Tulip Bulb Tips Emerge for Spring - March 2021

Just about one year ago, I posted a photo here on the blog showing our first tulip bulb tip that had emerged from the mulch and signaled that Spring was this/close.  Today, I'm posting a similar photo of a tulip bulb tip in our front yard/front porch beds.  Last Fall, I planted 57 additional tulip bulbs - adding 28 yellow, 15 orange and 14 white flowers to our bed where we had our original 50 bulbs.  That makes the full count 107 bulbs, but we've certainly lost some to rot, critters or they have exhausted themselves.  

The photo below, is taken a little bit away from the base of the Norway Maple where our legacy bulbs have historically been planted, so I'm thinking this is one of the newly planted ones.  

If you've been following along over the years, you'll notice two additional things in the photo above.

First, the mulch.  It is Cocoa Bean Hull mulch from the Hull Farm in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  I first picked up the idea at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris where the gardeners use it to mulch their flower beds.  Last year, I put down this mulch just in our front beds for the second year.  I started in 2019, then doubled-down in 2020 by using it in our front porch beds (boxwoods), the little bed across our walk (Little Henry 2x and Karl Foerster Grasses) and out by our Saucer Magnolia tree.  I now have the larger bed across the driveway that has the Fall-planted Coral Bells, Japanese Forest Grasses and the Red Fox Katsura Tree that I topped with wood chips from the Village of Downers Grove mulch pile.  I'm thinking that instead of making the transition directly to Cocoa Bean Hull mulch, I need to lay down a thick layer of hardwood fine mulch first this season and then, perhaps next year go with cocoa bean hulls over there.  Not to mention finishing the shape of the bed in between the driveways, right?

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