A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Friday, May 25, 2007

Woe is me

The Entry Garden continues to disappoint. Planted for continuous spring bloom, it has succumbed to voracious squirrels and vagaries in the weather. The sad tale goes like this:

The end of February was to have been celebrated with snowdrops. They were no-shows. Crocuses were supposed to have supplied the first real flush of color early in March. They were also no-shows. Things were looking up when daffodils came on the scene. Almost all of them sprouted and the ones that came up bloomed gloriously if not always pinkly. Then it was downhill again with the emergence of the tulips. Only about half of them bothered to show up and half of those were decapitated by squirrels who seemed more intent on robbing me of flowers than filling their bellies.

Currently, the Entry Garden looks as though someone has hit the Pause button. The tulips have finished, but the iris has been slow to replace them. Three out of the four rhizomes I planted last fall appear to have survived but only one of them is budded. All of my lavender seems to have wintered-over successfully, but only the Munstead is budded. The yarrow is indestructible. It didn’t just survive, it flourished. Foliage exploded out of the ground in the spring. Buds have been slower in coming. The Fairy rose won its battle with the squirrels. Now it is concentrating its energy on producing foliage. Perhaps flowers will come later.

Looking ahead, the five surviving oriental hybrid lilies are growing vigorously. They were originally eight. Two bulbs were dug up and eaten by squirrels and one lily plant was bitten in half by the same furry fiends. Cosmos volunteers continue to appear. Poppy seeds sown in March were mostly washed away in the flooding rains of an April Nor’Easter. A few seedlings survive along the edges of the bed. Bachelor’s Buttons seeds sown in April in a new section of the bed germinated more profusely. Not so the rest of the annuals sown in the first week in May. There has been no sign of the larkspur or the marigolds. A few zinnias are hesitantly poking their heads above the ground, still undecided if they will grow or not. I have “cut” a corner in the center of the bed giving it a more rounded appearance. Aster seeds will be sown there this weekend for fall color.

Just a few scant feet away, the Ballerina rose, literally planted in a hole cut in the lawn, is flourishing. Perhaps I should give up my original idea of an abundantly planted cottage garden and substitute a hedge of roses. More Ballerinas or a mix of small shrub roses? I have months of disappointment in which to decide.


At 6:20 AM, Blogger Kathy said...

In this picture it looks more like a shade garden than a sunny garden, and all the plants you name are sun lovers.

But who did you buy your bulbs from, I can't remember? Was it Brecks? I've had a lot of bad luck with their bulbs.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Kathy, no part of my yard gets full sun. The front of the house is shaded in the morning (when I took the picture) and sunny in the afternoon. I buy most of my bulbs from Brecks and have had good luck with them. I bought the snowdrops and crocuses from Dutch Gardens this time because they were cheaper. I'm wondering if that was a big part of the problem.

At 12:55 AM, Blogger LostRoses said...

OldRoses, when my beds do that (often)I remember that's why God created annual bedding plants! I get some instant color while my planned bed gets caught up (or not)!

At 7:11 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

LostRoses, funny you should mention that. I have some leftover petunias from some conainters I planted today that I plan on planting in the Entry Garden!

At 4:51 AM, Blogger guild_rez said...

I know how you must feel about planting all the bulbs in the fall and expecting lovely flowers in the spring. Well, the squirrels are little monsters eating my bulbs as well.
cheers from Canada


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