Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Plants and pests and pessimism
I've been working hard in the garden during the recent sunny weather, its so tidy that I am running out of weeds to uproot. We live in the hills so face a constant battle against the elements and everything happens a little later than the rest of the country. For example we bought this rhododendron a while back, it's called Christmas Cheer and should flower in January, it will be out soon. I'd been longing for my daffodils to open but we've had such strong winds that most of the ones in the back garden are now in the prone position. I wish they would spring up again but it isn't going to happen, such a pity. I managed to get slightly ahead with these tulips by keeping them in the greenhouse otherwise they wouldn't be flowering for a week or two yet. Not only is the climate against me but I also have the destructive forces of the local wildlife to contend with. Last autumn, and the autumn before, (the triumph of hope over experience - Samuel Johnson), I planted over 100 crocus bulbs. Straight away quite a lot were dug up and eaten but now that the remainder have emerged and started to flower they have been consumed too. I don't know what is doing it, I've thought pheasant, squirrels or blackbirds but it is truly annoying. Every time I go out I find more empty holes and cast aside stalks, it's the actual bulb that is being eaten. I had a zinc pot full of flowering crocus on the window cill beside the front door, the other morning I found it had been pulled down onto the ground, the contents emptied out and every single bulb, probably a couple of dozen, eaten.Now that practically all the crocus have gone, the blighter has been investigating my tulips, obviously not quite as tasty because this one is only half eaten. A glass half full person might say it's only some cheap bulbs, could be worse, could be your hellebores, but I'm a glass half empty girl and I don't like it. It's so disappointing, I'd have been better just putting the bulbs straight onto the bird table. I garden organically to encourage wildlife and help the planet, I feed the birds regularly and that's the thanks I get.