Planting Drifts

It’s pretty weird to write about this at all – since it has nothing to do with me at all. But it was kind of a fun project. The deal is, my parents have always liked bulbs but haven’t gotten around to planting them. Which is a shame because they have a zoysia lawn that’s brown for half the spring. When she did get bulbs, my mom got something like 25. That sounds like a lot but it was only enough to do one little clump. I’ve always wanted to plant a lot of them, and last fall we did.

My friend Eric works in horticulture and hooked us up with, a wholesaler that was cheaper than expected. And so we got 400 tulips!

It started with debating the catalog. My mom said that I should pick because I know more than she does about plants. I said only she could pick because it’s not my job to pick colors for her. There was some back and forth about this and finally I gave up and asked, “How about this one?”

She said, “No, I don’t like that one.”

“This one is kind of nice”

“No, I don’t want any red.”

“How about this one?”


I love being right. So finally, I decided that we’d plant the bulbs in drifts in the large area out by the street. We should use solid colors in the drifts and stick with the types that are supposed to come back a few times. Usually tulips don’t.


So here’s how we laid out the drifts. We had 100 of each color, so I figured that would make 6 drifts with 50 bulbs each. We laid them out with rope and then tossed the bulbs in at the recommended spacing, alternating the colors. It turned out that they didn’t all fit so we ended up making 9 drifts.


Believe it or not, it took us only about 2 ½ hours to plant all 300. Eric said to get up all the little skins or the squirrels will have at them.

And here’s how it looked!


And the best thing about this is – look carefully – there’s deer fencing around them! My dad tried spraying when they first started eating them, and it kept them away until the flowers opened, and then the deer left the sprayed parts alone but ate the flowers off. My mom told my dad that he would be putting the fencing up every night and taking it down every morning. He counter offered to do that only on the one day when she leaves early for work and let her do it the other 6. But instead they decided it was well enough to just leave it up.

Then up by the front door they put in a blend of tulips. This mix was called Chiquita Bordeaux, which has to be one of the best plant names there ever was.


Note: Colorblends did not comp me for writing this. But if they would like to do so retroactively I wouldn’t say no.


3 thoughts on “Planting Drifts

  1. Mary Elizabeth

    They look beautiful! The deer fence is a good idea. I have daffodils that come up every year and get eaten by deer while they are still in bud. But I am not going to dig them up and re-position them, as they are exactly at the edge of the woods where the poison ivy grows. I will just plant new ones elsewhere and protect them. In my old place, I had daffodils and tulips in my front garden, but the spring plants that gave me the most bang for my buck were the primroses, perennials that keep growing and coming back every year.



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