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Off on a Tulip hunt!

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Some of you know that I planted up my wooden boxes along the fence boundary with yellow tulips and white Narcissi in the autumn. Imagine my horror when something dug every one up and went off with them during the very cold weather! Fifty tulip bulbs vanished overnight!

I was puzzled – and asked a question on GoY. Most answers suggested that it was probably a squirrel. Now I just couldn’t accept that – we don’t get squirrels here.

However, to add insult to injury, every specie tulip bulb and most of my crocuses also went – and plants were uprooted in the process!

What do I think is doing all this damage? Why, those %^($&! BADGERS again! They create havoc on the lawns every year by rooting around for worms. I’m sure they are the culprits!

So after Docbob put the idea in my head in his answer to another question on the late planting of tulips, I decided to go on a hunt for some.

It had been suggested that the DIY superstore might have some still – No go. They’ve got summer bulbs and seed potatoes in now.

So off up the M5 I went, and visited several Garden Centres and Nurseries. I was not going to be beaten!

Well – that doesn’t look too hopeful, does it?

On to the next one – a large Garden Centre might be a better bet.

Don’t get distracted! That looks sooooo lovely – I shall take a closer look and just see what it is…

It’s a Clematis cirrhosa called ‘Jingle Bells’ and I love it! I have not come to buy a new clematis, though. Walk away, don’t look back! No tulips here – onwards and upwards!

I have to take a photo of the beautiful primroses at the next Nursery, though. How lovely these are – too expensive though – I’m not paying £2.99 each.

I know, I know – more distractions! I can look, though, can’t I – even if I don’t fall to temptation! This gorgeous Cymbidium might well have gone home with me – if it hadn’t been priced at almost £30, though.

After all that and still not a tulip in sight, I dropped into the Nursery where my Pieris is on order. Their coffee shop is idyllic – outside in the sun amongst the flowers in the summer, and inside by a logburner with gardening magazines to read in the winter! What could be better?


Suitably refreshed, on to the biggest Garden Centre of all – surely I’d find a few tulips there? Nope. not a single one. I did get my Dahlias though – ready to pot up to plant out in my hot border later on!

I had received a tip-off at one of the Garden Centres – their other branch a few miles away should still have some bulbs in stock. My trusty SAT-NAV took me through the country lanes to the Garden Centre I call ‘Pot Heaven’

It still is!

This is where my Christmas present pot came from – they have a lot of different ones in now, but I saw the ‘family’ group of the one I chose. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the whole set!

I fell to temptation here, though. I just couldn’t resist this beautiful Hellebore – it came home with me, as did two pots of Cyclamen coum and a Carex phyllocepala ‘Sparkler’.

But, I hear you ask – did I find any tulips? YES, at last! Not a lot of choice, true, but very much reduced – 50p for 12. So after my day’s tour of all those places, I was successful – thank goodness! I have 24 ‘Pickwick’, and 12 of each of the others, which are stripy as well. I’ve got enough for the boxes and some to replace the ones from the beds. Now chicken wire will be placed over the bulbs, in the hope that it will thwart the badgers when they come hunting for food again.

Wish me luck!

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Comments

 

Good Luck Spritz, You must of been Furious when you saw them dug up, As some have said, they planted late and they were Succesfull :))) I would have been in heaven amongst those pots Hmmmm.

18 Jan, 2010

 

I'd still love to get all three pots! Hmmm...where would I put them, though?

Yes, I was upset - because I'd ordered the colours and planned the plants to grow above them. Just as well I didn't plant those, isn't it!

18 Jan, 2010

 

Im so plezd u found some Tulips Spritz & im sure theyl be fine with your Green Fingers & Know how :) Those New Dahlias & Cyclmen look lovely no wonder u had to have them ;)

18 Jan, 2010

 

well worth the look round. gosh how did you resist the clematis, it is a stunner.

a better day than mine, roll on retirement.

18 Jan, 2010

 

i just realized that in new zealand we dont have suburban wild animals.
no badgers, no fox, no squirrels, just birds and pet cats and fenced in dogs.
where i live there are no ants no wasps even spiders are rare.
the possums are all in the dense bush mostly.
thanks for the tour of your garden centers though

18 Jan, 2010

 

Good luck Barbara....

18 Jan, 2010

 

I would have said squirrels Spritz but if you don`t get them it can`t be can it! The garden centre where I work only has Summer bulbs now but I would think ready potted tulips will be in a bit later. Lets hope your bargain bulbs come up as beautiful flowers and won`t be eaten by badgers.

Sandra x

18 Jan, 2010

 

I'm glad you found tulips in the end. I saw some over the week end reduced to 50p a pack, and they were still in good condition too.
I hope the badgers will leave them alone this time but I'm glad you are taking precautions. I bet that Jingle bells is on your wish list. It's on mine now I've seen it in your blog. Good luck with the bulbs.

18 Jan, 2010

 

Well done Spritz. Just like you to grit your teeth and keep going until you had hunted them down! I can imagine you in a safari hat with binoculars strung round your neck, stood atop a hill peering into the distance! Lol ;~))

18 Jan, 2010

 

Lol...Just knew you would not come away emptyhanded ! Surprised you passed on the clematis first stop !!

18 Jan, 2010

 

Perhaps there were squirrels were having a holiday in the West Country? Well done on tracking down some tulip bulbs

18 Jan, 2010

 

They must of sang all the way home with your Tulips, tip toe through the Tulips, lol B&Q have loads of bulbs in some ready planted, box's singles and bags of them. If you need any more you now know whos got them all lol.

18 Jan, 2010

 

Good luck!

18 Jan, 2010

 

Sixpence - You have stirred a memory...my Mum told me that as a little girl I used to skip around the local roads singing that song! Why, I don't know, I must've liked it but I don't remember!

I enjoyed all your photo's Spritz, glad you found some bulbs...those pesky Badgers!

18 Jan, 2010

 

Thanks, all - Sixpence, our B&Q certainly didn't have any tulips, and to make it worse, they'd closed off the outside area where they have the bulbs in pots, so I couldn't even check the prices! :-(((

That Clematis is a beauty - but I do know that it isn't as hardy as the other C. cirrhosas. It would be a risk....

Piersdad - would you like a couple of badgers? You'd be very wlcome to them!

18 Jan, 2010

 

Glad I stirred a memory, Pottygardener perhaps this will remind you why you sang it Tiny Tim on Rowan and Martin Laugh in

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skU-jBFzXl0

18 Jan, 2010

 

Oh I remember him! Such a funny little squeaky voice...LOL

18 Jan, 2010

 

Lol I have seem to have stirred your memory too Spritz : O )

18 Jan, 2010

 

Wow! Barbara, what a journey, you must have trebled the price with the cost of the petrol. Glad it was successful. You have a strong will if you could resist all those goodies though. Good luck with them. I have sent you a recipe. Be careful with the new plants they will still require heat

18 Jan, 2010

 

Glad you found some Spritz. I am am never planting tulips again after seeing two squirrels (now called John and Edward) digging up every one. I look forward to my daffs instead.

18 Jan, 2010

uma
Uma
 

Good luck with your tulips, Spritzhenry!

18 Jan, 2010

 

I have planted some tulips in pots - so far no badgers here!

But I will be getting the chicken wire out just in case................

18 Jan, 2010

 

glad you found some more tulips eventually :) I must say I have badgers visiting my garden regularly and I don't have much trouble as I feed them every night (a tip I got) they're more interested in the peanuts than my bulbs. Hope the new ones survive for you

19 Jan, 2010

 

Thanks. I might try peanuts if I can put them out at night once Henry is indoors - if they were there in the daytime, he'd gobble the lot!

They've been at my Brodiaea last night! I can't believe it. At least I can order more of those.

19 Jan, 2010

 

What a beautiful hellebore - I'm not surprised you succumbed to that! and the cyclamen. What an attractive Carex 'Sparkler' is. Glad you found the bulbs (and tubers) lol.

19 Jan, 2010

 

Good luck Barbara!

It is disappointing when your efforts get eaten, I've just got my tulips in pots too! nice to know we are on equal footing, I challenge you to a tulip growing competition!

19 Jan, 2010

 

Mine will not be planted in the boxes today - Docbob has sent me a 'recipe' for treating them, and then they'll be in pots in the greenhouse for a while. Micky - OK, you're on! LOL.

Wagger - I forgot to get the name of the Hellebore off its label - I'll look this morning and 'edit' the blog to put it in. I was delighted to find the Carex! I lost one of mine, so I'll have to watch over this one.

19 Jan, 2010

 

Thanks for the link Sixpence....just looked at it, LOL funny squeaky voice!
Mum must have had another recording of it because it was late 50's /early 60's I was roaming the streets singing it!

19 Jan, 2010

 

Perhaps its this one then http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6_EAnFlv70

lol he sounds like a woman singing did nt he in the other one .

19 Jan, 2010

 

No - that isn't Tiny Tim - he had long hair and pranced about a bit! Now you've got me going - I'll HAVE to find him!!!!

19 Jan, 2010

 

Lol Spritz Tiny Tim is on the first link I placed look up 14 from this : O )

19 Jan, 2010

 

Shame about the badgers though i would love to have them in my garden......glad you found some Tulips..........my local plant shop is selling tulipps in little pots which have just started to grow, ready to plant out.............

19 Jan, 2010

 

It is rare for Badgers to eat tulip bulbs, it could be a phantom squirrel lol, we put chilli pepper on all our bulbs, so far so good, as we do get squirrels and we have a resident badger.( comes through the garden every night.) good luck with the next tulip planting, let us know what happens, would be interested to know whether a late planting works?

19 Jan, 2010

 

I'll let you know what happens. Maybe a blog later on? I'll try to take photos of each stage.

I must have a VERY fat squirrel, then Dd! LOL.

5 dozen tulip bulbs and at least 3 dozen crocuses vanished - plus uprooted plants and the lawns damaged yet again? No - I still think it's badgers. It bears their trademark. 'They' even tried a narcissus and an allium and spat them out!

19 Jan, 2010

 

Perhaps it was the severe weather stopped them from eating their normal diet, so they had to resort to your tulips and crocuses? lucky for you they did not like the aliums, or you would be buying again..........

19 Jan, 2010

 

Perhaps it was a squirrel disguised in a badger costume?

19 Jan, 2010

 

Well if Spritz had a fancy dress party she did nt invite us : O (

19 Jan, 2010

 

Hmmm...too cold out there for garden parties!

Dd - yes, I think so, too. The ground was frozen for quite a while. They ate my Brodiaeas as well - last night! I am putting an order in for some more. At least I can get those easily...on the phone!

19 Jan, 2010

 

I'm with Bonkers. Can't understand how the Clematis managed to avoid the trip to your garden. I'm glad you managed to get your tulips but please remember that badgers need to eat too.

19 Jan, 2010

 

I know - Grindle puts peanuts out for them, but Henry would eat them...we don't want a fat Lab!

What do badgers eat normally, apart from worms?

19 Jan, 2010

 

I used to go to someones house where the badgers came every night. They were fed on potatoes and leftovers and the badgers had better food. Although badgers main diet is earthworms they will eat just about anything including eggs and ground nesting birds if they get the chance.

19 Jan, 2010

 

the get bread, peanuts, digestive biscuits and raisins here :)) I put it out every night just before it gets dark, the only thing is, once you start you have to continue :)))) all I get now is the odd snuffle through the bark at the top of the garden, and maybe the odd stone moved so they can get to whats underneath. I've been doing this now since early summer and nothing much has been touched, even the bulbs in pots at the top of the garden

20 Jan, 2010

 

My goodness! That sounds like 'Henry Heaven'! It wouldn't be possible to do that, unfortunately - he has to be let out at bed time. :-(((

20 Jan, 2010

 

just a thought spritz, if 'they' spat the allium out why not finely chop up some onions and plant them near the bulbs as a deterent. obviously dont use the basal section or you might end up harvesting onions next year!

20 Jan, 2010

 

Too late for this year, but I'm willing to try anything next year - but we hope to solve the badger problem before then. :-))

20 Jan, 2010

 

LOL Crosby won't go out in the dark, he's a whoos :))

21 Jan, 2010

 

LOL. Does he keep his legs crossed from sunset until sunrise, then? That's a very long time, Grindle! ;-)

21 Jan, 2010

 

believe it or not, yes he does, unless in dire circumstances, he does get let out at 4am though LOL

21 Jan, 2010

 

But it's dark then, Grindle! ????

21 Jan, 2010

 

:D yup certainly is, go figure, he definately won't go out at night, maybe morning dark is different to evening dark LOL

21 Jan, 2010

 

What a clever dog! :-)))

21 Jan, 2010

 

I now understand why my tulips have dwindled. After planting 50, only about a dozen came up last spring and when I emptied the border only found a few. Never gave the squirrels a thought. They will go into bulb baskets with wire over next time I get some. Enjoyed your photo's Spritz.

21 Jan, 2010

 

I sympathise, Homebird - I used to suffer from squirrels in Kent. They were bad - but badgers are 100 times worse! :-(((((

Glad you liked the photos!

21 Jan, 2010

 

Spritz, I was just admiring your will of iron (leaving behind that beautiful clematis)....when you went to 'pot heaven' and succumbed to temptation..I feel sort of let down....but who wouldn't have bought that gorgeous helebore? I would:-) and what a bargain on the tulips, you may like them better than those you planned, badgers move in mysterious ways:-)

23 Jan, 2010

 

Hmmm...we'll see. I wanted YELLOW ones! Take a look at the next episode of the battle, Ba - I've just posted it!

Sorry I let you down, though. :-(((

23 Jan, 2010

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