Deer-proof Tulips

You might remember my mentioning that tulips don’t thrive in our neighborhood because hungry deer devour the blossoms as soon as they appear—if they didn’t eat the buds already. The tulips planted in this post, tempting to deer as they might be at first glance, will resist any attempt at snipping off.

During a recent visit to Colorado Springs’ Boonzaaijer’s Dutch Bakery to buy a treat for a special occasion, I was reminded of the fact that I had taken photos of the beautiful mural that graces the outside of the bakery last year with the intent to show them here. It didn’t take me long to find them in my archives. Even though the light on the day I snapped them wasn’t the brightest, the parking spaces were slick with ice, and small icicles lined the gutters, it was nonetheless a good day for a photo session as the mural wasn’t photobombed by cars pulling in the designated parking spaces next to the building, a situation seldom encountered during regular business hours.

Nothing says Holland more than windmills and tulips. Many of us envision endless expanses with assorted varieties of these iconic and enchanting flowers. As I learned not long ago from reading Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire, the Netherlands in the 17th century were ruled by a period entitled “tulipomania,” when the evanescent, ephemeral beauty of plants held a powerful sway over the wealthy country. Tulip bulbs were traded for mind-boggling sums and individuals risked their life savings to purchase the most beautiful and rare specimens. Not surprisingly, this tenuous scheme was not sustainable and tumbled by the wayside like petals swept away by spring storms. Economists sometimes refer to this experience as the first speculative bubble controlling a market. Even though the bubble burst after only 3 to 4 years, our fascination with and admiration for tulips continues unabated.

And just to give you an appetite-whetting glimpse of one of many delectable edibles that can be found at this popular bakery, here is a likeness of the special treat I acquired (before it went the way of all delectable edibles 😊).

56 thoughts on “Deer-proof Tulips

  1. That mural certainly brings a welcome splash of colour to the urban landscape! 🙂 Is there a Dutch community in Colorado Springs, or is this the project of just one immigrant family looking back wistfully to the Motherland?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know of any particular Dutch community here, but Colorado Springs has several military installations and a high proportion of families with European ties, although I don’t know if that accounts for the bakery’s popularity. I think anybody likes delicious baked goods.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is likely not the most popular deer-gathering café, Laurie. But I’m glad you approve of the dessert. My husband is also among those individuals who prefer to eat dessert for breakfast, so he would gladly join you for a slice or two. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dankeschön, liebe Christa. Das Wandbild macht mich immer froh, wenn ich daran vorbeifahre, selbst wenn ich mir keine Köstlichkeit leiste. Doch wahrscheinlich bin ich noch etwas froher, wenn noch was Süßes dabei rüberspringt. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Peter. Thanks to this mural, I get to enjoy tulips year-round, even if the ones in our garden won’t last long when the deer are in the neighborhood. The claim that I want to see tulips is also a good excuse to visit the bakery from time to time for some little delicacy. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed seeing this, Tanya. I grew up about 20-25 miles from a traditional Dutch community in Iowa; their Tulip Festival is one of the biggest draws in the state. They plant hundreds of thousands of bulbs each year, and there are enough wooden shoes and Dutch treats to please even a true Hollander. Our high school band marched in the parade every year — wearing wooden shoes! — and I still order Christmas treats from the Jaarsma Bakery; the Dutch letters are my favorite. Pella has windmills, canals, and tulip fields that look remarkably like those in your photos, which made me a little homesick.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The ever-blooming tulip mural is super, Tanja. I’d have it in my neighborhood any day. I also enjoyed the windmills in the mural. Cape Cod, where I go for my summer ocean vacation, has several refurbished windmills, and they never fail to amaze me. And about that treat you ended with–yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have wondered if deer might be tempted by what must appear like an endless flower buffet to them. And to be tempted by my sample treat–and many others similarly appetizing–is completely human. I apologize for causing your cravings without being able to satisfy them. 😊


  4. Lovely mural -and the tart looks absolutely yummy! It doesn’t surprise me that deer will eat tulips – my mother was very downhearted to discover that sheep will eat them too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ann, the mural always makes me smile when I see it. And not only because of the pretty flowers, but also because of the yummy treats available inside those walls. 😊
      Dealing with wildlife can be frustrating, but it’s just part of sharing this earth with other creatures, so we have to make the best of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved that book! I giggle thinking of how humans were so obsessed they tried to turn tulips into a meal. I love the smell of roses for instance, but would never try to put one on a plate. The only flower I would eat is the one in your photo – made completely of fruits! Good thing I am not a deer.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pollan is such fun. Thanks for the reminder to give that one another read. Seems we have never learned the lesson of broken speculation bubbles. I’m getting a feeling we may be in the middle (or beyond) of one now. 🥴

    Your tulip mural made me think of tulip festivals we have just north of us. They sure are lovely when they’re grown in masses like that. I can’t help but imagine the deer drooling over the sight of the that mural. 😉 🦌

    Thanks for tempting your visitors with that delectable edible! I think I’ll have to settle for an oatmeal cookie! 😏 (It does look absolutely scrumptious, though!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry if I caused cravings in you that you had to placate with an oatmeal cookie (too healthy). At least I always have chocolate chip cookies in the freezer, in case I need a treat. It has to thaw, though, so even then the gratification isn’t instant. 😊
      Pollan is a lot of fun to read. Before “The Botany of Desire,” I started with “Second Nature” and more recently read “This is your Mind on Plants.”

      Your tulip festivals sound lovely. I visited Holland at the wrong time of year and didn’t get to see entire fields of blooming tulips, but imagine that it would be breathtaking. 🌷🌷🌷


  7. Wow. Hard to pick a favorite work of art between the mural and the tart. I guess the mural is more lasting but the tart looks so good I imagine you’ll remember that for a long time too.

    As an aside, one way we tried to keep rabbits from eating some of our plants was to mix tabasco with water and spray it on the plants. It seemed to work although we haven’t done it in years.

    Liked by 1 person

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