Now that Tulip season is over in Chicago, I am desperately trying to figure out a way that I can have masses of garish Tulips for myself instead of coveting all of the fabulous Tulip gardens in the Suburb of Oak Park, east of River Forest.
I live 2 blocks in from a forest preserve along the Des Plaines River. It is not uncommon to see a 10 point buck taking a stroll along the sidewalk; or a family of deer grazing on a well tended garden. In the spring during our routine flooding season, Deer come out in droves; the bucks chasing off kids who dare to come too close.... like mine used to do.
Tulips are a spring delicacy and they will snack the heads off of every last one of them in an evening, leaving just stems and tattered leaves for our enjoyment. Its just not worth it until you see the spectacle in neighboring yards the next spring.
There is no other bulb like a Tulip for spring color. The colors are so rich and varied; the shapes so varied and decadent. The foliage dies down quickly after it has finished flowering and can be fully removed when over 50 % of it has turned yellow. This usually happens just a couple of weeks after it is done blooming unlike its deer resistant cousin the daffodil, whose leaves will hold on well into July and sometimes August, leaving the gardener to try to come up with all kinds of silly ways to mask its ugly foliage; like rolling it under other plants and weaving it into strange balls. Nothing really works effectively.
So maybe next year....
I will plant a few experimental Tulips this fall, and I will promise myself to run out with my sprayer of Bobbex ( the most horrid smelling stuff on earth for repelling Deer and Rabbits and me!) and spray them daily. And maybe someday I can achieve the level of color chaos that I have envy...... never give up!