The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tovah's Tip Triumphs

Tulipa 'Orange Princess' and T. 'El Nino' in the Upper Garden

T. 'Orange Princess' contrasts well with  Rheum 'Ace of Hearts' 

Tulips with boxwoods in the Upper Garden

Tulipa 'Maytime' in the Lower Garden

Tulips and Allium 'Purple Sensation' underplanted with Myosotis in the Lower Garden

My garden was much fuller with bulbs this year thanks to a planting tip from Tovah Martin. As you might remember, I threw a handful of chicken grit with each bulb as I planted them last October. I'll bet about 85% of my bulbs survived the winter, safe from the hungry jaws of voles and chipmunks. I have already begun adding chicken grit around susceptible perennials when I am planting and/or dividing them. Thanks to Tovah for a useful pointer!


  1. Whether it was Tovah or yourself, Michael, the 'free' planting of the tulips, rising like flames, is a balm for the eyes.

    1. Thanks Faisal,
      I love the idea of a flaming balm for the eyes--especially as an optometrist! My bulb source, Brent and Becky's Bulbs, had run out of my first choice for the tall bulb in the Upper Garden, T. 'Temple's Favorite.' I had to substitute ' El Nino' which I like even better in the garden and in the vase.

  2. Het ziet er mooi uit, de tip van het kippegrit nog nooit gehoord.



    1. Thanks for commenting, Marieke. I visited your blog this morning. Your photographs are sumptuous.

  3. Hi Michael - Where did you get chicken grit? In the past, I used broken clam shells. I might give chicken grits a try. Some of my very expensive allium bulbs (and others) did not come up. First I need a less expensive source for alliums, and second I might try chicken grits next time. I couldn't find clam shells last fall. Your planting scheme is divine! Cheers from DC, Loi

    1. Hi Loi,
      I got the chicken grit at our local Agway. It is a product called Coastal Brand Poultry Shell. It is crushed oyster shells and seemed to work well. I get my allium bulbs at Brent and Beckys Bulbs on line. They are a reliable source and have fair prices, I think. I am glad you like the planting.

    2. Thanks, Michael! The next time I am up your way, will visit some of those public gardens you've featured. Loi



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