Bulbs for the Cutting Garden
This afternoon I planted bulbs in the cutting beds:
All told, I put in 150 bulbs today. They included several varieties of daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, irises, allium, and lilies. For the cutting garden I'm not too worried about planting in a natural-looking way – straight rows to fit in as many as possible will do just fine in a place where most of them are meant to be cut down to bring inside anyway.
Faithful readers will recall that the bulbs in the perennial border were either devoured or relocated by our rapacious squirrel population. This time, we are working to prevent damage from the get-go:
We covered the whole bulb bed with a roll of chicken wire. Instead of burying it, we screwed wooden battens directly to the edges of the raised bed to hold the chicken wire in place:
In the spring, the green shoots should find their way through the holes in the wire, but squirrels will have a difficult time burrowing in. This solution isn't feasible in the perennial border, where bulbs are nestled among many other plants, but it works here in our squared-off bed. And since the cutting beds are more utilitarian in nature, I don't mind that the wire stays visible.
We won't really know until spring how well this worked, but I am hopeful that our proactive protection will do the trick. If this is successful, it will be just the first of many rolls of chicken wire pressed into service in the squirrel wars, I think.
By the way, the chicken wire is only covering the section of raised bed with all the tulips in it. Other areas have daffodils, allium, and irises, and these have been ignored by the rodents in the past. The cutting beds are getting filled in pretty thoroughly now, and in the spring I'll fill in the rest of the space with a couple new rose bushes, perhaps a peony, and annuals.
Only five more months until we get to see what it looks like!