Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Power Planting, Part 2

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Isn’t there a saying that goes something like “there is more than one way to skin a cat?”  Well, same goes for planting bulbs … but a more pleasant visual than the ill fate of Fluffy! 

You might have read earlier that we ordered spring-flowering bulbs to add early color to our Rose Garden and entrance. Read here https://cedarvalleyarboretum.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/ and here https://cedarvalleyarboretum.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/  for those previous posts.

After planting bulbs in the Rose Garden, I had about 550 bulbs left to be planted between the entrance and the flowerbed along the circle drive.  That seemed like a lot, and I was having trouble getting motivated.  Thankfully, the beautiful weather this week gave me the jumpstart I needed.

After our entrance was remodeled (the front gates repurposed as decorative panels), we reshaped the flowerbeds into a smaller, more manageable size.  To get our flowerbeds started, ornamental grass, catmint, sedum and aster were planted – all perennials that provide great seasonal interest while being low maintenance.  To make the flowerbeds really pop next spring, I ordered some cheery yellow daffodils to be complimented with a dark blue grape hyacinth.

Since these flowerbeds are often viewed from a distance, the plantings have to be bold – easily grab interest in just a few seconds.  The best way to incorporate bulbs into these flowerbeds was to plant them in solid ribbons of color instead of tucking in here and there like we did in the Rose Garden. 


Instead of planting one by one, I raked back the mulch and dug a 6” deep trench in the shape that I wanted to plant the bulbs.  After the trench was dug, I spread out the daffodils evenly throughout the trench.  Grape hyacinths are shorter, so they needed to be planted at the front edge of the trench.  But grape hyacinth is also a smaller bulb, so my 200 grape hyacinth bulbs needed to be planted shallower.  So I covered the daffodils with soil until I could only see the tips of each bulb and then spread out the grape hyacinth bulbs.  Once those were down, I spread out the rest of the soil and raked back the mulch. 

Much quicker than planting each bulb individually! 

See you in the gardens.


Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

November 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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