February 27, 2010
Cloudy and patches of rain today. Can you have a patch of rain? A patch of clouds, yes, but a patch of rain? Patches of cloud to be sure, but I’m not sure about patches of rain. I guess the question is whether a patch is a physical thing or whether or not it can be a period of time as well. I’ll have to pass on that one. Not a bad day all in all. I took a bit of time to dig some of the daff that have sent up only a single leaf. This is, I have read and subsequently affirmed as being true, a sign that the grub of the Narcissus Bulb Fly has been at work destroying the bulbs that I worked so hard to plant. Sure enough, there was the tell-tale softness in the base and when I cut the bulbs open, there was the little grub, but not so little- all plump and fat having grown all winter eating my daffodil bulbs.
The little buggers don’t actually kill but bulb, just the current years flower. The bulb will sent up new leaf shoots, divide to produce new bulbs and in a few years will flower again. It must be the base of the flower stem where the adult lays the egg, not just on a leaf. I don’t know this as a fact though. There is one area of the garden on the east side that seems to have been hit quite hard by the NBFs. Where last year there were a lot of flowers, this year there are areas with no flowers at all. I will have to dig in earnest to dig up as many of the infested bulbs as I can so that they don’t develop into adults the better able to infest more bulbs. What a frustrating job, fighting against Mother Nature so that we can take advantage of her.
This is a section of the garden that was completely overgrown with weeds and perennials of various kinds. Last fall, I cleaned it out completely and started over again. These daffs are the first of what will, I hope, be a really colourful section of the garden, right beside the cottage. Lots of tulips, irises and lilies yet to come.