Sunday, March 25, 2018

Our Molested Tulips


I spent part of yesterday morning getting reacquainted with the garden. There's still not much going on out there -- our lungwort is blooming (above), and the hellebore is going gangbusters, and we're starting to see the first few forget-me-nots around the patio. The forsythia looks like a cloud of tiny yellow moths circling each other. And of course there are the daffodils, which not only survived the snowstorm but managed to right themselves again -- I took away the support stakes I put in to hold up their blossoms after the snow beat them down.

Otherwise, almost everything is either still dormant or just a tiny sprout.


Some of our bulbs are having a terrible time. The squirrels have eaten the heart out of them, and the slugs are feasting on what's left. We think these are tulip bulbs, which are apparently known for being tasty to both. You can even see a small black slug on that large leaf. (How can it be that just a week after a snowfall we have slugs eating our plants?! Where do such soft, watery creatures go when everything freezes?)

I put a few slug pellets around the wreckage, but I don't know what to do about the squirrels. It seems unlikely we'll get any tulips this year. Dave also planted camassia lilies, and I hope they aren't being eaten too -- but they might be. (It's hard to tell one bulb from another at this point.)


One of our hyacinths also got mangled by the pigeons. Sigh.


I'm sure there's a quotation out there about gardening being heartbreak, or something like that, but I can't find it right now.

Oh, someone asked on a recent post whether we'd tried feeding the squirrels to keep them away from our plants. The answer is yes -- we had a squirrel feeder for a while. But we found that they mangled the plants anyway. If anything, the feeder just seemed to attract more squirrels! We took it down.

13 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I have heard that playing Bon Jovi at full volume in one's garden for just one night is sure to get rid of all pests - slugs, squirrels, pigeons, aphids - the lot of them. It's worth a try.

crafty cat corner said...

Such a good question regarding where slugs go in the snow an ice. I might just have to google that.
Briony
x

Colette said...

It IS heartbreaking to be a gardener when your plants are under attack by bugs and vermin. I'm sorry! We used to put a small dish of beer under the flowers in early spring to take care of the slugs. The squirrels are just misbehaving. Shame on them!

Ms. Moon said...

I just watched a squirrel neatly navigate the squirrel baffle on the feeder to get to the seeds. I don't think there's a darn thing you can do to discourage them.

Red said...

You have an enormous problem. Be smarter than the slugs and take away spots that they like to inhabit. Example : things like boards that they like to live under. Good luck with these two pests.

robin andrea said...

We use diatomaceous earth sprinkled around the plants that the slugs try to eat. It stops them quite well, and it is non-toxic. Not sure what to do about squirrels. They are hungry little acrobatic critters.

ellen abbott said...

I have three squirrels that have taken up residence. I just took the birdfeeder down because the squirrels empty it. it's not like they eat all the seed. they throw everything to the ground except the sunflower seeds. and they are fearless. they'll let me get within about 5' before they scurry off.

Sharon Anck said...

Oh my, those squirrels have been brutal to your plants. I'm not sure what you can do about squirrels. They are such versatile little critters.

Catalyst said...

Survival of the fittest.

Should Fish More said...

Claymore mines, the only solution.

jenny_o said...

It's the deer that are the big issue here and our nurseries have responded by bringing in as many deer-resistant plants as possible and giving advice on how to plant to deter them (example: there are plants deer don't like to walk through, so plant those as a shield around the delectable ones). Deer like some spring flowers but not others (eg they eat tulips but not daffodils). It's too late for this spring but maybe this is the approach you could take when replacing your poor bulbs!

John Gray said...

I sneak out with a torch and saltcellar

e said...

The poor squirrels have got to eat too. though maybe there are some they don't like and you could put some of those around? The faces are wonderful. I had a Peter Maxx poster I wish I'd kept.