Plans Are Nothing; Planning Is Everything

Those title words were said by President Eisenhower. An invaluable outlook in the military no doubt but pretty useful to remember in the garden as well.

It is June. My roses and peonies are at their peak. As are my native wisteria. It is days like these that make all my efforts so worthwhile. Yet, I’m already perusing the bulb catalogs. And drooling all over them. There is something deliciously greedy about basking in the riotous bounty of late spring and coveting all the listed bulbs for next year.

Pleasurable perusing aside, it is the right time to start planning for next year. First and foremost, you are still fresh from how the bulbs looked this year. What worked, what did not, which sort you want more of, how to enhance and extend further the bloom season. Strike while the memory is hot I say!

This is actually a period of respite in the garden. We are right between seasonal obligations. The frenzied pace of early spring is over, everything looks splendid and the demands of summer vigilance are yet to begin. So what better way to while away these hours than to dream up more creative combinations of bulbs?

Finally, the most practical reason to order bulbs early – your chances of getting those that are quickly sold out are greatly improved. Almost guaranteed. Plus, you are charged only when the bulbs are shipped to you at the appropriate time for planting. Once I’ve placed my order, I can go about the summer, take a vacation and not have to think about rushing to buy bulbs on my return. There is plenty to do in the garden in late summer/early fall as it is. When the shipment arrives, that is my cue to complete clearing the beds and rake the leaves so bulb planting can commence. It can be quite costly if you wait till the last minute to purchase bulbs.

Right now, I can take my time to go through the catalogs, comparison shop and make thoughtful selections. After I send off my invariably long list, I still have time to come up with ingenious ways to save up for that inevitably long bill. Most times, I actually do succeed.

I know you have plans to grow more bulbs, so get planning already!

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(c) 2013 Shobha Vanchiswar

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