Honoring Earth Week: Thursday—The Darling Buds of April and a Nearly Full Moon

Time was when I had both daffodils and tulips in my garden. In short order, the moles voles took care of the tulip bulbs—at the little house in the big woods, little rodents positively abound, even though we have always had cats. So that was that for tulips.

But the daffodils were another matter. Apparently, moles do not care for their bulbs, and for years and years the daffodils’ jaunty blooms brightened an otherwise drab spring garden. But then the bulbs petered out, as bulbs sometimes do, and I must shamefacedly admit that I did not replace them.

Who’s sorry now? I am, that’s for sure, especially after seeing the daffodil pictures on Jason’s wonderful blog Garden in a City. I have vowed to mend my lax ways and plant bulbs this fall so that next spring I can have cheerful yellow in my spring garden. In the meantime, I’ve spotted some daffodils in my neighbor’s garden up the road. Perhaps she’ll let me photograph them.

I do have hyacinths coming up, and their bulbs have proved remarkably sturdy. They do not spread much—hyacinths, so sweet and showy, seem to know their value and feel no need to elbow their way through the garden. Over thirty years ago, when we first moved to Winthrop, my mother-in-law bought some bulbs and randomly planted them in bunches throughout the garden. I still love how they pop up here and there, little spring presents to dazzle us with both looks and scent.

Right now, the darling buds are just beginning to form. After taking a picture of various plants, I noticed, for the first time, the little red tips of the leaves.


“Do the red tips go away as the plant matures?” Clif asked when I showed him the picture.

“I don’t remember,” I answered sheepishly, and I promised to keep a better eye on them.

We have had many days of azure skies and sun. Naturally, there have been fire warnings, but these clear days can’t be beat for working in the yard, for raking and uncovering flower beds. We are making good progress, and in the next week or so I expect the gardens will be free of leaves and ready for wood ash, organic fertilizer, and compost.

Then comes the part I always look forward to—planting flowers in pots. How I love doing this, and I’m always sorry when the last flower is planted.

Tonight there will be a nearly full moon. Appropriately, the full moon—the pink moon—is tomorrow, on Earth Day. As the nights have been as clear as the days, the waxing moon fills the evening with a bright, luminous glow that would make a flash light unnecessary on a walk up our dark road.


On a recent visit our daughter Dee asked, “Where are the street lights?”

My response. “Dee, you’ve been gone too long. We’ve never had them.”

And this is why the full moon is such a treat on our road. For a week each month, weather permitting, we can look out our windows at night and see the yard, the trees, and the road.

Addendum: Eliza Waters kindly pointed out that moles are insectivores, and it was probably voles that ate my tulip bulbs. Thanks for the correction, Eliza!



10 thoughts on “Honoring Earth Week: Thursday—The Darling Buds of April and a Nearly Full Moon”

  1. I love that photo with the red leaf tips – it’s so striking! I feel I must defend the moles as they are getting a bad wrap here. They are insectivores (http://outwitcritters.com/mole/diet.html) and it is most likely voles that are eating your bulbs, etc. They are my nemesis in the garden!
    Like you, a lot of my bulbs petered out, so last year I bought a fragrant narcissi mix and am looking forward to seeing them bloom soon. VanEngelen.com is a great source if you’re looking. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Eliza, thanks so much for the info about moles. Yes, it is most probably voles doing the damage. We have ’em in abundance at the little house in the big woods. I’ll be adding an addendum to my piece.

  2. It turns out that our inherited garden is lean on bulbs. There are some tulips in the perennial bed (a little damaged from the cold and snow) and one lovely, lonely stand of daffodils at the edge of the lawn. I see a major bulb planting for me this fall.

  3. Rodents ate your bulbs – they ate mine too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I should plant more daffodils, but instead I enjoy Jason’s and several other bloggers’ bulb extravaganzas. I decided a few years back that one ‘mature’ gardener couldn’t do all things so I stopped beating myself up for my shortcomings. I’ll look forward to your bulb photos next year. I’ve never seen those red tips before – interesting.

    1. Judy, you are so right. Without hired help, there is a limit to what the “mature” gardener can do. Flower gardening should be done for pleasure, and there is no point beating ourselves up about it.

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