Let’s pause with the travel posts (although an information-packed one is coming next week!) and talk about getting the garden ready for next spring.

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Southern States in Carrboro, NC my go-to garden center.

#1 Suggestion:

Fall is, of course, THE time to do any planting. Your shrubs and perennials will thank you for getting them into the ground in the fall and NOT in the spring. By planting in the fall the plants have time to establish roots (below ground) before putting all their energy into flowering and growing (above ground.)  It’s tempting, of course, to buy buy buy in the spring when you can actually SEE the pretty flowers on each plant. But horticulturally speaking, it’s best if you buy in the fall when the plants look half dead and dormant. Believe me, they are not!

#2 Suggestion:

Let’s order some tulips!
If you have been reading my blog for a while you know how I love tulips. I order at least 100 bulbs each fall. And…..yes…..I pull out each and every tulip after it has bloomed. I do this for several reasons:

1)You can never know what is going to make it for the next year. No matter what your climate, from Chicago to North Carolina, many bulbs will not make an appearance a second year. It’s very hard to plan if you don’t really know what is going to come up, right?
2) If you do leave bulbs in the ground then you have to “deal” with them all summer. Every time you dig or plant in that garden you are continually running into bulbs.
3) Most importantly (for me) I get to plan an entirely new color scheme each year. It is pure joy.
4) And now, in my village, I have people who look forward to my display each spring! This is important, y’all!

Here is a quick tour of past years:


2013 is totally missing from my files…hmmmmm




You can read and see much more detail about my 2016 tulip garden HERE.

I have ordered from many and various sources over the years.

This year I am trying Longfield Gardens. I’ve seen several garden bloggers talk about them and order from them…and yes, they do a nice job of self-promotion. They had Alliums on sale last week, so I looked over their selection of tulips. I had been thinking of an all pink, or shades thereof, color scheme. Now, mind you, this is in my main front and center garden. But I also have two others areas, one directly ‘en face’  and another in an interior courtyard. I don’t plant tulips outside of our fenced area as the risk of deer is too great.

They have many videos on the site. This one explains nicely just how to plant tulips.

I won’t reveal yet my actual choices; I will also be adding more. So far I have about 75 bulbs which, of course, is not enough!
For those of you in my growing area this is the perfect time to plant pansies and snapdragons. Most of them will make it through the winter although they will go into a sort of “hibernation” with snow and ice. But generally, come March they perk up again and by April you have more color in the garden.
Happy weekend and I hope you will get out there in the garden!