Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fire, Ice, Snow and Bulbs

Last Thursday found the edges and still sections of our stream glazed over with ice crystals. It was a pretty sight to view up close:
                                                         (Click photos to enlarge)

The next day, I awoke extra-early and glanced outside to see an unusually fiery, spectacular sunrise:

There's an old saying that goes, 'Red sky in the morning, sailor's take warning'...but that did not end up applying. As it turned out, last Friday was a pretty day and no 'warnings' were necessary.

The dogs spent more time than usual romping around in the back yard. It was not at all cold--quite mild, as I remember--although I don't recall the exact temperature:

James, our Standard Poodle

Ginny, our Miniature Dachshund

Later that afternoon, I remembered the boxes that had been sitting in the garage since mid-November. Their contents were not 'inexpensive' yet I had lazily set them aside, seemingly willing to forget them. The two shipments of spring bulbs had arrived in the mail well into the fall planting season and I had promptly placed them in the garage, where they sat, as one excuse led to another and I (almost) made peace with the fact that they would rot and I'd just throw them all out. Thanksgiving, Christmas and even New Years Day passed by until, finally, this uncommonly beautiful Friday in January jump-started me into taking a look at them. Out of 433 bulbs, only the Erythronium 'Pagoda' had gotten soft and begun to rot. Suddenly I was excited that the remaining bulbs (all 428 of them!) were fine.

When I proclaimed that I would tackle the bulbs on Saturday, I had no idea that I would wake up to what could have passed as spring--maybe even summer in some climates--but that's exactly what happened! It turned out to be a 70 degree day! So in jeans and just a t-shirt, I planted about half of them in the backyard gardens and along the fence in the side yard:

Sunday turned out to be slightly cooler, but 50 degrees was still great bulb-planting weather and jeans and a light jacket were all that were needed. The ground was still workable, so I got everything else in except for 40 Narcissi, the 3 Allium and a few Crocus and Anemone--which I saved for the following day.

What I didn't foresee was that Monday would bring 30 degree temps and snow--and with it, my ski-jacket and wool hat! Nonetheless, I finished the job, planting the remaining bulbs in pots on the deck:

It felt good to have planted hope! I am looking forward to the color they will bring in mid to late winter and early to mid spring!

Additional views of Muscari plantings:
Muscari 'Valerie Finnis' was planted along the top and sides which surround the waterfall
...Iris reticulata plantings along stream edges:
Iris reticulata was planted along the edges of the stream
Since our brief snow on Monday, the weather has remained moderately temperate. Last night we had a long, soaking rain. Today was up into the 60's. I am now wondering if all of the bulbs I planted are going to rot in the ground and pots. When will winter arrive? Here in northern Virginia, it's keeping us guessing. Has it arrived where you live?

*List of Bulbs planted include: 10 Fritillaria meleagris; 3 Allium 'Globemaster'; 30 Anemone blanda 'White Splendour'; 90 Iris reticulata; 30 Scilla siberica; 30 Muscari 'Valerie Finnis'; 30 Dutch Crocus (Blue/White Striped); 100 Species Crocus--50 'Ruby Giant' and 50 'Romance'; and 105 Narcissus--25 'Jetfire', 20 Dutch Master, 20 'Orangery', 20 'Professor Einstein' and 20 'Tahiti'.

Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble @
Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.


  1. Jan,
    Way to go, glad you found places for so many bulbs so late in the season. I have a crocus blooming, the Iris reticulata are coming out and 3 different hellebores in bloom as a new one opened yesterday.

  2. Very ambitious:) Your puppies are cute. I love when the water freezes over like that in a stream or fountain. Great shots.

  3. Beautiful, breath-taking pictures! Great action shots with the pups playing.
    Spring is just around the corner.

  4. It seems like we're all having mild winters. It was perfect planting weather and sort of like three different seasons on your planting days.
    They are saying we will have snow over the weekend, I'm hoping we get some since it will seem strange if it never gets cold this winter.
    Cute dogs!

  5. Spring will be exciting in your garden! Can't wait to see the bulbs in bloom :-) Our winter here has been very mild up until today. Finally a cold front and freezes, but no snow or ice, thankfully. Just 60 more days and we should be freeze free.

  6. I just can't wait to see all those bulbs pop up to bloom in springtime. Great job getting them all planted.

    Loved the photos of your icy stream, and that sunrise was spectacular.
    Good to see the dogs having so much fun outside too.

  7. Don't you just feel so good after planting all those bulbs? Winter is hit and miss here too. Love the photos of your stream, ice and all.

  8. What a range of temperatures. Love those close ups of the ice on your pond waterfall. We had a couple icy days...I was surprised to see ice on the pockets of water in the ditches in the afternoon.
    Your action shots of the dogs playing are wonderful!!

  9. I'm so glad you got your bulbs planted finally! They will look beautiful come spring. Your dogs look so cute romping together in the garden. Temps in the 70s are definitely summer weather here in the PNW, especially last summer.

    We are having a strange winter here too. It's cold this morning, lots of frost, but not a lot of rain, which is our usual winter weather. We might get snow in a few days too.

  10. Hi Jan. I am so glad your bulbs were alright and you were able to get them into the ground. It will be a riot of color around your garden in the spring. Your waterfall looks so pretty. It is amazing the way water can freeze into so many lovely shapes and textures. So pretty. Have a wonderful weekend.

  11. What a beautiful share Thank you for the look into your garden world <|;-)

  12. Isn't it amazing how something so treacherous as ice displays such beauty? You captured these images perfectly. I wonder if you had the right idea by planting your bulbs now. Some of mine have already begun to break the surface...hope all goes well.

  13. Not much winter here yet either, though tonight will be 23. I hope we'll see some snow in the coming weeks. The pics of your dogs playing are wonderful! Good for you, getting all those bulbs planted!

  14. I love your rock pathway a lot! I've been searching for that type of look for my own garden. What a nice post! You have a lovely winter garden.
    Stay warm,

  15. Your stream is so beautiful! Several clumps of my bulbs have already started sprouting, but nothing truly significant. With over 400 bulbs, that will be quite a show!!

  16. What a beautiful waterfall and path! I love all the rock!

    It seems like every year I am still planting bulbs in January. Thankfully we usually get a warm spell sometime then! I still have a small box of tulips to go...

  17. Jan, I enjoyed the views of your winter garden. It is very lovely, even in winter time. Your doggies seemed to appreciate the nice weather as much as you! Come spring all those bulbs should be fabulous! I am waiting for some warmer weather so I can get out to do some needed work. We have had some milder temperatures, but only when it has been raining or while I am at work! It has been very cold the last few days, into the 20s at night; feels like winter to me!

  18. What a gorgeous treat your winter gardens are. I love the creek shots with the ice, really lovely. Your dogs look like they were having a blast. I love your rock bordered path too. I hope your bulbs do not rot, and you get a good covering of snow for your gardens.

    Winter is here for us down here in s.e. FL, as it is 58 right now, with gray skies and some wind, and tonight it's supposed to go down into the mid 40's and with the wind chill factor feel like it's 38. I brought some orchids in the rest has to hang in there.


  19. Winter is arriving tonight when it goes down into the teens. I am concerned for my hellebores but they will have to fend for themselves. Glad you got those bulbs planted. Did you 'Potter's Prelude' bloom this fall (did I already ask you that)?

  20. This is a great post, Jan! I love the images of fire and ice. That really captures the essence of this time of year! Your puppy is cute, and I can't wait to see the spring flowers!

  21. Your stream is fantastic! So glad you planted all that hope!

  22. Hello there! What a brilliant find your blog is. Thank you for liking my FB page which brought me to you. Your water photos are great. Definately somewhere I will be visiting regularly. Hope you call in on my blog as well as FB.

    ps I don't seem to be able to publish this via so commenting under my other blog name.

  23. We have had similar weather further down the state, though no snow. Things are popping that shouldn't be and spring stuff is swelling too soon. I have one bag of tulips left to plant. I don't normally like them as they rarely give me more than one good year, but at 75% off I couldn't say no.

  24. Yes, winter has arrived here finally, but we've had a rollercoaster weather pattern, too. Good for you for taking advantage of the mild weather to plant all those bulbs! You'll be so glad you did next spring. I love your stream and waterfall and can't wait to see it surrounded by grape hyacinths and iris this spring. Looks like your dogs enjoyed the weather as much as you did, Jan.

  25. Wow, that is a lot of bulbs! Can't wait to see the spring show!

  26. Hi Jan! I enjoyed your icy pond, dog, and other photos. I'm glad you got those bulbs planted, and some cold weather came along to help them know it's winter. We are having record cold temps this week. Better now, than in April! (I came here from FB earlier in the evening, and don't remember now where to go back to "like" the link. Have a great weekend!

  27. I forgot to say how great your pond is looking!


Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!


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