Do you love fancy
daffodils? Do tulips make your whole day brighter? If so, we could be friends!
Spring flowers are
some of my most favorite blooms ever! Maybe it’s the long winter of
nothingness, but when I see those bright colors and frilly edges, it just makes
me so happy!
Such is life.
I mean, I enjoyed
seeing those pretty little flowers every day, don’t get me wrong. I cut a few
to bring inside, but for the most part, I just let them bloom on their own.
Most spring bulbs do better—as far as coming back the next year—if you don’t
Also, yes, I need to weed and mulch this area very badly!
Of all my hyacinths
out back, I had 1 small bloom this year, and for some reason—no doubt relating
to the weather—it bloomed on such a short stalk that the florets were basically
still in the ground. That seems fitting for life right now, in a way. Blooming
in the ground. Anyway, I have found that a lot of what I do during the growing
season is hedge my bets against the unpredictability of the weather (as the
frost cloth post attests.) I need to learn more about why that happened so that
I can prevent it next year, if possible.
So this week has been
the week of tulips! During cooler springs, my tulips have lasted for more than
a month. I’m thinking I’ll be lucky to get 2 weeks out of them this year. We’ve
had several days in the 70’s already. Tulips come and go so fast in the heat.
In fact, I’ll show you.
These pink tulips in
the picture above are a variety called ‘Sweet 16.’ They are usually my first
tulips to bloom. Even so, they aren’t generally in bloom at the same time as
those big yellow daffodils—that’s a first this year. This picture was taken
about a week ago. Now the pinks probably have only a couple of days left—if
that—before the petals drop. The next wave, which are dark pink tulips planted
nearby, have also already started blooming. If we get several more hot days,
these gals will probably all be done and gone before Mother’s Day.
About the only way I
know of to stop that situation from happening is to have a cooler. If you
harvest the entire tulip bulb, while the flower is closed but showing color,
you can keep it in a cooler for a long time—weeks—and then as soon as you’re
ready for it, you cut off the bulb and put it into water at room temperature,
and you get the same vase life as freshly cut. Alas, no cooler here yet. Also,
I just barely re-opened for business yesterday. (YAY!) So, I may be purchasing
my tulips from a fellow flower farmer in Ogden this year for Mother’s Day
(Is it past my bedtime? Probably. Ha!)
Anyway, what else? Oh
yeah—alliums are sending up shoots and my big purples have buds on them again.
Excited for those. All the new ones I planted out in the perennial beds in my
cutting garden are still just green shoots.
no-shows this year. I wonder if they got eaten by something.
Grape hyacinths are
so cute! Also, way too short this year to use in any kind of arrangement, even
the minis. It’s okay, though. My 2 year old keeps picking them and bringing
them to me to put in a tiny 3” vase that we have. I’m thinking that once again,
the heat wave is the culprit. I want to experiment with planting a whole bunch
of them in the shade and see how they do.
My lilac bush is
loaded with buds. I have yet to keep those blooms hydrated once cut, even with
every trick in the book. Guess what, though? I recently cut some of the budding
branches and put them in an arrangement. The buds stayed hydrated! I don’t
expect them to open up or anything, but they made for some great texture in my
Oh! One more note
about tulips. The pale yellow and white tulips I had out front—I think they are
‘Jaap Groot’—finally have some decent blooms this year! Quick recap of their
life story: Year 1—eaten by deer all the way down to the ground. Year 2:
recovery year, with maybe 2 very short blooms. Year 3: (right now!) Probably
10-15 tulips blooming at a normal height! YAY!!
I know you’re going
to ask—what did I do to keep the deer away? I will tell you my secret: plastic
forks stuck around the tulip foliage, tines up. I’m not even kidding! The deer
haven’t bothered my tulip flowers—they just love to eat that foliage as it
first comes up. The forks give them a smart poke in the nose when they try that.
So yes, I have forks in all my flowerbeds now, protecting my precious tulips!
**Bonus: find the
fork in the tulip photo above! :)
All right friends, I’ve got to sign off before I say something really goofy. Good night! I mean, see ya.