Nearing Halloween, is anybody else cursed?

heleninramseyOctober 19, 2007

It is the time of year to plant bulbs, I'm gonna do it again, even though I seem to be cursed when it comes to spring blooming bulbs.

My first year in Minnesota I planted tulips in my front yard...the day that they bloomed, it snowed on them, like 5 inches of snow...but I planted again the next year.

The next year my tulips failed to develope stems, no long lovely tulips blowing in the wind, they were short...really short, they bloomed about one inch above the soil line, and I still don't know why.

We moved to my current home and once again I planted tulips. It was a bear to plant them, I wanted them under a tree with my rhododendrons, so I tediously worked them in among the tree roots, I could envision them blooming and blowing in the breeze with the PJM blossoming and the crabapple tree in all of its glory. All the pieces were falling into place, the PJM bloomed (it was almost finished, but still blooming) the crabappple was starting to bloom and the tulips were budded and ready to go. I woke up one morning, the morning I was sure that the tulips would be open, to find that the deer had eaten the buds off of every tulip but 2...Aaaarrrgghhh

The final blow happened two years later. I read in a garden mag about planting crocus corms in the grass, particularly under trees, it would look like a shower of flowers in the spring, and when they were done blooming, you would just mow like usual. So I painstakingly planted a bag of 100 crocus in my front yard under an ash tree. I also put some tulips, here and there, in the landscaping. My new yellow lab, Daggett, was about a year old. He kept me company as I planted. That night he spent alot of time outside and I thought nothing of it, it was a really nice evening. The next morning I left on my run, before the sun was up, as usual. When I returned home I saw why Daggett had been outside so long. He had dug up and eaten every bulb that I had planted. The crocus that were planted in the grass were dug out (not as neatly as I had planted them either) I had such a mess! I had to reseed a huge amount of lawn. The tulips were gone too, and I could have cried. To add insult to injury, he threw most of them up again, in the house of course.

I still put in bulbs...learning from each disaster, and waiting for the next. So that is my garden curse, anybody else similarly vexed?

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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Wow Helen...what a bummer. No, I can't say that I've been cursed with bulbs. But they sure are a lot of work getting them all planted. I can feel your pain.

I love seeing my tulips, crocus, peonies and iris all blooming in the spring. I can't seem to grow the fancy daffodils for some reason. I've tried them so many times to no avail. Anybody have luck with these?

Good luck getting some bulbs planted this fall. I hope you have a beautiful spring bloom. ;)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 8:29PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Wow, Helen, it seems as though you've had more than your share of bad bulb luck. Hope this is the year you get to enjoy them in all their glory.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 7:02PM
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Speaking of a curse...

I've been having strange trouble with scarlet runner beans. Last year, a friend told me about how lovely they were and asked if he could plant them where they'd grow on my fence. I said yes and he put an entire packet in the ground, along ten feet of fence. He planted them in April, way too early (I didn't realize what he was out there doing until he came in and announced he was done). Most of them rotted in the ground. I assumed they all would and started to dig up the area in May. I discovered that three plants had made it, but one was already nibbled to the ground by a rabbit or other critter. In digging up the area to plant other stuff, I accidentally killed another. The last one struggled for a long time and eventually produced three beans. Only three.

So this year I planted those three beans. All came up. I accidentally bumped one and it freakishly broke in half and died. Another had the growing tip damaged (I'm not sure by what) and never made it. The last grew slowly... so slowly... and produced three seed pods. I zealously guarded these pods against husband and children, reminding them every time we picked beans not to pick THOSE pods. Leave them be, let them ripen.

Last week I cleaned out all the other plants growing on that fence and cut down the sunflowers, etc. I didn't have time to do it neatly, so there were a lot of stragglers. We had a house sitter over - the same friend who had wanted to plant the scarlet runners in the first place. We were in a hurry when we left and I didn't give any specific instructions about the garden (not that I'd even thought about it). When we came back and I was unpacking, I saw my garden basket near the door had four bean pods in it and one was a scarlet runner pod! I asked him, "What happened to the other two? This was on a plant with two other pods." He said, "What? Oh, well, the other ones didn't look very good. I think squirrels got at them. I threw them away."

I have a bad squirrel problem, but I've grown beans for two years and I have yet to have a squirrel (or anything else) eat the bean pods. Hoping the squirrels had only chewed on the pods and there were a few seeds left, I asked where he'd thrown them away. He said the trash. So I looked. All I found was carefully hulled pods, hulled by a human. When he saw that I was looking, he said, "I just threw the beans out. They were kind of dry and hard."

This is a nice guy. Were it nearly anyone else, I would suspect malice. But he's dumb and nice and well-intentioned. I took a deep breath. "Okay. Where did you throw the beans?" He said (and I'm not exaggerating or kidding here), "Just out in the back yard. I was hoping a squirrel or a bird might eat them... I'm sorry."

I bought a flashlight (my old one was dead) and searched. I found three. This morning I found two more after carefully raking the area where I'd found the other three. That's probably all there were, as they weren't big pods. There are three beans still in the pod that was in the basket. I imagine that he thought he'd help finish cleaning off the fence and noticed a few bean pods. After that, it's sheer human perversity and the absurdity of life. Was he bored and decided to shred the pods, then tossed the seeds when he was done? If so, why carry the hulls inside to put in the trash? Did he think that the dried out pods wouldn't make good snap beans (I haven't grown dry beans so he hasn't seen that)?

It's just weird. Plain weird. It's not a big loss to me, as I could just buy a packet of seeds and be as well off, maybe more. Plus the scarlet runners are apparently very accident-prone and don't grow well where I'm planting them. But it was bizarre that after two years of coddling, most of my seeds get tossed out so "a squirrel or a bird might eat them" by a well-meaning helper.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 2:17PM
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heleninramsey are cursed by those beans. I wonder if they are anything like hyacinth beans? All I got off those was foliage, no flowers, no pretty pods...not quite as tenacious as you are though, just never planted them again. Helen.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 6:51PM
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