Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Bulb Post, Part III November 14, 2008

Yesterday’s post probably had some of you calling my sanity into question. I won’t argue with you there, I did feel sort of like a madwoman cooking up that hideous concoction to squirrel-proof my bulb plantings… but it was fun. And it didn’t even smell that bad! Just like salsa soup or something.

So, after I was done loading up (and half-melting) the spray bottle, it was time to head out to the parking strip and put those babies in the ground! Another thing preventing me from doing so had been the weather, but I took the first sunny moment I had time and went for it. Bulb planting always takes longer than I think it will, so I had to allow for a few hours’ work, counting the potion-brewing.

La la la, line ’em up on the back porch and see what I got, because I always forget between when I buy them and when the poor things actually get planted.

Bulbs to plant

I lost the full list, but this is some of what I scribbled onto a now-muddy piece of paper when I was out there, so I could remember locations:

– Narcissus ‘Scarlet Royal’ (yellow with large orange cups)
– Narcissus ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ (white/orange double-flowering)
– Tulip ‘Fashion’ (rose with purple veins – Kaufmaniana)
– Tulip ‘Mona Lisa’ (yellow feathered with raspberry)
– Tulip ‘Palestrina’ (salmon with green feathering)

Oh man, I know there was a lot else. Some things that ended up in the upper garden include

– Muscari ‘Blue mixture’
– Narcissus ‘Little Gem’
– Bellevalia paradoxa (never grown this before, related to muscari)
– several varieties of species tulips – maybe I’ll find my other smudgy paper before spring and will update this if so… sorry!

My hands were too muddy to take pictures of the bulbs going into their new homes, but I did try to put them at the right depths, at least as well as memory served. I had thought I had some bulb fertilizer in the garage but it wasn’t where I expected it to be so I probably used it up last year. So, they’ll have to get what they can from my semi-poor soil and I hope it’s enough! This is definitely not a guide for how to give your bulbs the best start…

After they were all planted, it was time to squirrel-proof up a storm! I sprayed my goofy concoction over the planting site (these next pics are from the upper garden, under the witch hazel), sprinkled a little paprika on for good measure (word on the street is that they don’t like the smell of that either),

Paprika sprinkle on bulb zone

and now my garden smells like Hungarian goulash!

Just to be triple-sure, I covered up each site with some witch hazel or plum leaves. I hope the various methods didn’t cancel each other out, that would be so typical of my haphazard approach to gardening. I made sure a little paprika was sticking out past the leaves.

All covered up and protected

Thanks to the Arboretum volunteers for packing the bulbs in compostable paper bags, no plastic anywhere to be found. They all went straight into the yard waste toter.

Bulb bags in the yard waste

Now the waiting begins. I’ve been out once so far to “refresh” the spray, but doubt I’ll get to it more than maybe once or twice again. I can’t see going out there all winter, that’s just not my kind of gardening (the lazy kind!). So far so good, with nary a paw mark upon any of the leaf piles. Hm, I probably just jinxed it all. Damn.

So, Dr. Destructo, the gauntlet is tossed. Yeah buddy, I’m talkin’ to YOU.

Nemesis squirrel, Dr. Destructo


7 Responses to “Bulb Post, Part III”

  1. Michele Says:

    Wow, you mean business with those squirrels. It’s interesting when I hear about them being so destructive because I just (knock on wood) haven’t had that happen. I feed birds, plant bulbs, put out pumpkins, and have never had an evil squirrel wreak havoc! I do give them nuts (gasp!)every so often, but I ration them and don’t go overboard, because I fear they will get out of hand. Good luck and let us know how the spicy spray works!

  2. Jen Says:

    Looks like a nice variety of flowers! I would NOT want to be one of your squirrels. I didn’t do any squirrel proofing – I’m hoping my dog will take care of it.

  3. Racquel Says:

    Looks like you got quite an assortment of bulbs there! Let us know how the squirrel proofing goes. I’ve been trying to keep them out of my garden beds too. The darn buggers ate all the pecans from the tree & now they are going after the birdseed in the feeders. They are greedy little things! 😦

  4. AnnA Says:

    I am so proud of you! I bet it works! I hope so!

  5. Philip Says:

    What a beautiful display this will be. i hope the goulash works. I do get a kick out Dr. Destructo even though he is a terror. That is a great picture.

  6. Curmudgeon Says:

    I just hate to admit it but that squirrel is kind of cute–with that reddish face and that white belly. Okay, I’ll snap out of it now. What is that dark leafed plant in the left hand corner of the third pic up from the bottom???

  7. Don Says:

    I remember I once bought a bag of 1000 mixed crocuses. I was so sick of planting bulbs by the time I finally got them all in the ground! The squirrels came by, and next spring I got two flowers.

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