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The question is . . . how is your back after lifting those bad boys?

We are expected to get below freezing tonight, maybe some snow. Usually I just shrug my shoulders and say, well, no blossoms on the lilacs or peonies or what ever this year. Won't kill 'em. But this year I have some newly planted black current bushes. They will be covered.

And Elizabeth, put something under those lovely pots of tulips so you don't scratch or water marr that lovely wood floor!

Every year when I see your tulips and forced bulbs and all those pots full of color I say to myself "Pam, you're going to do that next year." Has Pam ever done it? Of course not. But seeing those gorgeous flowers inside your house may do the trick. After the bulbs have done their business each year what do you do? Just stash the pots someplace and then in the fall remove the old bulbs and plant new ones? I'm sure you've outlined your process someplace on this blog but I'm too lazy to go back and look for the answers.

Kathyrn, some of the pots are fiberglass or other synthetics, which helps; otherwise, we use the 2-person method. You have to be able to move them, even without a blizzard, as they come in and out of the unheated garage.

Pam, I generally compost the bulbs, unless a friend wants them, in which case I advise they they be planted in an out of the way sunny spot. This is NOT geared toward reuse. Bulbs are really annuals in my container scenario. I'm fine with that; many would not be.

That's the spirit, Elizabeth. Offer them coffee, then help them back outside after the snow. If it comes. Let us know.

Elizabeth, I took your advice last year and planted a bunch of pots of tulips. 2 large pots were for my sister-in-law for mothers day. We had such a warm season that the darn things bloomed in early April.

I noticed the first tree peony is opening today. Low of 28 on Thursday. Fabulous.

NICE!!! Here in Rochester, we're only going to get a couple of inches - but it is heavy, wet and downright sloppy!

As an apartment dwelling, balcony gardener, this doesnt look all that difficult compared to lugging bags of soil up two flights of stairs.

Clients ALWAYS include, "low-maintenance", "not expensive", "organic", "not formal" when they inquire about my services as a Landscape Designer.

Then (because I've asked for pics ahead of time) they show me landscapes they love. Loads of mowing, pruning, dead-heading, annuals, perennials, fertilizer, dividing, formality, pre-emergents, expense.

So. What to do when their words/desires do not match pictures of gardens they show me?

They get Tara Turf (zero watering/fertilizer), flowering trees-shrubs-groundcovers-reseeding annuals, focal points on axis, daffodils-crocus, zero chemicals. Formal lines of Italy softened with billowing of English & flowers in bloom everyday of the year.

Voila-poof-shazaaam !

Pots of tulips? I coach them, "Please, if you're truly concerned about money-maintenance-organic, put the bones of your garden in 1st, then the gorgeous tulips."

Garden & Be Well, XO Taara

very very beautiful!!

Love the tulips but even more am coveting that newell post! Gorgeous!

This post reminded me the hilarious essays by Henry Mitchell about bringing his plants in to overwinter.

I'm chuckling at the phrase "Improvident gardening." If my friends and I didn't already have a blog name, we could call it the Improvident Gardener! I agree with you: gardening costs money. I don't fool myself either; I just budget for it, and it's worth every penny of joy it brings us.

I'm going to try tulips in my front yard containers for next spring. Last year I planted four of the dwaft butterfly bush "Blue Chip." I'd say three of them made it through the winter, and I'm not so sure about the fourth.

At least with tulips followed by annuals I'll know what I'll get and that they'll only last one year. Plus my spouse loves the big hybrid tulips, and growing those in the flower beds is a pain.

The definition of "low maintenance" needs to to be refined. Maintenance can require time and/or physical effort. I have no problem with maintenance that requires time. I'm a born putterer. Primping, grooming, etc. are my joy. However, as I age, I want "low maintenance" in the sense of less physical effort. My hands and my back hurt when doing things they used do with ease. Gardening in pots works in that sense.

I've probably said this before, but you really should get a potlifter. It makes moving those big pots so much easier.

lovely blooms...and lovely shots!

I fully understand. I am a recovering tulipaholic. Every year I WRITE 'No more tulips!' in my journal, reminding myself that this is zone 8b. Later I write, "Well maybe some purple."
Everything possible happens once I get them past the chilling in the refrigerator stage. One spring the new puppy ate them! I've started a romance with white muscari to try to get over tulips.

I don't know, Elizabeth, that snow might be just the thing to show off the tulips for the photographer! Certainly would make an interesting article, anyway.

I'm with Jen about the newel post--never have seen one that shape.

Elizabeth, Your previous posts on potting tulips inspired me to try it this year. My only regret is that I didn't take a picture. I'll definitely do it again.

I think the tulips would like to watch some good gardening shows on TV. Oh, wait, there aren't any. Oh, well, I'm sure they are outside again by now, grateful for the "hospitality" you gave them, the shelter from the storm.

Very nice pots-I'm sure you will get questions on how they "survived" the snow.
Good way to save the flowers from the deer too.

While we have no spring snows forecast just that lovely 29 degree weather again (thursday).

Your title and the photo of the pots of tulips brought to mind my story . . What I Did for Love - As I stood pondering the ragged looking lavendar plants that lined our front walkway in mid February, I realized that it was time for their hard pruning which wouldn't improve their looks right then, but would maybe improve their appearance later this summer. My husband happened by and asked when was I going to get rid of those plants that caused his skin to break out when he walked by them in shorts (in the summer). That question from my loved one coupled with a recently issued challenge from my neighbor across the street about this year's "Tulip Wars", made the decision for me. I ripped out the lavender plants,gave them to a friend who raises bees, and popped in pots of yellow and red tulips. It is looking great. I kept one lavendar plant for our own bees later this summer.

Love your beautiful tulips!

Has anyone read Art Wolk's "Bulb Forcing" published just not too long ago? I think it's hands down the best book on this subject for a beginner.I think I will finally have some forced bulbs this coming winter.

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