Born in and now returned to Yorkshire from Scotland, spending summers in Italy. I knit socks but prefer to wear flip flops
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.
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Blame the squirrels - they have a thing about bulbs.ReplyDelete
Unless they are red squirrels and they are far too cute to do anything like that ;)
How frustrating after all your efforts. I wonder if it is the squirrels? They can be so destructive. I suggest you go and pour yourself a large glass of wine to console yourself.ReplyDelete
My vote would be for squirrels. We had lots of squirrels in our last garden (on the edge of town), but we have only seen one in theis garden (in the middle of the country!)ReplyDelete
Guess it probably was squirrels. How annoying! I'm with josiekitten on the wine!!!! RosReplyDelete
Something used to attack my pots and I have solved the problem by covering them with netting or putting stones on the surface. Not very attractive I know, but it has done the trick. I am not sure if it would work on a flower bed.ReplyDelete
This is why I don't 'do' gardening - I can't stand the disappointment when things fail to do what they should do!! Your rhodoedendron is going to be lovely, by the looks of it.ReplyDelete
I blamed mice for mine. My daffys got flattened too! xxReplyDelete
Grr it is annoying to lose plants like this. your daffodils at least seem to be blooming in line with the rest of the UK.ReplyDelete
Our tulips used to be eaten all the time so we stopped planting them. We have lily of the valley that blooms and spreads so I'm guessing those bulbs are not very tasty!ReplyDelete
When I see blown over daffs in my garden, I pick them to display indoors.ReplyDelete
How disappointing about the bulbs.
the squirrels are the most likely culprits. I have trouble with muntjack deer which LOVE to eat the tops off any newly-emerging bulbs, especially muscari. They quite like rosebuds and pansies too...!ReplyDelete
I would say squirrels too, they're known to have a penchant for bulbs, on the other hand, it might be a bear!! But I think perhaps the squirrel is more likely! As to weeds, I have plenty if you're offering to help?? And your garden is a heck of a lot further forward than mine is! So much so that I'm off to South Carolina next week in search of some sun and some flowers!ReplyDelete
Your tulips are much more advanced than ours. I was even beginning to doubt that I'd planted any. Hope you solve the mystery of the phantom bulb eaters.ReplyDelete
I'm with everyone on the squirrel front. Little blighters damage everything.ReplyDelete
What about getting a wildlife camera and and honing it in on a few recently planted crocus bulbs as bait? You can get some relatively inexpensive cameras now that plug straight into your computer so you can watch the wildlife comings and goings with your feet up plus you can find out for definite who the thief is!