Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
Naturalizing Spring Bulbs
Over the last few years Bill, Bob, Emily and Henry have been trying to spread wild flower seeds wherever they can to speckle long grass in the verges and field margins with flecks of colour.
Wildflowers give food to bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other insects.
Auntie Alice decided that as well as having summer wild flowers in the orchard at the bottom of her garden she would like to have spring flowers as well.
The best way to plant these spring flowers would be from bulbs.
She bought some bulbs in big sacks and employed the whole family one Saturday afternoon to help.
She already has a lot of daffodils in her garden so she chose some other flowers for the long grass in her orchard.
She bought snakeshead fritillary, like in the picture above, crocus, muscari (or grape hyacinth) and scilla (or squill).
We didn’t muddle the flowers up together when we planted them.
We thought they would look better in patches planted in different parts of the orchard.
The flowers would not have looked good planted in rows – we wanted them to have a more natural look.
The first job was to cut the grass to make working in the orchard much easier.
Then the next job was to scatter the bulbs randomly in handfuls. The children loved doing that job and got carried away throwing them about.
The adults followed them around planting them.
The ground was damp, which was a good thing; otherwise l don’t think we would have been able to dig into the ground at all. lt was hard work as it was digging in damp turf, a dry ground would have been too hard to work in altogether.
You can use a trowel to plant bulbs but we used a long-handled bulb planter which made the job much easier.
You can drop the bulb in the hole you have just made with your tool and then replace the plug of earth to seal it into the earth.
lt is important that the base of the bulb is in contact with the soil not wedged half-way down into the hole.
The children did a good job of filling the holes with bulbs and we just kept making more holes.
There was an even easier way to plant the smaller bulbs.
We cut an H shape into the turf with a lawn edging tool and then peeled back the turf. This tool looks like a spade with a half-moon-shaped blade – the edge is quite sharp.
Bulbs could be placed on the base of the hole in a haphazard way and the turf just folded back over them. ln this way, a few bulbs at a time could be planted. The children liked pressing the grass back down again.
lf you have a problem in your garden with squirrels or badgers digging up your bulbs because they like eating them, plant your bulbs more deeply than you normally would and even sprinkle some chilli flakes on top of the soil to ward off pesky animals! There are plenty of other things they can eat instead.
The grass cannot be mown until the leaves of the flowers have died back in late spring; but this doesn’t matter in the orchard because the grass is often left quite rough for most of the year.
Hopefully, as the years go by the bulbs will spread and the displays of flowers will grow bigger.
We left plenty of room between the bulbs otherwise they would be crammed together too tightly.
lf you have a group of bulbs, like daffodils, that have stopped flowering, it might be because they have become too crammed together as new bulbs have grown around the sides of the ones that were originally planted. This is easily remedied – you just need to dig up and replant the bulbs with more space between them.
Spring bulbs are often planted under trees because it is too early for their leaves to shade the flowers.
Those flowers will provide food for bees when they first venture out from their hives after the worst of the winter weather.
There will be even more food available for Auntie Alice’s bees!
lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.
And see you again next Fun Friday!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bill: Why did the botanist go into the garden to solve his problems?
Bob: Because flowers have all the anthers!
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
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Crocus bulbs are called corms
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
A good gardener is always thinking ahead.
There is nearly always something to do in the garden.
There are crops to plan for, plant and pick.
Being able to store what you grow is also an important part of being a good gardener too.
Blackberry crops vary from year to year. A very hot summer won’t produce good berries.
If there is a good crop you need to pick them quickly.
If you don’t have a garden with your own brambles you may be able to find a place where you can pick some wild ones for free.
Wash them when you get home.
There are plenty of ways to store crops from the garden. You can dry them, freeze them or pickle them.
Cordials can be diluted in any way you like with water, fizzy water or lemonade.
They are a good way of using up a bumper crop of fruit.
The berries contain all that goodness from summer sunshine stored in the fruit.
Try this recipe for fresh blackberries.
Simmer the following ingredients in a pan.
1kg fresh blackberries
The juice of 4 limes
600ml of water
Leave this mixture to cool for about 15 minutes.
Sieve the mixture and discard the pulp. If you put it on your compost heap, you could have brambles growing in it next year.
Put the strained juice into a clean saucepan
And add 350g of sugar
Stir the mixture carefully over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved
And then simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes until it becomes like syrup
Pour into sterilized bottles, seal and refrigerate
Use within a few days
Be very careful as you work because blackberry juice can stain things if it is splashed about.
TO ADVERTISE ON THIS BLOG
Draw a column of boxes 5 across and 11 down
Write the letters SPRlNGBULBS in the boxes down the left side
Put the 5 letter answers to these clues across inside the boxes
- a bad weather event
- a place for a bird to sit
- a metal bolt
- between days
- feels like your head is swimming round
- runs through your veins
- beyond normal limits
- telling everyone how wonderful you are
- glossy silk cloth
lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO MAKE A SCHOOL TlMETABLE
This will really help you to get organized and help your mum out too.
You can draw your timetable on a piece of paper or card and put it up in your bedroom, in the kitchen or by the front door – ask first.
Drawn boxes and write what lessons you have when.
You will need a column of boxes with the names of the days of the week and another to represent lunch time. The boxes in this column might just say lunch or you may need them to be big enough to write something in like football practice or music club.
You will need a column for the lessons before and after break time in the morning and afternoon.
Put a column at the end of the day for any after school activities like swimming club or brownies and then another one for the homework you have to do.
The boxes at the beginning of the day are where you can put a list of things you need to take to school like sports clothes and equipment.
You can decorate around the timetable with pictures to show the changing seasons or what you see on your way to school or the friends you see when you get there.
Don’t forget to put the year at the top.
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.
Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015
Quick Quiz Answers