Nothing says Spring to me like tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. I wanted to find a way to incorporate them into our landscape without putting them into the ground.
I have always loved orangerie boxes. I find their design classic and timeless. We have several around our firepit area in the "Hot Garden" (more on that in another post) and I decided I wanted them to line our driveway between our Crepe Myrtles (Natchez).
Daniel set about designing and building them for me. He used 4x4" posts for the corners and deck/corral boards for the sides. They were then stained white. The finished boxes are approximately 24"x24" (inside dimensions) and 24" high. After he completed the first box we looked at the volume of dirt that would be needed per box and decided that was a little more than we wanted to buy. But how to minimize the amount of dirt we needed? The solution....interior boxes that were smaller and could be inserted into the larger orangerie boxes. These interior boxes are 23"x23" and 14" deep. Daniel added small cleats into the inside of the orangerie boxes and the interior boxes sit on top. He added two holes in each interior box at the top so we could lift them out, as well as, drainage holes in the bottom.
The result? 10 orangerie boxes with the ability to have seasonal interior boxes - genius!
The first set of interior boxes (spring) were planted with a mix of hyacinths and tulips. Each box was planted with approximately 75 bulbs with different mixes in each box. When the spring boxes are finished they will be removed and placed into the side garden where they will spend the summer, fall and winter in the side garden absorbing the sun and nutrients. They will be put back into place in March of next year.
The orangerie boxes at the beginning of March 2021
Right side of driveway orangerie boxes, April 2021
Left side of driveway orangerie boxes, April 2021
Box 6: Grape Muscari and "Spring Break Mix"
Box 5: Giant Peach tulips, Brisbane tulips, and Ballerina tulips
Box 10: Marietta tulips and Poirot Pink tulips
Box 3: Queen of the night tulips and Rainbow Parrot tulips
Box 7: Zebra collection tulips and Red Pomponette tulips
Box 1: Cabana Parrot tulips, Innuendo tulips, Angelique tulips
The second set of interior boxes (summer) have already been started with plants grown from seed/bulb. They are currently growing on under a high tunnel in the veg garden until May, when they will replace the spring boxes. I have planted them with a bright mix of tall center plants, medium height and trailing mix around the edges.
Interior boxes for summer (Box 1: Nasturtium, Blue Flax shown, to be added dwarf sunflower and zinnias. Box 2: Cosmos, Gypsophilia and Morning Glory Ensign shown, to be added Dahlias)
The remainder of the boxes are planted with: Nasturtium, Morning Glory Ensign, Morning Glory Blue Picotee, Dwarf Hollyhock, Dwarf Snapdragon, Dwarf Sunflower, Cosmos mix, Cosmos Apricot, Zinnia Cupcake, Aster Needle, Aster Ponpom, Dianthus, Gypsophilia and Dwarf Cornflowers.
We purchased all of our bulbs from Dutch Grown and have had tremendous success! I highly recommend using them for your bulbs! www.dutchgrown.com We have no affiliation with them, we just were very impressed with the quality of the bulbs.
We are looking at ornamental cabbages and mums for the fall and a small evergreen bush or tree for the winter. Of course I will post pictures of the summer boxes in full bloom and the fall boxes when they are in progress!
I hope this has inspired you to plant spring bulbs. Whether in large boxes or small pots, they bring a spot of color to the early spring garden.
- The Pirate Chicken