The past few days of unseasonably hot weather has really taken a toll around here, especially the early spring bulbs. Thankfully, Rod Blackburn photographed my favorite tulip, an heirloom-variety called ‘Van der Neer,’ two weeks ago. Here they are, in a drift in the Serpentine Garden, before 93-degree temperatures fried them:
Hybridized in 1860, ‘Van der Neer’ is a perfect tulip for indoor forcing. The flowers are borne on squat, rather than tall stems, which means they will not require staking if coaxed into advanced bloom. If you enjoy forcing spring bulbs — I certainly do — be sure to put ‘Van der Neer’ on your list.
More upsetting than the demise of the tulips, hyacinths and puschkenia, however, has been the sudden onslaught of ticks. I noticed two of them crawling on Lily’s face this morning, after returning from our morning walk. Lily, I should probably explain, is the Beagle of the Manor. I gave her a second dose of Frontline this evening, and even considered putting some between my shoulder blades, too. If anyone knows a great tick-repellant for humans, please post it in the comments section.
Now, I positively loathe cute-isms, but since I have mentioned Lily, I should let you meet her. Here she is, with me on the left, and my DH on the right.