Monday, May 4, 2009

Stoooopid Squirrels!

Last year was the first time that I had tried to experiment with transplanting bulb flowers like tulips and daffodils. I had noticed that gardens can have several flowering seasons and I was teaching myself how to plant spring flowers among other flowering plants that bloom later in the season. By doing this, the garden is always in bloom and all of these plants help to stop the growth of annoying weeds. I am still learning and my hopes are to be able to create a self-sustaining garden that requires very little or no weeding.

I mentioned in a previous blog, that I try to transplant bulbs into groups of three or four. Each group has one very healthy and mature bulb, two small (baby) bulbs and I usually toss in one or two other bulbs that got damaged during this process. After a transplant has been done, usually only one of the bulbs produces flowers. This is because most of the flower’s energy goes into re-rooting itself and healing after the transplant. I always have to wait a year to see the results of my work.

This patch of tulips is a perfect example. Last year, only one flower bloomed. This year all the flowers bloomed and as you can see, there are several different sizes of flowers – mature bulbs, teenage bulbs and baby bulbs - LOL!!! You will also notice that there is a comfortable amount of room between these flowers. This is to allow for future flowers that will eventually fill this whole space, as each of these bulbs divides and created more bulbs.

I was so happy to see that my ideas and efforts had been successful.

I’ve talked before about how I only plant root vegetables in this garden, and lots of flowers cuz all the neighbourhood squirrels destroy plants like tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, etc. This year I’m learning that the squirrels also like to destroy my flowers.

They don’t seem interested in daffodils, hostas or day lilies, but they are extremely attracted to tulips. If I had been aware of this, last year, then I would not have put so much work into all the tulip transplants I did this year. Live and learn – I guess!

As I said, the squirrels are extremely attracted to the tulips. This does not mean that they eat them, they simply destroy them in their attempts to find food. I can imagine seeing a squirrel becoming hypnotized by the beauty of the tulip and thinking that they look good enough to eat. The squirrel then cuts the flower off at the top of the stem to make it easier to eat. Then the squirrel tastes it and realizes that the flower doesn’t taste good, so it then leaves the broken flower on the ground.

It would be okay with me to loose one or two tulip flowers as the squirrels realize that they are not edible, but what I don’t understand is why they need to take the flower heads off of every single tulip in my garden. After I took the above photos, the very next day I noticed that two tulips had been destroyed. I thought that that would be okay as long as they left the other flowers. The next day… not one flower remained.

You can imagine that I was a little upset by all of this and then a silly comic strip entered the imagination of my brain to tell the story of the demise of my tulips. In the first scene we see a squirrel being captivated by the beauty of the tulip patch. In the second scene we see the squirrel cutting off the flower. In the third scene the squirrel tastes it and realizes that it isn’t very yummy. In the forth scene the squirrel moves away to another part of the garden. In the fifth scene the squirrel notices the patch of tulips again, but it looks at the tulips as if it has never seen them before – very short memory – (this is kinda the punchline of the comic strip) and the sixth scene begins this whole process which continues to loop around and around until all the flowers are gone.

Sometimes it is better to think of situations in a light of laughter…


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