Snacking after the bulbs sprout is another matter. In a garden where herbivorous animals — including deer, rabbits, squirrels, gophers, squirrels, mice and voles — are active, Ms Elms said: “There’s definitely the list of non-plants, like tulips and lilies, and also the none- touch-on-this list, headed by daffodils.”
Snowflakes (Leucojum), such as Narcissus, usually remain untouched. The list of “rarely eaten” includes hyacinths, she said, and winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis), snowdrops (Galanthus), alliums and glory of the snow (Chionodoxa). Add to those possibilities Spanish hyacinths (Hyacinthoides hispanica), grape hyacinths (Muscari), Siberian samphire (Scilla siberica), autumn crocus (Colchicum), Camassia, Fritillaria, foxtail lily (Eremurus), trout lily (Erythronium), Ornithogalum, spring-planted iris and Crinum.
Crocus is usually the target of animals, but gardeners may have better luck with the tommies or Crocus tommasinianus.
Some gardeners try to further discourage nibbling by sprinkling blood meal around emerging bulbs or spraying the shoots with a nontoxic repellent such as Repels-All, a mixture of dried blood, solid eggs and garlic oil.
Some experimentation may be needed to find a bulb palette that can withstand the animal pressures of your yard, Ms Elms said.