BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Hope, Faith and Bulbs

HOPE & FAITH ABOUND

Planting bulbs in the fall shows we have faith in the unseen and hope for the future. Add to that a good splash of hope in advertising!

Regardless of their size or shape, bulbs are not attractive or very impressive. But they are small mighty miracles!!! From such humble beginnings, we are promised immense spring beauty just at the time we will need it most. We read the catalog descriptions and labels on the bags and dream of what will come — making getting out in the cold and often damp weather to dig holes and get them in their new home worth it – as an investment in our late winter mental health! We will start looking out the window for their beautiful metamorphosis and, the beginning of the gardening season! 🌷

FERTILIZERS & PESTS

I never fertilize my bulbs at planting time. The main reason is that most of the critters who are overly fond of my garden love organic fertilizer. I do not need to encourage them.

Even without any fertilizer around they still are attracted to the site where the bulbs reside. Squirrels were a big problem last year with the bulbs. In one area they dug and tossed out the daffodil bulbs 3 times before I decided to top-dress the area with some diatomaceous earth. Party over! This year I’m using cayenne pepper and some fencing to ward off unwanted visitors.

We have had a bumper crop of acorns this year in our neighborhood, maybe the cute little acorns will keep the cute little squirrels busy.

TOOLS OF CHOICE

AUGER

Around here we love power tools and this one is fabulous. The best tool for planting larger bulbs with little disturbance to the surrounding area. I purchased mine through Amazon. Link. We also have a long auger that we purchased at Lowes.

DIBBLER

Just received this as a surprise from Mr. G and already I am questioning how I have lived without this tool! It was perfect for planting the garlic and other small bulbs! Gets in tight places without disturbing other plants. Link.

SHOVEL

Many of my daffodils are planted in big groups and if there is plenty of space, the shovel works great!

WHAT I’M PLANTING THIS YEAR

THALIA  NARCISSUS

Monty Don’s (Gardener’s World UK) ‘Thalia’ daffodils had me drooling through episode after episode this spring. Luckily I was able to find them at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. Take a look here.

Here’s a screenshot from his social media post this spring… Drooling yet?
ICE KING DAFFODILS (Bag from Lowes)
One of my favorites!
PINK MIX (Bag from Lowes)

I love pink and it is always fun to see what we get!

SNOW DROPS (GALANTHUS):  Mount Everest

Our local woods are filled with snowdrops that we were able to enjoy more than ever this spring because of the lockdown. Add to that the pictures my daughter sent from England of fields of these beauties — both convincing me I needed some just outside my window. These came from Brent and Becky’s too… Info here.

ALLIUM

I planted alliums for the first time last year and just loved them! So of course I need more. This year I am adding Perian Blue (Lowes} and more Purple Sensation (American Meadows).

GARLIC

Just like last year, I am planting only one variety of garlic – Brown Rose (From the Garlic Store). Yes, the first year it was for the name and now that we have enjoyed it, I am planting it for the flavor! The garlic is in the ground with a good layer of cayenne pepper to make it less attractive to varmints…

FAMILY STORY

Each year we plant daffodils in memory of our beloved Uncle Tony — Mr. G’s brother who passed from us much too soon from a long, gallantly fought battle with cancer. He was an artist and a gardener and he loved daffodils. In one of my last conversations with him, he talked about his daffodils and was excited to see them bloom. He did not get to see them bloom in his garden on earth that year, but I know he was greeted with daffodils and so much more that spring. After he passed, I bundled daffodil bulbs in burlap and passed out for people to plant in his honor. I was grateful that so many were excited to do just that. I hope they remember this special man when they bloom.

FALL FOOD

With being home more and cooking so much more, we are constantly adapting recipes to better suit two people. We love acorn squash and usually just eat it plain. However, I have been seeing all kinds of recipes for stuffed acorn squash and they look so delicious. This week we had our own version. It turned out so well I thought you might like to try it.

COOKING SQUASH:

Cut and remove seeds from squash. Brush with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on roasting pan. I baked my cut side down but you can do either.

Bake at 425 for 20 -25 minutes or until fork-tender.

FILLLING:

1 cup of cooked Trader Joes Harvest Grains Mix
1 teaspoon dried Thyme (a bit more if it is fresh)
1 teaspoon dried Sage
1/3 cup chopped and toasted pistachio nuts
1 T oil or melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste (we used a lot of pepper)
We also sprinkled on some red chili flakes
Mix all ingredients and add the warm filling to baked squash as soon as it comes out of the oven. So simple and delicious. Very filling and good for you too.

If you try it let me know what you think and if you have another simple fall recipe, share that too in the comments below so we can all enjoy!

Whether you’re planting or cooking today… all the very best. 

7 thoughts on “BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Hope, Faith and Bulbs

  1. I so look forward to your blog. I learn from each one. Thanks, I know it takes time, effort, and inspiration to publish so frequently.

  2. Daffodils do symbolize Hope. And in Gloucester, VA, where Brent and Becky live, there usually is a beautiful Daffodil Show of daffodils and fresh floral arrangements using daffodils in the spring. I have the Thalia daffodil, and it is exquisite! Several daffodils on just one stem. I also have the snow drops. Yesterday I purchased some red tulips and some more Tahiti daffodils. Our weather is just gorgeous! And I still have roses in bloom. We like Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Grain Quinoa which is easy to prepare and can be cooked in chicken stock with some leftover cutup baked chicken put in toward the end of cooking. We love the yellow squash with onions (delicious), and I just bought some more of them yesterday. I cut them up and fry them together until tender. And we love mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes also. But try the dried Hungry Jack potatoes as they are so good. They come in a box, and I use canned evaporated milk and Smart Balance (Original) when preparing them. So easy! With sweet potatoes in season now, they are so delicious. You must get some now to bake in the oven. It just wouldn’t be Spring without daffodils and tulips in bloom. I have so many daffodils because they are beautiful and come back every year. The tulips usually only bloom one season because of our weather temperature.

  3. Bulbs are addictive! I intend to grow white gladiolus again, but only in my own garden. Bulbs at work must be the sort that naturalize. However, neighbors often bring us bags of bulbs to plant on the roads or elsewhere. I explain that they are not as perennial here as they should be, but they bring me more bulbs anyway. Strangely, some that I do not expect to be perennial can last for a few years. There are two ‘individual’ gladiolus that bloom annually. They are the same hybrids that typically bloom once, or may for a second year, but are now several years old. (I got some perennial Gladiolus papilio from a reader too, that I am very jazzed about.)

      1. Gladiolus are more reliably perennial in more favorable climates. Because winter here is so mild, they do not get much chill. Weirdly though, about half of those that I notice growing as perennial are near the beach, where the weather does not get as cool as it does here. They seem to prefer sandy soil. There are only two ‘individual’ hybrid gladiolus that have become perennial here. One is rich orange. The other is rich purple. Neither is a color that I would have selected, but they are prettier in their particular situations than any color I would have selected. (White can be rather boring in some situations.) Each produces only a single bloom annually, surrounded by a few grassy shoots that do not bloom. They are mixed with other flowers, and fit in nicely. The perennial Gladiolus papilio grew like a weed this year, so might bloom next year. I learned after planting it that it can become invasive. For now, I do not care. It is one of my favorites. It was a gift from Tangly Cottage Garden in Ilwaco. (Exotic gifts from far away are SO RAD!) The other perennial Gladiolus murielae was a gift from a neighbor, but happens to be a species that I had been wanting to grow for many years, but could not justify. A few will remain potted for another garden. Most will live at the opposite end of the same bed where the Gladiolus papilio live. To me, they seem to be exotic and fancy, even though I know others are none too keen on them.

          1. I don’t.
            Because I order no gladiolus, I am not qualified to know from where to procure them. My perennial gladiolus were gifts, which are the BEST kind. I have never ordered gladiolus, and when I grew hybrid gladiolus, I purchased them from nurseries, hardware stores and even a big box store. I spent a bit more than I should on white gladiolus many years ago. They were excellent. However, they did not perform any better than the cheap sort that I purchased later from a big box store. A neighbor had be plant yellow and orange gladiolus along the driveway years ago, and although they were not colors I would have selected, they worked out very well . . . and were prettier than white or any other color I would have selected. Some bloomed the following year. I would like to grow them again, but even the cheap sorts are more expensive than I want to spend money on. Most of what I grow is free.

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