Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Years back I used to plant hundreds of tulips, especially when I lived in Central California. Up here in the Pacific Northwest I have reduced my tulip addiction to smaller quantities. All are planted in pots because it's the only way to keep the voles from getting to them. My first year in Washington I planted several hundred in large drifts throwout the garden. In perfect timing (for the voles), when the tulips were about at their peak, I started noticing large clusters leaning over and drooping. Under careful inspection I realized the problem. In a matter of 2 weeks over half the bulbs had been eaten.
So now I enjoy all my tulips in containers. Eliminating one of there favourite food sources, the voles for the most part are gone.
The past couple of years I've planted Greggii and Kaufmanniana tulips. They are shorter and stockier then many tulips and they have beautifully mottled foliage adding unique interest even when not in bloom. The above hybrid is a Kaufmanniana named 'Ancilla'.