Bulb-Planting Parties – Dirt, digging, and donuts

November 15, 2018

The Landscape and Grounds Management team throws a good party.  There is no beer, just bulbs, and lots of them, at these outdoor events.  Led by Supervisor Joe Signore, this team has been holding bulb-planting parties across central campus since 2013.

This community-building event is intended to encourage students to come out, get some fresh air, and help keep the campus grounds blooming and beautiful. Joe initiated student garden clubs a few years back, providing them with 5,500 bulbs.  Now, he also invites staff and faculty—including the heads of college and deans—to dig up dirt alongside the students and his team.

Over 40,000 bulbs were planted this fall ncluding: tulips, daffodils, alliums, hyacinths and crocuses. This is a joint effort between the Landscape and Grounds team and the student garden clubs. Joe and his team provide the bulbs, power equipment (augurs), and safety gear. The augurs are used to dig holes so the gardeners can plant up to 1000 bulbs within an hour.

Each year, there are typically,  six bulb-planting parties.  In 2018, they were held at Morse, Stiles, Berkeley, Davenport and Silliman Colleges.  There will be a final planting party at Saybrook College before the snow falls.  These events aren’t limited to the colleges only. The team has partied and planted on rooftops, patios, in moats, courtyards, and in front of several other buildings around campus.

Everyone can enjoy the results of these labors come springtime, when the bulbs burst forth in a cascade of yellow, red, white and purple. In five years, over 100,000 bulbs have been planted around campus.

After all that digging, the partygoers get to munch on locally-baked cider donuts.