13 May 2014

Destructive Woodland Animals

A couple of years ago, we dug a new strip of garden in our back yard. Where the lawn used to end at the porch, there is now a garden boundary.

The first year, it was sort of on a lark, so we just planted geraniums there for the summer.

Over the next winter, as we decided what to put in that garden, we discussed how truly BAD we are at gardening. It seems the only things that really work for us are variations of lilies. Specifically, day lilies and hostas.

So last summer, we planted day lilies and they did beautifully.

Of course we never know when to leave well enough alone. Since there were gaps between the lilies, my husband decided to put tulips between them, making it a bit of a staged garden.

Understand that we have NEVER had luck with tulips. I think in all the years we've lived here, with all the tulips he's planted, we've maybe had four or five come up. And by the next year, for whatever reason, they don't come up again.

My takeaway from that is - stick to lilies - they're safe and reliable!

But, always the horticultural optimist, he planted the tulips last fall, covering the bulbs with the highest quality compost.

And come up, they did!

Here they are two weeks ago:

Then the next day I had to go out of town suddenly, for the funeral.

When I returned this past Thursday, the tulips were Tall! And they all had big, promising buds!

The very next day we went out to find that several of our FIFTEEN tall, promising tulip buds had been snipped off and destroyed by the darling squirrels that live in our woodland back yard. I mean, they didn't even eat them - they just shredded them and left them on the ground next to the tall, headless stalk.

It was depressing, to say the least.

By Mother's Day, there were only SEVEN tulip buds left. My husband was away, but my daughters and I sat out on the porch for much of the day, enjoying the sunshine.

When the sun moved behind the trees, we went inside.

Not an hour later, I looked outside and saw that more tulips had been shredded. I went out to investigate and it turned out we had only ONE tulip bud left. All the other FOURTEEN stalks were tragically headless.

So logically, I snipped off the last delicate bud (with it's stalk still attached), and brought it in the house so it could bloom without interference.

It is currently on our sunny kitchen windowsill and should bloom in the next couple of days.

Unless our cats get it first.

Copyright © 2014 - Paulla Estes

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