Ellen Bosanquet and the CobraHead Hoe

Yesterday, while returning from lunch, I found what I believe to be an Ellen Bosanquet crinum bulb laying on top of the ground.  Now I am not certain it is an Ellen Bosanquet but it was laying in a place where a large clump of them had once stood. 

Ellen Bosanquet from SouthernBulb.com

I found this bulb while walking through a garden that I go through quite regularly.  While strolling through it, I discovered that a large bed had been dug up and all of the plant material had been removed.  While surveying this, I noticed the bulb.  It was laying on top of the soil and had just a few roots still in the ground.  I decided that it had been left there to die so I rescued it.

I love crinums and I have several varieties in my beds.  Since Ellen Bosanquet is one I do not have, I was very glad to find this bulb.  In my opinion, Ellen Bosanquet is one of the prettiest.  It rosey pink flowers and slightly rippled foliage makes it an attractive plant whether it is blooming or not.

What I hope is a healthy Ellen Bosanquet bulb

Since I didn’t know how long the bulb had been out of the soil, I planted it as quickly as possible.  This gave me the opportunity to try out a new garden gadget that my wife gave me for Christmas.  The CobraHead Hand Hoe is a marvelous little garden tool that is produced right here in the USA by a small family owned business.  My wife ordered it for me from another family owned business that we often shop with; Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

 I am not a big buyer of garden gadgets.  However, when I saw the CobraHead in the Baker Creek magazine I knew it was something worth having.  The CobraHead is a 13″ long, curved weeder, cultivator, planter, etc.  It has a thin, curved, football shaped head that allows it to work in even the heaviest clays.  In my own garden, the tools I most often use are an old 12′ long Craftsman screwdriver and the claws of an old 20 ounce framing hammer.  The thin and gracefully curving shape of this tool, combined with the overall length and large handle made me realize that I could finally put my hammer and screwdriver back in the tool box.

After using it to plant my new crinum in a fairly heavy clay, I give the tool two big green thumbs up!  The tool performed just as advertised.  I was able to quickly dig a hole with out wearing myself out.  I was very pleased.  (I make this next statement in a very light hearted manner)  Thanks to my new CobraHead, I am actually looking forward to all of those weeds that will soon be popping up in my beds!

6 thoughts on “Ellen Bosanquet and the CobraHead Hoe

  1. I love your description of the cobra-headed hoe.. it sounded like something out of the “J. Peterman Catalog” from Seinfeld…great article as usual though. Bet those bulbs turn out to be fantastic!

    • Thanks Chris. Because of it’s size and shape it may be a useful tool for you to keep handy when you and Matt Begley are making music in all of those rough and rowdy honky-tonks!

    • I have never used Biological Mycorrhizal Innoculum. However, from what I have read it seems to be a way to “speed up” the effects of the organic material in the soil. I do not think there is a problem with using it. However, if your beds have been regularly worked with compost for several season, I would not think it would be necessary. I think this product is best suited for land that has lain fallow for long periods or has been overworked with fertilizers. I would be willing to bet that if you made compost tea by steeping a sock full of compost for 24 hours and then adding a couple of cups of molasses and aerating that mixture for 24 more hours you would create something very similar to commericial products.

    • I am truly in love witht he Cobrahead. It is such a simple design and it works so well. It is one of those things that makes me wonder why I din’t think of it first!

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