The daffodil season was here and gone so quickly, I barely noticed. Hot winds wilted the mid season bloomers and singed any flowers just opening. It was all a little rude, but you’ll have that when you garden on a hilltop and the weather decides to finally heat up.
Fortunately I have way too many bulbs coming along, so even if a few are less than perfect there’s still plenty more where that came from.
The daffodils were missed, but to be honest I wasn’t all that in to them this spring. They’re overcrowded and in need of digging and replanting and as I thought about it this week I decided many will find their way to the compost pile this summer. As long as we’re being honest here I may have even filled a wheelbarrow with a few hundred ‘less favorite’ bulbs yesterday in an effort to speed up the process.
I was pretty sure last year that the tulips around here were on their way out. Tulip Fire has hit the garden, and it’s not uncommon to find the spotted leaves and twisted stalks of bulbs affected by this fungus blight. Late freezes, hail damage, and a wet spring for two years running have helped spread the disease around the whole garden but this year’s turn to drier weather seems to have slowed the fire. I had my doubts last spring, but now I’m happy to say there are many more tulips surviving than I thought there would be 🙂
I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learned here. Maybe I shouldn’t just plant any bulb I can find… maybe I should be more faithful to the ones I have… maybe I’m not a good person to look to for tulip advice, since all you’ll learn here is that playing around with too many tulip bulbs might just leave you with a disease.
Fortunately I have enough space to let these things run their course. Tulip Fire (Botrytis tulipae) is specific to tulips and shouldn’t bother anything else, and between thinning crowded clumps and removing overly infected leaves, maybe I can control it somewhat without resorting to chemicals.
Enough about my problems. Out along the front border I didn’t expect much of a tulip show (given all of last summers rain) but to give in to a little bragging, I think they’re glorious. Not public garden glorious, but for me and my crappy soil, with all my weeds and mediocre budget, and lack of chemical support, I’m going to claim glorious 🙂
I bought smaller packs of bulbs last fall from a new supplier and results have been mixed, but the year before that it was the ‘Incendiary mix’ from Van Engelen that earned a click on the proceed to checkout button. They were amazing last spring, but I think they’re even better this spring… who cares if the flowers are a little smaller…
Ok one more issue. I noticed a few of the solid orange tulips have ‘broken’. Broken color means the tulip has been infected with a tulip breaking virus which causes the color to streak. It’s the virus which brought on several of the most beautiful historical tulips ever, but it’s still a disease. I shouldn’t let them stay. For as pretty as it looks I don’t like the way it’s spread this year, and even if I don’t have a tulip growing livelihood to protect I think it’s time to do the right thing.
All these problems are forgotten the minute I look at the next best thing. There are still late tulips on their way and I think they’ll be just as amazing… even if much fewer in number.
We just had a “lively” thunderstorm barrel through and I wonder how the flowers made out with all the wind and rain. I’m hoping for the best but even if that’s not the case I noticed a few bearded iris nearly open. There’s always a next best thing at this time of year, but it still goes too fast.
Have a great weekend!