This is a photo of my beloved crocus bank. The driveway runs roughly east to west, downhill all the way. On the south side of the driveway, the lawn runs down fairly steeply to the driveway, forming a bank that I have planted quite densely with crocuses. The crocuses are just getting started, but it is obvious that depredations occurred over the winter under cover of snow. Voles. This bank faces north and, with snow shovelled off the driveway piled on it, is one of the last places to lose its snow cover. Although I have trouble with voles all over the property, they had never found the crocus bank before.
Winterrowd and Eck, in A Year at North Hill, tell how one spring they had no crocuses at all, because they had all been eaten. After that, they could only grow them in containers with hardware cloth on top. I have tried that with crocuses in my garden beds, but I couldn’t do it here. For one, there’s too much area to cover. For another, there’s no topsoil to speak of. The crocuses are planted in subsoil, and I had to drill a hole with a dibble to plant each one.
If the voles eventually decimate the bank, I’ll have to replant with bulbs that are poisonous to rodents: snowdrops, daffodils, colchicums, and I don’t know what else. But in the meantime, I can hope and pray that the voles forget they ever dined here. Yeah, right.