Pulling Annuals and Planting Bulbs

By Bill Collins

After a summer of beautiful annual displays it comes time to remove them and begin planting next springs bulb display.  This usually happens around October 1st unless we have had an early frost.


Prior to pulling the annuals we dig and save certain tropical and tender perennials.  These go into the greenhouse or polyhouse for the winter.  We also have to collect seed of certain annuals for next years plantings.  Many of these plants and seeds are used in next years summer annual display.

Once this is done we begin pulling the annuals and then the beds are prepped for the bulbs to go in.  This includes edging, roto-tilling, fertilizing and raking  the beds .  Then they are ready for planting of the bulbs.  The bulbs were ordered in early July and usually arrive from Holland in late September for planting.  The bulbs whether it be tulips, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, or daffodils are laid out according to the design that was prepared earlier in the summer.  Staff and volunteers work on the planting of the 35,,000 to 40,000 bulbs until they are finished, usually about one week.  The bulbs will then begin rooting into the soil and next spring will begin to emerge and put on another beautiful spring display.

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