Honestly, it wasn't part of my plan for the Monday afternoon to give 200 tulips an individual spray of animal repellent. Not that tulips have a strong sense of individuality, but the beastly beasts who come and nibble the new shoots don't get the message otherwise.
I went out for some fresh air during the morning and had a look at my alpine patch to see whether the mini-daffodils were visible yet. Then I saw the tulips, or what was left of the tulips. Goodness, it's January! I saw some tiny shoots a couple of weeks ago, thought they were crazy and covered them with pine needles against frost. I don't know what happens if frost does come. On the other hand, daffodils are supposed to bloom in February here, and tulips in March, so I guess they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. It's just that the previous three winters were exceptionally cold.
I had a satchel of repellent left since last spring but it lasted for about one third of my tulip beds. S.O.T! (Save Our Tulips!) Torn between the garden and the computer, I asked Staffan to get some more, which he did, noble as he is, but I still had to spend three hours tidying the beds to find all the shoots. Bitter experience: miss one shoot, and it's gone. Meanwhile, I discovered daffodils, hyacinths, snowdrops and even bluebells. I know that animals don't like daffodils, but bluebells? I sprayed them just in case.
As every year, and more intensively each year, I feel the joy of seeing nature coming alive, every flower, every shrub, just as last year, with vigour and persistence that also make me feel envious and a bit sad. I hope there will be someone enjoying my tulips and daffodils when I am gone.