Planting Tulips and Violas & A Little Christmas Table Shopping

Welcome to the 408th Metamorphosis Monday!

Yesterday I cut and brought in the last of the Limelight Hydrangea blossoms. Can you believe this hydrangea was still producing new blooms! The temps have been dipping toward the freezing point each night, so I knew these last few flowers were about to be gone.

Limelight Hydrangeas truly are amazing, giving blooms throughout summer all the way into fall. Can’t recommend this plant enough, if you find it will grow in your zone.



This past weekend, I grabbed the big box of bulbs that recently arrived from Holland and headed out into the garden.



This is what was sleeping inside that box, 80 tulips from this “Mixed Tulips Collection” purchased last April/May when I was visiting Keukenhof Gardens in South Holland. They arrived a couple of weeks ago, just in time for bulb planting season.



I purchased a few flats of violas, although with the drought we have going on, it could be a challenge keeping them watered. Have you noticed that flats have shrunk! I guess instead of hiking up the price, they just give you less plants.



I decided to plant two of the bags of tulips (40 tulips) here around the mailbox. (Photo below is from a previous summer.)

Landscape Around Mailbox For Curb Appeal


I chose two bags of bulbs that were around the same height. After converting the metric measurements to inches, the tulips are supposed to be around 15.75 inches to 19.69 inches tall when they bloom next spring. That sounds really, really tall, doesn’t it? I hope they will look okay here.



I was hoping the two varieties of bulbs would look different to help with spreading them out randomly in the bed, but unfortunately, they looked pretty much identical in color/shape. I couldn’t keep up with exactly where I was planting them, so it will be interesting to see what comes up next spring. lol



In hindsight, I’m not sure 40 tulips (20 per package) is really enough for this bed that stretches around the mailbox, so things may look a bit sparse when they come up in the spring. Keeping my fingers crossed they will look okay.

I really should have planted the Violas in late September/early October so they would have had time to get established and grow bigger. Oh well, hopefully they’ll put on some growth this fall/winter.



I still had 40 bulbs left to plant: 2 more packages of 20 each. I started to plant them around the gas lantern but didn’t get very far. (Haven’t decorated for Christmas yet, photo below is from a previous Christmas.) The very first hole I dug yielded a bulb and I remembered I already have daffodils planted here. (Palm to forehead! )

Lantern Decorated for Christmas


So I ended up dividing one package of 20 bulbs between the two hydrangea planters out front. Each planter got 10 bulbs. I went with the shortest tulip bulbs I had for the planters. The package stated they would grow between 11.81 inches to 15.75 inches tall, after converting the metrics to inches. That’s still pretty tall! They are supposed to come up in March-April so I think the hydrangeas will still be leafless at that point.

We’ll see how this works. I don’t have a lot of experience planting tulips since I learned the hard way many years ago that they don’t produce flowers the following year unless you dig them back up, store them properly during the winter to ensure they get plenty of “cold time” and then replant them all over again in the spring.

The last package of tulip bulbs ended up in a large planter near my garage. I have plans to drag it over to another spot in the yard, perhaps near the walkway, once the bulbs come up and start blooming in the spring.

In the end, I figured sticking half of the bulbs (40) into the ground would be about as much as I wanted to deal with digging back up next year. The other 40 bulbs, being spread out among three planters, will be much easier to retrieve when the time comes.

These souvenirs from my trip to Netherlands may become the traveling tulips, ending up in a new spot each year. lol  I really don’t want to let them languish in the garden, destined to never bloom again.



I’m looking forward to sharing this little experiment with you in the spring, I’m sure it will be a learning experience so don’t laugh if it turns out funny looking! By the way, do tulips create more baby tulips like daffodils do? I’m guessing that they do. It would be nice to expand this collection over the years. I wonder how long I have to leave them in the ground to get them to make more tulips.? I have a lot of tulip-growing research/reading to do!



A couple of fun things: When I was in Pier 1 recently, I came across this cute “sled” server. Wouldn’t it make a great centerpiece (in addition to being a server) for the table during a party?



Also, the six Better Homes and Gardens Woody Car plates arrived. Some BNOTP readers have been able to purchase these in the store already, while others have said their store still doesn’t have them. Though you can no longer buy just the woody car plate online, (they sold out pretty quickly) you can buy this dinnerware set, which includes the woody car plates, here: 12-Piece Dinnerware

I found the cute antler napkin rings on sale online recently and ordered them for pickup at my local store. They should be cute in a future Christmas table setting. You’ll find them available on sale here: Antler Napkin Rings



So, those are a few of the things I’ve been working on this past week! Are you decorating for Christmas yet? I’ll be starting soon. I’ve been too busy  planting bulbs/violas, spreading 25 bales of pine straw and vacuuming up millions of acorns to decorate. lol Now that those fall chores are out of the way, it’s time to start playing inside! 🙂

This will be happening this week, too. If you would like to hang wreaths on your exterior windows this year, you’ll find a post I wrote sharing how I hang them on my windows here: How to Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows for Christmas

How to Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows

Metamorphosis Monday

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  1. Hi Susan, My back is aching in sympathy with all your planting 🙂 I know the tulips blooming in the spring will be worth it! I haven’t have any luck with tulips since the squirrels or other critters seem to find the bulbs extra tasty unlike daffodils. My Walmart had the woody plate in stock and I promptly snapped one up to add to my collection! Happy Thanksgiving week!

  2. The hydrangeas are so beautiful! Have a very happy Thanksgiving and thank you so very much for hosting!

  3. You’ve been so busy! I need some of your energy. Your Hydrangeas are beautiful, and I’m sure your Tulips and Violas will be also. I LOVE the Woody car plates, and those antler napkin rings are adorable. Thanks for the linky.

  4. Eileen JAlet says

    I was in my local Walmart the other day and of course, I had to peruse the Christmas dishes. They had the little reindeer but no such thing as the car. They are not fine china but, for everyday as casual dinners they are more than adequate. I find that anything BH&G puts out is great! I will try going back again after Thanksgiving but, I fear if they are not there by now they will not be in. If I didn’t already have 2 sets of Christmas dishes I would probably order another set but, I fear someone would not take too kindly to that – LOL!!!

  5. Those hydrangea blooms are gorgeous in the fall. During the summer, what color do they turn to when withered? I had never thought about “baby tulips” or even how to propogate bulb plants but there must be a way, right?

    • I think they create another little bulbs that kind of attached because one of the tulip bulbs had a little one stuck to the side. Daffodils do the same thing. Just not sure how long they have to stay in the ground to do that. Mine may not be able to stay in the ground long enough for that.

  6. Thanks so much for the party!!

  7. Thanks for hosting Susan. I keep wanting to plant some bulbs at our ‘new 100 year old house’… we’ve been here for 3 years now, but still haven’t found the time… alas, maybe next fall.

  8. I can’t wait to see how the Tulips do. Yellow Tulips are my favorite flower, but I have not had luck growing them. Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. KathleenfromCA says

    Hi Susan. You are always so busy getting things done. I admire that quality because it is inspiring. I also have tulips and daffodils to plant and I also bought violas! I too noticed that you get less plants for the same price (just like ice cream and flour/sugar). I do not think tulips naturalize like daffodils but I have never dug mine up. Sometimes they do reappear and I think it has to do with the variety. I have tulips that have multiple blooms from each bulb that reappear! I also have planted bulbs and dug into those previously planted; sometimes slicing the bulb and ruining it. I like pots just for that reason. Enjoyed your post very much!

  10. Susan, you’ve been busy!! I tell ya a trick I do with the pansies – I buy 6″ or 8″ containers to plant. They give the appearance of fullness right away and it’s less time punching those things out of the plastic containers. They look great all planted, but if you don’t get the fullness you hope for, maybe next year consider that. I bet your tulips will look absolutely gorgeous next spring – can’t wait to see them.
    I started yesterday – UNdecorating fall – boy, that seemed to take forever, just putting things away (confession: had to reorganize some vintage shopping finds from the past few months along with putting fall away). On Friday when it was warm, I hung my swags on the brick pillars, and now my yard looks confused with fall wreaths and flag. :0 I pulled out Christmas textiles – pillow covers, throws – inside, but that’s it so far.
    Thank you for hosting us, and I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful.

  11. I don’t think that tulips multiply like some other bulbs. I live in MA and heard that they will only last 4 or 5 years if left in the ground but if you take them out after they have bloomed (well, that’s not happening) they can last a lot longer. I have never had tulips multiply and I now don’t have any because no one saw me out there digging them all up in the fall! Ha! I grew up near Albany, NY (lots of Dutch heritage there) where there is a huge park in the city filled with tulip bulbs and I always wondered if some poor soul had to dig all those up every fall.

  12. Barb Urbank(from Ohio) says

    I was in my local Walmart the other day and I remember seeing the woody car plates and more dishes from this set, but I don’t remember what all they had. They are pretty cheap, but If I needed Christmas dishes, I’d order the whole set. I have some Christmas dishes I bought over 20 years ago at a Gold Circle near us, which isn’t there any more. I’m always tempted to buy more but my family would think I was crazy and have too many dishes now! I didn’t buy any spring bulbs to plant this year, they can be a job and hard on the back to plant, but you reap the benefits in the spring. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Wow! Are you ambitious! Can’t wait to see the fruits of your work in the spring! Re the woody plates. As soon as I saw them on your blog, I headed out to a local Walmart. Nothing! They had 3 different prints and an empty case where I’m guessing the woody ones were. I did purchase 4 of the Santa & Sleigh ones. So when I got home, I ordered online. It showed only one set available. I checked out another Walmart in the opposite direction, but nothing. We made a trip to Lancaster County last weekend, stopping at 3 different ones. Nothing either! Fortunately my order finally arrived & I have 6 of the Woody prints, yay!

  14. You always make me tired, I can’t imagine all that gardening! But it is going to be stunning! Thanks for the party and Happy Thanksgiving Susan!

  15. Nancy Akeroyd says

    hey girl……you are always improving and a busy elf. I have and love limelights but so does Bambi and chomped down everything to the bare bones so….. I pruned a lot and hope upon hope they emerge again next Spring. I just got new goblets today for my Thanksgiving table…..I have too many dishes but buying them is a disease from which there seems to be no recovery and not enough cabinets in which to house them. These goblets are amber and were so on sale. Have a wonderful holiday and best wishes to everyone who partakes of your wonderful blog.

  16. dear Susan,
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I gave up on tulips years ago. They don’t do good in my 8a hardiness zone. It looks like you are also in zone 8. I have read in southern climates with mild winters, you need to buy pre-chilled bulbs or chill them yourself in the refrigerator for about 12 weeks before planting. Because of the chilling required for the bulbs tulips in planted in zones 8 through 10 should be treated as annuals. I hope next spring you can tell me my information was all wrong with a post of gorgeous blooming tulips. Your Limelight hydrangea blooms are beautiful. Have you tried drying some yet? I love the BH&G Woody car plates and that adorable sleigh serving tray. I’m looking forward to seeing how you use them in your Christmas table setting. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Vikki in VA

  17. Thanks for hosting Susan. I was just in Pier 1 not three hours ago and bought those same napkin rings. I thought the grandchildren would love them. I think they would look great with your moose mugs !! lol Have a great Thanksgiving !!

  18. OH, I do so love tulips…alas, I planted 99 bulbs…not 100…99 and NOT ONE came up…I think the squirrels had a nice Thanksgiving! Looking forward to seeing yours, though!! franki

  19. Susan, you have been busy planting. I can only imagine how beautiful next spring! Thank you for hosting and Happy Thanksgiving! Pam @ Everyday Living

  20. Thank you for hosting every week! Can you believe that my daffodils have already sprouted??? They are totally confused, and so am I! Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. Thanks Susan for hosting this great party.
    I planted tulip bulbs also today. We are expecting snow tomorrow and I had to get them in the ground. Have a good week.

  22. Cyndi Raines says

    You go girl! In MI it is cold enough that we don’t have to dig them up for which I am grateful for. Our Walmart is carrying all the plates, but I love the deer one the best. Last year I resisted, thinking I have too many Christmas dishes, but this year I caved and was only able to purchase two of the deer, however they still had many of the woodies. Luckily, there is always next year! 😉

  23. I didn’t know that little tidbit about having to dig up the tulip bulbs. I planted them at our Illinois house and never had to worry about it. I was going to do the same here, in NC, but I’ll have to do a little research first. I’m glad you shared that info.

    Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving, Susan!

    • Kristi, I’m not sure about NC, but I know it doesn’t get cold enough here in the winter for the tulips to come back again. I need to do some research but I think they have to spend 12 weeks in a refrigerator. Not looking forward to digging them back up later. lol
      Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  24. Hi Susan! Luckily up here in New England our winters are cold enough so that tulip bulbs do not need to be dug up to get their cold time in! I planted 310 bulbs this fall but mostly daffodils and crocus–only a dozen tulips as the critters always get them!! I know the others will come up as apparently even those deer who will eat anything are repelled by the taste, but if the tulips come up I will be very happy and a bit surprised. Your yard will be beautiful this spring! Love those woody plates too. Linda

  25. I’m in Toronto, Ontario and it’s cold enough that we never dig up our bulbs. As for tulips, we’ve had the same tulips blooming for 20 years that started with bulbs moved from a previous house, and kept multiplying. At one point I dug them all up because they were growing so tightly that I needed to spread them around the yard. I’m guessing you don’t have problems with squirrels like we do, who will look for ground that’s been disturbed and then munch on the bulbs. I now plant them with daffodils, which are toxic to the rodents and allow my tulips to bloom!

    • We do have squirrels, hope they don’t dig these up. That’s so smart to plant them with the daffodils…great idea! I have a lot of chipmunks and they tunnel in the yard, hope they don’t find them! So apparently the tulips do multiply then…that’s good to know! I knew daffodils did and thought maybe tulips did, too. I’m not sure mine will be in the ground long enough to do that since I’ll need to dig them up at some point to put them in the refrigerator…or else buy new ones each year. Thanks for that info, Brigitte!

  26. The one thing I miss in Florida is spring flowers and you have to be really talented to grow hydrangeas. Don’t you hang them upside down to dry ?
    Wishing you and everyone on board a Happy Thanksgiving. Let us count our blessings. Last year I saw a sign that said “Someone would be happy to have what you have”

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