Welcome! Our focus centers on enticing gardeners to savor the beauty of flora and fauna in SE Wisconsin. Our team of horticulturists provide advice on deriving more pleasure from plants with less stress for the gardener. Visit our website and blog often for info that could make your gardening efforts more fulfilling. Perennials and annuals, trees and shrubs, soils and fertilizers, butterflies and birds(as well as voles and moles)will be discussed as we strive to share our expertise with you!
Gardeners and homeowners in Southeastern
Wisconsin hunger for spring flowering bulbs to appear during April; this hunger
can be appeased only when sunny days in April warm the soil and air, creating an
ideal environment for tulips (and other bulbs we planted last autumn) to
Initially the tulips’
strap-like leaves emerge. Next, we watch
patiently awaiting some pointed buds to appear; we wait… and we wait.
The deer and rabbits are also waiting for tulips
to emerge; the genus Tulipa is a
crowd favorite for deer and rabbits, who will unmercifully munch on foliage and
buds, even before blooms have opened.
Commercially produced deer and rabbit repellants are available at garden
centers, with mixed reviews on their effectiveness.
Some gardeners sprinkle bits of human hair
(from a recent haircut) around tulip clusters; sprinkling bottled hot sauce
around the foliage also can serve as a deterrent.
As you can see from the park-bench-tulip-patch photo I snapped at a botanical garden,
tulips planted in large masses create a dramatic splash of color in the spring
This small cluster of tulip buds shows the
status of tulips growing in my yard—still tightly closed due to our cold days
and nights during April.
Although a few April days provided spectacular
weather, most days were snowy, cold, damp, misty, windy or cloudy. In addition, during the evening of April
25 this area experienced a WWP (Weird Weather Phenomenon!) All occurred within a five minute time frame: wind, heavy rainfall, sunshine, an intense
rainbow AND hailstones which measured 1-1/2” in diameter! (I even took pictures of the hailstones,
since I never before witnessed such large hail—it was a bizarre April day in
Thankfully, most tulips were still closed during this storm so none
were damaged. The next time I am
impatiently awaiting the opening of our tulip blossoms, I might look to the
skies to see if another WWP is headed our way!
M. Lynn Schmid, Certified Master Gardener