Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

The best-laid plans go astray

Posted by: Mary Jane Smetanka under Perennials Updated: June 3, 2013 - 1:16 PM

 

 

I am not a good garden planner. I tend to be impulsive, seeing a plant at a nursery that I love, buying it and squeezing it into the garden somewhere.
But I have been getting better. Last fall, I planned the replacement of a bed of tired Asiatic lilies. I would order new lilies, and add some tulips to the same bed too.
When I looked at the web site I was ordering from my eyes immediately went to tulips that were my favorite colors for bulbs and annuals -- red and pink. But I wanted to mix things up a bit..
So I chose two varieties of tall tulips, one orange, the other purple. In the photos, the blooms were a fiery orange and a deep silky purple that verged on black. They were supposed to bloom at the same time. What a show that would be!
One hundred plump tulip bulbs arrived in October. I planted them with the lilies, spread them around in another garden and waited for the show this spring.
The orange ones came up first. They were a salmony orange. Very pretty, but not what I wanted.
The purple tulips came up later than the orange, and most of them were shorter than the orange! Not only that – they are a soft purple, not at all like the pictures showed.You can see the results above. Yes, they are surrounded by chicken wire, in an attempt to keep the bunnies away from the lilies.
Have you had careful garden plans go astray, or not meet your expectations? My disappointment has faded a bit as the salmon tulips, especially, have charmed me with their show. But it's not what I wanted or expected.

 

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