Friday, May 2, 2008

Tulip 'Monsella'

I could go on with the daffodil pictures for the next few months, but I think I'll just talk about a few of the other spring bloomers here, some bulbs and some not. This is Tulip 'Monsella' which is one of my favorites. It has lasted for almost 2 weeks so far, but I think the next good rain, predicted for tomorrow, will finish them off. Tulips are mostly annuals here because in our hot, damp climate, the bulbs just don't cure properly after blooming. This is the second year for these and they have increased in size - something unheard of here. They were also planted with Repellex tabs in the holes with them to discourage chewing furry vermin and I'm sure that has helped them to survive to bloom a second year. Bulbs, other than daffodils are sometimes difficult here. Muscari also seem to be pretty safe, as are Pushkinia, Scilla and some of the other small bulbs, but crocus seem to be a favorite. If the critters don't tunnel underground to eat them (or chew off their roots) the larger furry things dig them up. Repellex is amazing stuff, but temporarily off the market to make their label conform with the EPA regulations. The product is fine, there was just some wording they didn't like. We stocked up on it once we knew we wouldn't be able to get it for awhile. It is really a life saver for plants. Hopefully it will be back on the market soon because we're almost out. I don't expecially like working with it because it contains Bitrex, which is why it works which is one of the bitterest substances known. I always wear disposable gloves or use tongs of some sort because if it is on your hands it takes awhile to get off. We bought some of the straight Bitrex powder once to mix in with other repellents, but that was much more difficult because you could taste it if someone opened the jar in the next room. Weird. Those of you who are of a certain age may have had personal experience with Bitrex since it's what they used to put in those anti-thumb-sucking remedies they used to sell to break little kids of the habit.

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