Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tulip Show Has Been Cancelled

I mentioned last week that I had a bad feeling about the tulips at Client #1's. Today that bad feeling was worse. There should be about 50 tulips coming up in the yellow Creeping Jenny that I planted last fall and another 200 in the general vicinity from years past. There are a few at least at the top of the yellow Creeping Jenny.

200 tulips have gone missing from this bed. Two came up.

There have never been tulips back here, but the Magnolia stellata is in full bloom and look, there is a group of daffodils I planted last fall blooming nicely.

Should be about 200 tulips in this island bed in the front half. The daffodils I planted last fall, 'Thalia' came up and are starting to bloom a tad early in this hot weather. Thalia is one of the latest daffodils, a show extender.

About 600 tulips have gone missing from this bed. Oh where, oh where are the tulips? I went looking. I dug a few holes where some sad looking tulip foliage was that would pull right out of the ground with minimal effort and looked chewed on the bottom.

I did not find any tulip bulbs in any holes I dug. No bulbs, no bulb bits or remnants, not even the brown tissue a bulb is wrapped in. There was nothing. No sign at all that a bulb had ever been anywhere in the vicinity. The small leaf on top was all that was left. Varmints!!! I am guesstimating up to two thousand tulips bulbs were et up over the winter.

The tulip display has been cancelled.

That my dear friends is why you plant daffodils. Even when the home owners move away, the gardener stops tending the grounds and the birch tree drops dead in pieces on the ground

The daffodils will go on.

The fence can fall down, blackberries and tree saplings can invade

And the daffodils will keep blooming.

There is something to be said for a poisonous bulb. Now the breeders could try to transfer the poison to tulips or transfer tulip colors to daffodils or both. Something needs to be done. Because it is near impossible to outsmart the most dimwitted of varmints.


Ben said...

Such a shame. what do you suspect happened to them all? voles or squirrels?

Lola said...

That is a lot of Tulips. Sorry they didn't make it for whatever reason. I do like them but I know how hard it is to grow them.
Daffy's is the way to go. I agree with you 100%. Mine are finished already. Iris are starting.
Got a question---What would be the problem if something caused the inside of the rhizome of Iris to disappear & leave the outside skin? I thought maybe a virus or something like that.

Christopher C. NC said...

Ben I suspect voles because there wasn't much evidence of digging from squirrels or chipmunks, plus the leaf stem was chewed below ground.

Lola that sounds like what the normal old section of an iris rhizome would do. As the rhizome and growing point moves along the old end can be reabsorbed some and just left to die.

Randy Emmitt said...

This is why I do not plant tulips! Geez what a waste of time and money.

My Thalia just started blooming yesterday, still have 3-4 more daffodil varieties not out yet.

Christine B. said...

How disappointing for you and your client. At least you had the daffs, right? And they looked gorgeous by the way.

Christine in Alaska

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Now that would be a big disappointment to say the least. Yay for daffs.

Anonymous said...

Honestly I think tulips are vastly overpromoted.I have never gotten them to return successfully despite trying all the "tips" so it is like throwing $$ down the drain, even if the deer, voles, squirrels or other varmints don't get them in any given year.
I think we're being manipulated by The Man on this one. No tulips for me, unless I decide to grow a few in pots as an annual.


Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Yep, that's why I grow very few Tulips. Daffodils are wonderful, except they have one significant drawback - you can't plant them on the south end of a garden, as they will face away from the garden and towards the sun. Tulips face straight up regardless, which makes me long for them to be critter-proof.
I wonder if Lola might have Iris borers?

Anonymous said...

I am for all poisonous plants. Foxgloves are being added as fast as possible. I am so sorry about the tulips. We have had good luck with the little fritts, uva vulpis and meleagris being vole proof. The larger fritts just don't come back, some never even show the first year. Daffs still standing on old homesteads where the buildings are long gone are the best. :-)

Benjamin Vogt said...

But I don't like daffs.... what to do?