax. The tulips, many planted amidst primulas, my spring bedding, are some way off. That said, I need to take care. It is so easy to forget that there are lots of bulbs just beneath the soil. A desire to weed and a few swishes of the hoe and loads of bulb tops can be sliced off in seconds. Hand weeding is essential, at least until everything pushes above the soil. Meanwhile, I cut the turf heaps down to create lots of rich soil. That is winter work, as well as sweeping up leaves and putting them on the compost heap. No rest for the gardener.