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Now is the time to visit 30,000 new spring bulbs

Published: 
25 weeks 5 days ago
Last October, Professor William Miller, of the School of Integrative Plant Science, Horticulture Section of CALS, collaborated with Cornell Botanic Gardens to plant 30,000 bulbs outside the Nevin Welcome Center and in our F. R. Newman Arboretum with a mechanical bulb planter— a novel demonstration for Cornell University.
 
The machine used was donated from a large bulb supplier in the Netherlands to Professor Miller's flower bulb research program. The machine lifts the turf, plants the bulbs, and places the turf immediately back in place.  A video of the planting next to the Bioswale Garden can be found here.
 
Bulbs were donated from Professor Miller's connections in Holland and from David Strabo, Cornell Class of ’80, of Longfield Gardens.  Irene Lekstutis, Botanic Gardens’ landscape designer, crafted the planting designs and our horticultural staff sorted and packed the bulbs into the machine. Bulbs were selected for their deer resistance and to showcase a sequence of blooms from throughout the spring.

These bulbs are emerging now and will continue to bloom through June.

In early spring, Chionodoxa luciliae (blue in color) will emerge in three circles in Jackson Grove (Arboretum). To aid the planting machine in making the tight circular curves, Horticulturist Melissa Cox used a sod-cutter to carve out the design. Chionodoxa bulbs naturalize, meaning that as they multiply the circles will become fuller. A mix of 4 varieties of daffodils, Chionodoxa 'Gigantea', Crocus vernusCamassia quamash and Allium 'Purple Sensation' were planted along the lawn side of our Bioswale Garden outside the Nevin Welcome Center (shown left). Look for these to bloom in mid spring. An early summer display of Allium 'Purple Sensation', A. atropurpureum, A. nigrum, and A. sphaerocephalum will flank the mown path in Newman Meadow near the entrance to the Arboretum at Caldwell Drive between the Nut Tree Collection and Slim Jim Woods.