Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring Bulb Bed

It's been a pretty busy week - things to do and weather-wise. Around here, especially this time of year, they say that if you don't like the weather just wait five minutes and it'll change. Since my last post about the fog, we've had sunshine up in the 70's, rain, horrific winds, and even another snowstorm.

I love this photo, taken through my living room window. The rain and reflections on the deck look like an Impressionist painting, and the late Spring bulbs now blooming in the herb bed are so pretty. Tulips are really hard to grow around here. Not because of the weather, but because of the ground squirrels. They'll dig up and eat every tulip, and I've lost hyacinths to them too. But this bed (knock on wood) has done great for years - long enough that the original single bulbs have all multiplied into beautiful clumps.

I'm not sure why these have survived. The ground squirrels (not pretty, fluffy-tailed tree squirrels - these are burrowing, scruffy-tailed rat-like squirrels) are still out there, scouting around under the bird feeders, dashing for their holes under the wood pile when I let the dog out. I know the squirrels won't touch daffodils, and when I planted these bulbs I mixed all different kinds together, tossed them out onto the ground, and then planted each one where it landed. Maybe having the daffodils scattered throughout, besides giving me an extended and ever-changing show each Spring, also deters the squirrels from the tastier tulip bulbs.

Or maybe it's the perennial herbs that are just now coming up. Oregano and marjoram are a dense green carpet now, thyme, rosemary, and chives in small clumps, and a big clump of tarragon. As summer gets closer, they'll take over, hiding the withering leaves of the bulbs. Right outside my kitchen door, this little garden is a joy throughout the year. A wandering line of round stepping stones, a few rocks, a cement sculpted turtle, and some hollyhocks for vertical interest makes a wonderful view, sitting out on the deck in the morning sun.

Or some days it's better from inside looking out, and a warm fire going in the wood stove. Day before yesterday, the cherry blossoms were capped with snow. Right now, I'm not sure whether I'll be getting any fruit this year, or not. The night temperatures have only dropped right around freezing, not much below, and the snow might even have provided an insulating layer. We're a bit above the valley floor, so the coldest temps slide on down the hill, past us. So, even with these snowy photos, there's still a chance the blooms will set some fruit. One can always hope.


Anonymous said...

Nice blog you got here... Just droppin' by to say hi!

Annodear said...

What wonderful photos!! Loved hearing about how the daffodils may help deter the squirrels and how the bulbs and herbs "interact" ;-)