Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring slowly gives up some flowers and Squirrel battle update

Rather than propping up the downfacing hellebore flowers I decide to shoot upward with the camera held close to the ground. I shot blind since I couldn't use the lcd monitor to frame the flower but I could center the flower fairly well. All of the hellebores were shot this way except for the first photo.





This is the second primrose to bloom this spring.






The primrose I showed earlier is now in full bloom. The color is really not this blue but more of a purplish blue. I tried to correct the color using a photo editor and this is the closest I could get but it still doesn't come close to the actual color.






The Scilla was very early this year. Even faster than our earliest daffodil by several days.



This is our earliest blooming daffodil.




...and the Camellia japonica 'Springs Promise' is still blooming or I should say is resuming its bloom cycle with the onset of warmer temperatures.


Squirrel Update:

The Havahart trap is doing its job. I had some trouble adjusting the trigger mechanism earlier but I solved the problem by greasing the parts so it would slide easier. The trap I bought was made for larger animals so the trigger is not as sensitive as I would have liked but I have it working pretty well now.

The tally is 7 squirrels now. We caught 4 today! A banner day. I used organic natural peanut butter as bait for the first time and the squirrels seem to love it. I still saw two gray squirrels and two black ones running around the bird feeders so we'll attempt to catch those in the next few days and any others I missed seeing. The upside of getting rid of the squirrels is that we use so much less sunflower seeds so the trap should pay for itself rather quickly.

12 Comments:

Blogger Vanillalotus said...

Gorgeous Blooms. I love the color of the helebores. Good luck on your squirrel catching.

7:28 PM  
Blogger theysaywordscanbleed said...

lovely flowers

West Bremerton

8:37 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Thanks Vanillatotus. I hoped the hellebores would bloom sooner instead of competing with the brighter colors of the bulbs. But I'm being nitpicky. They are elegant and beautiful. It is amazing to me that the squirrels don't seem to have a clue that the trap is something to avoid. Thanks for stopping by.

-----------------------------------
Hi Theysaywordscanbleed,

Thank you. I was reading poems by Czeslaw Milosz and I think your poems compare favorably. Dense with images - a painter of words.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Oooh... I love that second hellebore, the white one with all of those pretty freckles! I am kicking myself for not planting scilla now that I see the cute flowers on yours, too.

Are you zone 7 there, Ki? I am just curious, as I was thinking that I could grow camellias here... but then I was thinking that we were in a fairly similar zone.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kim,
The previous owner of our home planted scillas in small bunches all around the yard but they were very sparsely planted. We bought more because the dainty blue flowers looked so nice. Hellebores are all lovely but I wish our H. niger, my favorite, did better. I don't think it put out any flowers this year :( The freckley one does look rather nice.

I'm in zone 6b. The camellias struggle to grow here but we had a very mild winter so there wasn't any die back and the plants look relatively healthy. It also retained a lot of flower buds which are blooming now and extends the bloom time from October to possibly all of April and maybe even into May. I would plant more but they usually suffer a lot from the cold even if they are planted in the most protected spot in our yard. I have one plant each of C. japonica and C. sasanqua. The C. japonica seems to be much more cold hardy. Thanks for your comment.

5:26 PM  
Blogger joey said...

A lovely post of your spring garden, Ki, including the 'dreaded' squirrel update! Rest knowing you captured beautiful photos (and those squirels). Sleep tight ... you need a good night's rest!

5:46 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Joey,
Thanks for the kind words. I would rather be capturing photos of plants and flowers instead of squirrels which seem to be multiplying but you gotta do what you gotta do. ;) Caught another black colored squirrel but there are now 3 gray ones rather than the 2 I thought remained. Oh well....

4:09 AM  
Blogger kate smudges said...

I enjoyed seeing your Hellebores - I like the darker-coloured one the best! But then, they are all beautiful. As is your Primrose...

I didn't realise that you had so many squirrels on your property. Your trap will pay for itself in no time.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Your Hellebores are lovely. I've never considered trapping the squirrels, but then what would be the point of calling my garden Squirrelhaven.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Ki, the blue primroses look so odd that I was relieved to read the color was a little "off". I love all the hellebores. One of the Divas of the Dirt planted an unnamed Lenten Rose a couple of years ago and I saw a flower last week - it was small and so low to the ground you could barely see it, but a hellebore lived in Austin! This gives me incentive to try one in my own garden.

Good luck with the squirrels -

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

12:58 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kate, thanks. The hellebores are elegant and restrained. A nice counterpoint to the exuberant spring bulbs.

-------------------------------------

Hi Mr. McGregor's Daughter,
We would not be trapping the squirrels if they hadn't dug numerous croucuses. The birds sure love the absence of the squirrels though. We will miss the acrobatic antics but only a little. I hope they are not as destructive in your garden.

-----------------------------------

Hi Annie,
It's actually more than a "little off" but if I adjusted the photo petal color to match the actual flower the ground would be red and the green non existent.

Apparently there are hellebores that grow naturally in the Mediterranean region which would be close to your USDA zone? Some research should pinpoint which varieties do well in warmer climates. Wikipedia mentions that "Helleborus niger is commonly called the Christmas rose, due to an old legend that it sprouted in the snow from the tears of a young girl who had no gift to give the Christ child in Bethlehem. In Greek mythology, Melampus of Pylos used hellebore to save the daughters of the king of Argos from a madness, induced by Dionysus, that caused them to run naked through the city, crying, weeping, and screaming." If that's true then it grows in West Bank and Greece which approximate the temps in your zone?

Only 3 more to go.

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Smith said...

Lovely flowers....Recently found best quality & variety of bulbs and plants for my garden at Dutch Gardens.....!

5:22 AM  

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