Garden Projects Take Root – Part 1

Peony in the garden

My peonies are in their 3rd year and my patience has paid off. I had beautiful, huge peony flowers grown from tubers.

I love gardening, but unfortunately my projects this year have taken a long time to take root. Between work, end of the school year, baseball, soccer and altogether not so great weather here in West Michigan, my garden is on the slow track to blooming. I’m happy to say that over last weekend I was able to get hundreds of spring planted bulbs in my landscape. Better late than never!

Garden bed project

Front landscape beds will bloom with dahlias and caladium. All those little plastic bags are full of potential! This bed curves up to the porch and all the way around the house.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned it before, but I have the best job in the whole world. It feeds my need for creativity and gardening. I’m the Creative Director for a flower bulb company and every spring, fall and winter they send me flowers! In turn, I get to work with a fabulous, energetic group of people who are passionate about the business and have a really great sense of style. I may be bias because I have had the privilege to help shape their corporate identity, packaging, messages and website and they have great taste in design. Anyway, back to feeding my gardening habit….

Front Porch

Front porch pots are filled with caladium & begonias.

Last week, two very heavy boxes filled with potential arrived on my doorstep. When I opened them up I was like a kid on Christmas morning! If you’ve never smelled a box of flower bulbs and perennials, I recommend ordering just so that you can experience it. It’s like  a big box of dirt-scented optimism and excitement. It wasn’t until this past weekend that I was able to get inside and sort, organize, plan and get dirty!

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Begonia tubers in the hanging basket before covering with soil.

I have never planted spring bulbs and tubers in such masses before but if I’m going to contribute to the photography and experience of the company I work for, I need to plant my part! I have a base of my favorite perennials in my landscape and I usually buy pink and purple annuals with companion plants for the beds and front pots. This year I planted pink begonias in my hanging basket and caladium with begonias in pots. Caladium and dahlias I planted in masses along the front landscape bed. In my shade bed to the left of the garage, I planted liatris to fill the space where a failed hydrangea and rose bush used to be (I transplanted in an actual full sun location….like I should have planted them in the beginning).

I write about this gardening stuff all the time…so why am I worried that I didn’t do it right? I kept thinking to myself “If this works, it’s going to be a miracle.” I think that has to be the way our customers feel sometimes too. To say the least, it was a humbling new experience. I just look at those little tubers and bulbs and I can’t help but wonder how in the world that’s ever going to turn into what they show on the website. BUT…it will!

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If all goes well, these pots will be brimming with shade loving flowers and foliage in the next few weeks.

In the back yard I planted callas, cannas, elephant ear, dahlias and lilies….but that will be Part 2 I will share with you later. I have a friend who says her favorite outdoor activity is going back inside. After 5 hours, hundreds of bulbs, lots of dirt and a sunburn later, I felt the same way and headed inside to my air conditioned house, a shower and a cocktail. If it all works the way it’s supposed to, I will be enjoying the blooms that came in those boxes of hope and optimism.  If it doesn’t, I can find out what I did wrong and not do that again next year. At least I got a tan.

I hope you are all enjoying the wonderful weather and doing what you love to do!

Bloom on!

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