23 January 2006 - 11:59 AM
Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good
It is usually considered best to plant one's daffodil and tulip bulbs, in this zone at least, in October or November. That said, it is better to plant them on mild January afternoons than not plant them at all.
I don't know how I managed to forget to plant those 3 dozen bulbs last October but somehow it happened. Not sure why I suddenly remembered them, either, but there you are. At any rate, 'Passionale,' 'Loth Lorien,' and 'Avalon' as well as those little wildflower tulips (T. biflora) are planted and it even rained good and hard last night.
This lot went in the back, in part because the front beds are packed enough that squeezing in a few more would be challenging, and in part because the ornamental aspects of the back are still rather lacking. 'Passionale' and the tulips went into the bed with the 'Veilchenblau' rose; 'Loth Lorien' and 'Avalon' were mixed up and went into two patches between 'Blanc Double de Coubert' and 'Reine des Violettes.'
I'd buy bulbs from John Scheepers again, if I were to do something so foolish as buy more daffodils. *coughs* Nice big bulbs, most about to divide. Also in surprisingly good condition for bulbs I'd blocked out of my brain for several months. I had kept them someplace cool and dark, which helped, but still.
I remain concerned for 'Reine des Violettes' who really requires better care than I've been giving her. I'm also beginning to reach the conclusion that grafted roses are a mistake, and hereby resolve to buy only own-root roses henceforward. (I say this having observed the suckering nightmares which are the rootstocks of the grafted Gallicas, and compared them to the robust good health of my 'Veilchenblau' and eglantine, both of which are own-root. Well, perhaps the comparison to the eglantine is not fair, since it is a close to a weed as a rose can be, but all the same. Certainly 'Veilchenblau' is setting a sterling example of healthy rose behaviour).
I also finally forked up the rather sad boxwood from its too shady and possibly too dry location near the azaleas and moved it to a spot by the 'Iceberg' and 'Gruß an Aachen' where I hope it will be happier. If it is indeed happier, I may add a few more box and roses along that strip (between the walk and the pond) to provide a little more permanent border to the bulbs, and, if I am lucky, the perennials which I hope will come up from seed which I did sow last October, when I was supposed to have done it. I am looking forward to poppies and lupines and an assortment of other things, most of which I have forgotten. There was an article last September or October in the Washington Post about seeds and how it is is not only possible but easy to keep things like lupines going year after year. That may be overly optimistic, but I can hope, can't I?
There was no cooking from Rachael Ray books this weekend, but I did make the Cod and Corn Chowder from The Simpler the Better: Sensational One-Dish Meals, which was well-reviewed by Epicurious and which Maman gave to me for Christmas. Once again I didn't use cod -- Whole Foods had a special on haddock -- but otherwise I didn't tinker with it. If I were going to be nitpicky I'd complain that I'd prefer the base to be a bit thicker, but that would be picking nits. It was a good chowder. The Viking liked it. It was easy to prepare. I would not be embarrassed to serve it to my mother.