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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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jen of a2eatwrite

I love surprises of that sort. And yes, most animals don't seem to like daffodils or marigolds. We can't get anything else to grow beyond tender, yummy shoots. ;-)

Sugared Harpy



Jen, yes! Marigolds are excellent companion plants for vegetable crops like tomatoes, too, because for some reason bugs don't like them, either.

I will be putting marigolds in pots in another month or so. I love their scent as well as their colors -- and they are rather durable, which sadly is a requirement of any plants who try to grow wherever I am the head gardener.

Ron Sullivan

Squirrels (and voles, holes, moles, gholes, proles, boles, doles, foals, Poles, soles, well maybe not gholes, and gophers) won't eat daffodils because daffodils are poisonous to eat.

That's one reason there are little patches of daffs in the old Welsh miners' cemetery in Black Diamond Mines park, just a bit north and east of here. They were planted on graves, being the Welsh national flower and all when it isn't the leek.

Also, daffs are drought-tolerant as all get-out. OTOH it's really hard to get tulips to prosper for more than one season here.

Good thing I like calochortus. Glad you did too.


Ron, that's very interesting about daffodils. I had no idea. I pretty much thought all bulbs were edible. Good thing I've never taught a survival course, eh? ;)

There is a story in The Tulip by Anna Pavord about a guy in Holland just before the craze hit in earnest whose friend had sent him some rare tulip bulbs, only he didn't know what they were and had them for supper, sautéed like onions as I recall. Good thing they weren't daffodils!

A neighbor of mine in Northern California grew gorgeous bulbs every year, including tulips, droughts and all. The real thing that gets tulips in that climate is actually a lack of frost. So if you want to grow tulips in parts of California that don't have real (snow and ice) winters, you either have to be made of money and just plant them like annuals every year or do as my neighbor did and lift and freeze them after bloom every year -- too much work for me!

Here, we have the winters, but we also have the gardening and munching critters galore, so people and institutions usually plant new ones every fall or they bury the tastiest bulbs in wire baskets that are difficult for the rodents to penetrate. Thing is, most tulips, especially the fancier ones, won't last indefinitely here, even if they aren't munched. Originating in the arid mountains of Asia Minor, they crave both deeply cold winters and a certain amount of drought, and our climate is just too wet here. Mold and rot get what the squirrels, etc., don't. Also, many of the fancier varieties just don't live very long, period.

They are lovely while they last, though. Esteemed correspondent Bipolar Lawyer Cook has recently aptly compared them to lollipops. I think this explains their irresistibility.

And I guess that makes the calochortus a wild lollipop. What a concept.

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