With temperatures hitting nearly one hundred this week, many of us are yearning for fall. At the Lord and Schryver Conservancy, fall preparation is already underway. We work hard to share the designs of Lord and Schryver by recreating several each year. One area requiring significant prep work is our annual Tulip display.

Remember Gaiety Hollow’s wonderful, early Spring Tulip display planted after a 1934 plan? Recreating the annual flower bulb show takes months of planning, from the proper harvesting and storage of last year’s bulbs, to selecting one of Edith and Elizabeth’s planting plans, finding cultivars and color matches, and placing orders. For 2021, we will be recreating the 1956 bulb planting plan.

The 2020 spring bulb display at Gaiety Hollow.
Last year, bulbs were lifted, soaked in a sulfur solution, and then wrapped in burlap so the leaves had a chance to die back. Learn more about harvesting tulips in this blog post: https://gaietyhollow.com/2020/05/04/busy-times-in-the-garden/

First, Tulip bulbs are graded by size, with the largest ones saved for replanting.
Next, bulbs are removed them from their burlap bags, re-sorted into (hopefully) flowering-sized bulbs, placed in brown paper bags with a teaspoon of sulfur dust to prevent mold and rot, and stored in a cool, dark location.
This fall we will recreate the 1956 bulb plan.

Each year brings a new challenge and a design to create. I will be busy pouring through some of the old flower bulb catalogs searching for the appropriate color, height, and character of the 1956 bulb plan to match it as closely as possible. We are lucky that Edith and Elizabeth kept such great records of their home garden displays.