Front Yard Tulips Emerge For First Spring - 2019

Seems like this is the week for (finally) some action in our garden/yard that indicates Spring is actually arriving.  Yesterday, I posted a photo of what I think is a 'clump'1 of Ostrich Ferns.  Today, let's talk about bulbs.  

Last October, I planted 50 Tulip bulbs in one of our beds out in front of the porch, just underneath a giant Norway Maple.  At the time, I did my best to protect them from various critters, but as time went on, I noticed some digging in the area.  Between the skunks looking for grubs and perhaps squirrels with their eyes on the actual bulbs, somebody was pretty active shortly after I planted these bulbs.  

And the soil?  I've talked about the soil we have close to our foundation.  It is terrible right now.  All clay.  If you read my Top 10 2019 Spring/Summer Gardening To-Do List, you'll remember that #1 on my list was to continue to improve the soil.  But, I've only have had one full garden season to work the soil and the bulk of that effort was a combination of adding a little organic material with mushroom compost in places, turning over and working the existing mulch, adding some perlite and gypsum and finally adding a thick five-inch layer of new mulch to help continue to build up the organic material.  

I wasn't totally certain that any of the tulips would make it through the combination of not ideal soil conditions + some apparently hungry critters.  

But...look at the photo up top:  we have bulbs shooting through the mulch.  After a long, hard Winter's nap, we're going to see some color soon.  Orange Double Late Princess Tulips and some Crystal Beauty Fringed Pink Tulips will be showing off soon enough.  

I'm not certain how many of the 50 bulbs that I planted both survived the Winter and the critters and will make it to bloom, but I'll try to get a photo when they do to count them.  I'm hoping for 50% - 25 tulips would be nice!

Below, you can see the area where these bulbs were planted at the base of the Maple Tree and you can even see that this Spring the same critters are back digging for something.  Hoping it is grubs.  Fearing it is these tulip bulbs.  

1. [Clump is a technical term, right?]


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