IMG_8089I added more tulips to our Urban Potager this past fall. The orange and pink “Young Royal Tulip Duet” from Brecks are a delightful surprise this spring. This is their first year blooming. I call them my fun plants since they are not much for the pollinators, but they are “eye-candy” for me to enjoy as  I work in the early spring garden. I have chicken wire all over my vegetable garden, and I am busy hardening and growing many of my spring/early summer vegetables. I know they don’t do much for nature but they sure….

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Lift my spirits! I am so busy adding MORE dwarf fruit trees, varieties of blueberry, and strawberry plants. This spring, I added another section to my asparagus bed. I have finally finished all my perennial fruit plants. They are small but in a few years will be producing enough fruit to keep us supplied throughout the winter. I finished my frozen raspberries, a few weeks ago. Yum, in yogurt! Organic fruit is just too expensive when you try to purchase it at the store. Growing “organic” fruit on your property is one way to keep yourself healthy and save money.

IMG_8086I wasn’t sure I liked these peony type tulips (Pink Star Tulip from Breck’s), but now I am enjoying them as they flop all over in the garden on top.I don’t know what is up with me this year and the color pink + orange!

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When they first came out, I thought they were a bit unattractive, but boy did they sure catch my eye after they filled out a few days later.

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As you can see from my photo above, I am all CHICKEN WIRED in for spring! I have had a tough time with some of my spring seedlings in years past. Most of them were eaten to the ground by our resident critters. Usually by this time of year; I have lost more than half of my cole crops. I put them out late March to early April when not much else is in the garden. Not this year! Nothing has been eaten. This next week, I will be taking most of the chicken wire down. As I work in our Urban Potager/Modern Day Kitchen Garden, I will enjoy my new tulips as they fill my day with beauty! I will be adding some more this fall in my garden beds, for me to enjoy each spring!

 

 

 

 

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

55 comments

  1. Gorgeous tulips! What eats your seedlings? Chipmunks and squirrels or something bigger? Voles ate most of my ‘Green Wave’ parrot tulips I put in last fall. Argh! Guess I gotta get chicken wired!

    1. I remember your “Green Wave” parrot tulip-stunning! lol-well, the bunnies eat all my Swiss Chard,spinach, spring cole crops which means I have to chicken wire them in until the “clover” or stuff greens up so they have something to eat. I grow my cole crops from seed, so I put them out early March-April when not much else is out there to provide greens for them. I also have birds, squirrels, chipmunks that all love my cole crops! I chicken wired myself in and nothing has been touched. They leave the lettuce alone, but I still wired it in-LOL! I am surprised my bulbs made it through the winter-Chance is out there roaming, so I believe they are not as brave up closer to the house! I have to roll it (wire) up next week, but I may leave it around the Scarlet Kale + Chard till they get a bit taller:-) I understand “Argh” or “GRRR”:-)

    1. something about pink and orange just speaks spring to me:-) there is an orange and pink peony type tulip, I just gotta have for next spring!:-)

  2. Robbie we need the ‘just pretties’ too – though I’m sure the mere presence of the tulips are a balm for the garden sprites as well! I come from a country where #8 fencing wire, chicken wire and corrugated iron are pre-requisites for the handy person. We fix, build, decorate our interiors and exteriors and entertain with these immeasurably handy items 🙂 Oh, I almost forgot to say I LOVE your pink and orange palette – it looks stunning!! xoxo

    1. lol-Pauline, I know you love color! That orange and pink just inspires me:-) They are my “pretties:-) Chicken wire rules this spring! You always make me feel so much better…I showed you my chicken wire-LOL-bared my garden! tee hee!

  3. Eye candy is right, Robbie! Wowee! Love it all. The peony tulips are gorgeous. You and your mighty green thumb! ❤️

    1. Chloris- I thought of you when I went inside to grab some scissors to participate in the “monday vase” but I could not cut them this year. They are not an abundant grouping yet since it is their first year, but next year! I want a vase of these:-) I also found some more peony ones I just have to put in this fall:-)

  4. Those tulips are really beautiful, and while it is in a plant’s nature to want to be attractive to animals, humans are another animal after all 🙂

  5. Your garden looks lovely Robbie, even the chicken wire looks just right. We have voles here, but I am comforted knowing they eat slugs. I really like that blowsy tulip too.

    1. I could hang lights on the chicken wire-lol, but I am taking most of it up this week. I just have to get some more peony “blowsy” tulips-there is an orange and pink one! They sure don’ t look like much until they fill out. I can’t put peony bushes in my garden( too small of a garden), so I have peony tulips:-)

  6. I am with Ms Pauline. We need those pretties to feed our soul. A mixed, integrated garden is the very best all round garden. Little splashes of colour to delight the eye along with more functional food and crossovers that do both like gorgeous rainbow chard. SO with you on those bollocking critters! I think our resident white fly have set up a white fly hippy commune and invited all of their mates to come and live with them. I have never seen so many white flys in all of my life! We are going to change over as many of our garden beds to water wicked beds prior to next summer. We need to be able to save water, save energy (you only have to water wicked garden beds about once a week) and time and also sort out most of my critter problems (raised wicked water beds are tough for those invasive little swines to get… aside from the white fly that is!) I adore those peony tulips. I am not even a pink person and I have my tongue stuck out of the side of my mouth and my fingers being counted on one hand to justify their future existence and inclusion in Serendipity Farms raggle taggle gypseo garden. I LOVE this blog Ms Robbie. You are always there to splash around the colour and make me smile whenever I need it the most. I think I have just succumbed to the dreaded lurgy and have a nasty headache and am feeling stuffy and blue. I might even call off college today but at least my innards have been delighted by your gorgeous colourful display and your tenacity with those varmints 🙂

    1. lol:-) You always make me laugh or smile:-) You should take off a day, you work way too hard + you deserve to put your feet up and do “nothing”:-) I know- I have never been a pink person either and they have just captured my eye + I plan on adding some more next year-for me! I keep stopping by to visit your blog and ponder-how is Fran doing-BUSY, I bet! I am excited to see your new project and sift through all your work that the two of you are creating-it will be the BEST, I have no doubt.
      I took the wire down today, but I left some up with my kale, it is purple and THEY ARE NOT GETTING THEIR TEETH ON THEM! I went inside with my dog and looked out and a BIG fat gray squirrel was wandering in my un-chicken wired( if that is a word-lol) beds….I sent Chance out and he chased him away-That will teach him-tee hee:-) He will remember Chance is here to make sure he does not get a chance in my garden beds! I love color and it sure delights me when I see it this early-it motivates me to plant more!

      1. Our possums are so bolshie that they don’t even care that Earl is here. They just wait till he is in bed and run amok. I am taking the day off and will take it easy. Lots of herbal tea I think 🙂

      2. I have not seen any possums this year, oh maybe I better knock on wood-LOL! I know they get stuff when we are inside, but at least they run when he chases! Good for you-everyone deserves a day off:-)

    2. oh, by the way I have never heard of a “water wicked garden bed” or else maybe I know it by a different name-lol-remember “piles”!

      1. very interesting! I was listening to NPR today and they were talking about how California( our year round growing state) is having drought problems and it is getting very bad. They have to pump water into their state from another state! We need to learn how to do these things and grow our food closer to home:-) I don’t think the drought is going to disappear + we need to take care of our water:-)

      2. Wicked water beds are the very best way to grow veggies as they use a whole lot less water and so long as the reservoir under the veggies is kept reasonably full, the water will wick up to the veggies roots where they need it. They choose how much water they need and you don’t have to stand around watering where most of that water doesn’t go to where it is needed and more of it evaporates than reaches the root zone. I was very happy when I found out about water wicked garden beds 🙂

      3. The difference is that ollas are porous and leach water into the soil where water wicked beds are self contained and the water is contained inside the bed and used by plants planted into the bed. Ollas are a great idea but they would cost a lot of money to buy. They would certainly look pretty in the garden but old fridges, boats and shower bases are much cheaper from our local tip shop so I think I will have to go with them till I win the lottery (not that I ever buy a ticket 😉 )

      4. I thought that when I saw them years ago:-) Yours sound much more affordable and efficient.I feel the future will require most of us to create these type of beds!

  7. Chicken wire: check! Hardware cloth: check! Heavy-duty galvanized wire: check! Am I forgetting anything? The critters will certainly let me know if I am! 🙂

  8. Lovely! And here I thought you were going to share about using the chicken wire below ground to save the tulip bulbs from gophers.

    1. lol-the squirrels/chipmunks eat our tulip bulbs, I am surprised I had them bloom this year-I sure hope I can get a few tulip beds every year. They inspire me to work in the garden:-)

  9. We cover our seedlings with chicken wire to keep cats from making a mess in there. Your photos are pretty, with us in autumn it’s nice to see flowers blooming 🙂 Not an orange girl myself, apart from Calendula I have never had orange in the garden but must admit I have loved seeing their orange tops through the garden. Enjoy Robbie 🙂

    1. I was taking the chicken wire up yesterday and rolled it up to go around my pole bean starts:-) We all have little critters that love to mess around in our beds! I was never much a pink girl, but lately it inspires me in spring + this year I have some “pink” bee friendly dahlias that I just had to trial in my garden to see if the bees do really like them-I am an orange + red lover in the garden but they are hard to use in the garden since they draw attention:-) I love to mix it up:-)

      1. I have always just liked white, blue and pink flowers but since we have so few flowers in the garden now it’s whatever I am growing for herbal things but I have taken heaps of cuttings of a scarlet geranium that grows up through the cypress hedge and that is dotted around along with the orange calendulas. Amongst the greens of the garden they look really pretty and I love seeing them, though they are dying off for winter now.

  10. Oh, I love, love, love those peony tulips Robbie! Eye candy for sure. Bummer about the chicken wire. I remember my days with the herd of rabbits. I didn’t want to cage in the garden. If I were to start over, I would start with a gated garden right away. So far this year, I haven’t seen anything eaten. I usually put down the plant trays I get from the nursery, upside down, where I plant seeds to protect them from cats and nibblers. I wish I could say seedlings – honestly I’m pretty disappointed – not many of my seeds are doing well – greenhouse and all. I just brought in my tomatoes and eggplants and put them on a heating pad. I think next year I will start seeds inside again under lights and only once they have germinated move them into the greenhouse. I need some uplifting tulips! Perhaps you are attracted to pink and orange because your sacral chakra needs attention? I always wonder when I am attracted to a certain a color – I used to be very attracted to orange – now it’s turquoise.

    1. I was just heading over to see what you were up to:-) You beat me to it! Yep maybe something is off, but I sure love different colors at different times. I feel “pink + orange” for spring but not for summer until fall. I did get some “bee-friendly” dahlia tubers that are-guess-PINK:-) Pink is my color for this year!
      I have had problems with bunnies building their nests in my gardens. My dogs raid their nests + now that I only have one dog he found the nest and did do some damage. They put it in my winter compost pile-REALLY? lol-I felt badly since they are so darn cute. It is mostly when I put stuff out in March and early april that they bother my stuff. Nothing else to eat in the garden. I took down all the fences yesterday, so I will see if it is all good out there.
      My seedlings are not their best this year either. I was too busy doing other stuff and did not give them the care I usually do. I did notice the seed I saved from my garden did much better than the organic seed I purchased from other sources. That is interesting. We shall see how they do this year in the garden:-) Happy Gardening!

      1. The castor bean seeds I saved from plants last year all germinated! But I am really bummed about my tomatoes and eggplant. I think the nights are just too cool in the greenhouse maybe? Some things germinated, some things haven’t. The nasturtium hasn’t which is the oddest because that always germinates so easily. At this point I just planted some right in the garden. It’s a new process so I don’t know if it’s seed, the greenhouse, the high temperatures during the day (too hot?), the overnight temperatures … it’ll take some figuring out but in this climate I always feel pressured by our short growing season!

      2. I totally agree. I don’t have a greenhouse, have a south-facing room that I use as a green house for it is mostly windows. I start my night shades under lights, so I have no experience starting them in a green house. I wish I had the space for a greenhouse, but I decided to put more dwarf fruit trees + another strawberry patch-LOL. I am all fruited in on my property:-) I want to save my own seed from my garden after this year. I saved my casper egg plant seed and they are doing amazing. Last year, I tried to start some from a company and they were so so. I also saved my pepper seeds and I am impressed with their germination. This year, I will save my tomato seeds and see if they look better than ones from other companies. I feel there is something to this seed saving. I put my nasturtium out side, but have not seen any action. I sure hope , I get some! I agree, our short season is so annoying, but each place has its issues:-)

  11. I think that’s what Heaven looks like. Flowers as far as the eye can see. They are just beautiful. I have planted nothing yet this year but have my chicken wire ready. I’m hoping to catch my breath soon and make some progress.

    1. I agree-Heaven would be a woodland meadow or sunny wildflower pasture! I totally understand-catching your breath:-) T here is still time-don’t worry-I am a bit early this year but I have a schedule that I follow now since I have lived here and “I” have acclimated to the seasons-lol. You are new to your area and have a new place to start a new garden-Happy Gardening:-)

  12. I erected a rabbit barricade around my property last year that is fairly effective. I haven’t had any bunnies in the garden yet this year. Yay! All my green plastic coated chicken wire is hidden by plants. 🙂

    1. LOL-that is ideal-green chicken wire! Now that is smart!!! I took most of it down yesterday since the yard is greened up and they are not bothering my “sole” green plants out there planted in the all brown growing beds-LOL. Now green chicken wire=that is smart! Have to see if I can find that some place:-)

  13. These tulips are stunning! Sadly we can’t grow them here, it just doesn’t get cold enough in winter, but I appreciate you sharing yours!

    1. awww…my pleasure. I just have to get more for next spring! Planting more this fall:-) I was outside the other day and did notice the bees had their plants, so I did not feel guilty having my “eye-candy” in the garden! They inspire me to want more flowers. I just hope the squirrels don’t eat these next winter. They left them alone this winter:-) Our issues are critters digging them up, so fingers crossed they keep multiplying each year for spring inspiration:-)

  14. I use chicken wire to keep the squrrels out of my tulip pots after I sink them in the ground. As for tulips being good for nature – if people are part of nature, then tulips are good for nature!

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