Winter aconite, Eranthis hyemalis and revival of old bulb garden
Hello, all! Please excuse the long post but I am full of questions right now!
Subject: Eranthis hyemalis bulbs and the best way plant them!
First off, I am wondering if anyone has any good pictures of the bulbs themselves.
I am trying to fix a neglected area that is filled with them, and also move the ones scattered in the lawn to fill out other sections of that area. There are several different bulbs there though, so I am having a little bit of trouble identifying them. It is also an area infiltrated by Pinellia ternata, which is part of the problem!
For may years the man who cuts the yard had simply mowed over this area (under a magnolia) that was obviously once a lovely bulb/ rock garden. I once watched him from the upstairs window mow down about 60 hostas that had already begun to grow! The guy is not employed by me and not so easy to talk to. :(
Is mulching this area w/ fine black mulch a bad idea? I do not really care for this stuff, but I am not sure how else to designate it as "off limits", so to speak.
I am slowly lifting the rocks that have been long imbedded in the ground surrounding it so there is some designation, other than the little wire fence that I put up this season to end the carnage. I'm sure being run over by the giant mower didn't help the rocks any! If I use a black mulch, thinly applied, do you think it would deter the Eranthis hyemalis in any way?
I can only lift the rocks up so far, or I will have to top-fill with garden soil/topsoil. I would prefer to lift them like that and really create a natural looking yet higher border, but I am afraid of then burying the Aconite too deep. I assume that if I do this I may be burying the bulbs down too far to come back. I'm not sure if the mulch is a good idea for this reason, too. I also have terrible fears of burying hiding Pinellia ternate bulbs even deeper. I spent all year removing them one by one and in clumps, though I know they are still lurking. I am not sure how I could raise the good bulbs w/o too much disturbance and missing many if I do top fill.
I really have no idea. These come back year after year but get mown down along with whatever weeds have been growing there as if it were just part of the lawn, mowing over the rocks and all. This year I fenced it off with a tiny, dollar store wire fence-coil and have been removing the unwanted grass and weeds as they pop up, as well as removing the invasive pinellia ternata, and pretty much have nice, yet bare dirt now. Adding to my confusion, the Eranthis hyemalis (and a few snowdrops and scillia, as well as bluebells) are planted very shallow, or so it seems. I can imagine it could be erosion, and that all the cutting down of the other weeds gave them cover.
I guess they have always had the cut grass and weeds covering them most years, so perhaps the black mulch would be an okay idea? Or, perhaps they ARE just too shallow and should have another inch or so of garden soil? When I say they are shallow, some are not a half inch in the ground, some seem uncovered, others a couple inches down, perhaps. There are far more Anconite in this section than anything else, just a sprinkling of a few surviving snowdrops and scillia, as well as english bluebells, so these are the ones that I think I have identified properly and seem the most shallowly planted. The bluebells I know by sight easily. They are way shallow, too, but I know of others in the yard that have come up from absurdly deep distances, so I am mostly worried about saving the Aconite and how it would react to mulch or deeper planting.
I am hoping that the ones that seem so exposed now aren't messed up by not being covered by clipping all season. I don't think so, but have no idea how to really go about working this as I have never planted, or tended them before.
Anyhow, thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts on reviving this little area as far as what maybe best for the bulbs, even how deep the ones I dig up from the yard should realistically be planted I am all ears.