Finished Planting the Bulbs


We finally planted the last of the bulbs this morning.  100 Yazz Narcissus and 50 Pink Wonder Jonquils, all in the pink, apricot and cream family. We did not naturalize the bulbs as we would in a woodland or perennial garden because I am teaching the students this time about a production garden for our cut flower CSA (community supported agriculture) that we have begun in earnest.  Instead, we dug a 6 inch trench and planted with room to multiply but no room for other plants around as I would in other gardens. Come April and May we will have two long rows of fragrant flowers for cutting.  150 bulbs will make 10 or 20 pretty bunches to give to visitors at the Pre Release Center.  Our goal eventually next year is to also supply bunches of flowers to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy office for visitors, volunteers and donors to illustrate some of the important projects they support!

Thanks to a generous donation from Mahoney’s Garden Center in Winchester we also recently planted hydrangea, asters, rudbeckia, black eyes Susan’s, sages, coreopsis, nine bark and spirea.


Of course we have many flowers planted from past years as well, peonies, iris, primula, tulips, roses, muscari, allium, self seeding cosmos ….

We also planted a bunch of garlic in the herb garden, one thing that always does well and turkeys do not like.  The only problem with the garlic is that I think the men eat half the bulbs as they plant!  Hilarious!  I always anticipate this and bring extra.

Skills learned; coming out in the rain on a cold December morning to dig a trench, learning what a bulb is and how to plant it three times its height, where and when to plant; beginning to understand to plant what works and what doesn’t; learning to grow things forward as this group of men will be gone when these bulbs bloom in the Spring; learning to give back to the community by creating beauty.

Stay tuned to what promises to be a gorgeous spring full of flowers to be given away grown by men who are being trained to be “fine” gardeners.



5 thoughts on “Finished Planting the Bulbs

  1. This project continues to amaze me…it is so thorough and a geat idea…many great ideas. Sadly I did not get my garlic in this year (yet?). I had no idea you could plant bulbs so close together for cutting. Love the idea of “planting it forward”, like Miss Rhumphius you are making the world more beautiful for all. Congratulations for all youi hard and rewarding work!

  2. Always a joy to hear about your work in the prison garden. The New Garden Society, too, planted bulbs and garlic in MA prison gardens this fall. Its such a hopeful process to be planting something so far in advance, knowing that the rewards of your labor will benefit future students and will be waiting on the other end of a cold winter.

    Co-Founder and Director, The New Garden Society

    • Hey thanks Erica! I see our bulbs up now and the green against the dark soil is such a gorgeous combination. Thanks for reading the blog and commenting. Good luck this spring with your gardens.

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