Sunday, February 28, 2010

We Have Life!



This morning, I went outside to my car and I saw something so beautiful I almost cried. Our first crocus in full bloom! It was staring at me as if to say, "I'm here now. You can start the party."

Every year, I revel in the moment I see our first flowers in bloom. The kids come out to look at the new flowers. Sometimes, they get so excited they end up jumping on them. Of course, they always feel bad, but I actually don't mind that as much because I know that they are overwhelmed with joy that spring is upon us.

But, no matter how much joy something gives, there is always another element trying to rain on the parade. In this case, it is wildlife. The most common animals I am having to watch out for with my bulbs are deer and squirrels. Over the years, I've learned that it is better to try planting bulbs that are less desirable to the animals to begin with instead of trying to control them with chemicals or old wives tales. Not to say that if they are hungry enough, they wouldn't eat them anyways!

Here are a few bulbs hardy to Central Oregon that I use in my garden that the wildlife typically avoid:
Allium - ornamental onion
Fritillaria
Galanthus- snowdrop
Muscari- grape hyacinth
Narcissus- daffodil
Crocus

I know what you're thinking. "What about tulips? They are so beautiful? How can I go without them, Shannon?". Well, if you have deer you won't get to enjoy them for long. Every year, the deer come up to my doorstep and boldly take a bite of my tulip flowers. Finally, I dug them up because I couldn't take the disappointment any longer! I have heard that if you intermix your tulip bulbs with daffodil bulbs then the deer will avoid them. I haven't tried this yet though. Also, if you put human hair on the flowers the deer will get the scent and move on. However, I haven't tried this either. I'm not sure if it's the hairy flower that turns me off or the idea of pulling out any more of my hair for these animals!

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