May 05, 2008

Finally

Finally

We've lived in this house for nine years now, and every spring, when I see daffodils and tulips blooming in other yards, I think to myself, "How come I didn't plant any bulbs last fall?" I plant lots of stuff in the spring — bushes, trees, perennials of all types — because the rewards are so immediate. But planting bulbs in the fall requires the kind of forethought that I am not known for.

Last fall, though, I did it. I bought some bulbs and spent a sunny afternoon planting them. It was therapeutic. I had been moping about, feeling sad about something, in one of those melancholy feeling-sorry-for-myself moods, and I can remember thinking as I planted the bulbs that by the time they flowered, spring would be here, and my melancholy mood would be gone.

So I spent a few hours planting the bulbs and then promptly forgot about them. Just the act of planting them, pushing them down into the soil with my fingers, had cheered me up. The bulbs lay under the snow all winter long, and when the last of the snow melted last month, I was surprised and pleased to see green shoots poking up out of the earth.

Today, the red tulips bloomed, shining brilliantly against the brown earth and green grass, looking strangely formal in my woodsy front yard. I'd had red tulips at the last house we lived in — bulbs given to me by my father-in-law, who loved flowers and who died before we moved here. And my mother has always had red tulips in her yard. After a winter of mostly white and blue, the splash of red in my front yard makes me smile every time I walk out the door. And the thing that was making me sad when I planted them — well, I don't even remember what it was.

23 comments:

BlackenedBoy said...

"Planting bulbs in the fall requires the kind of forethought that I am not known for."

Love it.

How lovely that you did that. It's like you're helping to create a new piece of nature.

You're adding a little bit to what God has already put here (that's my view of gardening).

KathyR said...

Wonderful! I love tulips.

I have never planted bulbs. Mostly because I don't want to fight the squirrels for them.

Yours are beautiful.

Gawdess said...

I like that you don't remember what was making you sad at the time and I love the perspective for this shot!!!

jackie said...

My dad transplanted some tulips at my house, which we just moved into a year ago, and now I have some lovely yellow tulips with red streaks in my new(ish) front yard!

Bitty said...

That photo is utterly stunning!

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I love to hear why people find certain plants to be special. It's almost always because they were special to a loved one.

Deer don't eat your tulips, I take it?

Bardiac said...

Since moving to snow country, I've really come to love bulbs of all sorts. I plant a few here and there every fall now, and in spring, they come up. And the next spring, they come up better and so on. Sometimes, in winter, I think alot about bulbs and the Tamarack trees greening up.

Your tulips look lovely! But how do you keep the deer from eating them all?

Cathy said...

So very very pretty. Tulips bloom here in February and don't return year to year. The soil is too warm for them. But they sure are pretty when they bloom. Thank you for sharing their beauty!

Busymomma66 said...

Lovely!

I tried a few years ago to plant some tulips and hyacinth. We already had quite a few daffodils planted. Unfortunately a squirrel, racoon or other type of critter dug them up and scampered off with all of them--except the daffys. So now I just stick with the daffys.

Jennifer said...

Tulips and other bulbs seem a wonderful compensation for a real winter. Here in Australia, our spring is more subtle, but lovely nonetheless.

I love the photo, and the tulips.

Val said...

Your Tulips are lovely. My Daffodils started blooming last week, which was an especially sweet surprise since I'd planted the bulbs the first week of February instead of when I'd meant to in the fall. The spring-blooming flowers always bring such joy after all the months of snow and duller colors.

zelda1 said...

Tulips and irisis are my favorite flowers. I also like the yellow jonquils. You're right, they are the flowers that announce spring and give us that feeling of newness all over again.

Madeleine said...

I planted tulips last fall for the first time, too, also after several years of eyeing the neighbors' yards. I love looking every day to see what's about to bloom.

Based on my sample size of one, I'd say the key to keeping the squirrels away is to put tulips in the front yard instead of the back. The occasional traffic seems to help deter them. The tulips my husband planted in back 3 years ago are mostly gone.

Silver Creek Mom said...

i'm sadly the same. I seem to have more energy for planting in the srping than I do in the fall. BUT Someday!
Beautiful BTW

Anonymous said...

In 1963 My husband and I planted a tree, just a stick. We left the area in 1971. A Japanise Elm I believe.
A couple of years ago he took me back to the house to see it while we were visiting the area. It is huge!!! I am truely impressed at the difference we actually made.
Rocky

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Those tulips really are gorgeous. I've been seeing mostly pink, yellow and purple around here, but now I want to find a way to plant red ones as beautiful as those.

kathy a. said...

beautiful! i've let my small front yard go, badly. there is a blackberry vine that i swear covers the entire area for miles, and that has discouraged me. plus, i'm lazy. but once i clean up this spring/summer, i need to plant some daffodils and tulips.

there are some established bulb-based plants that take care of themselves [a day-lily, some big clumps of some kind of iris, and some tiny white things, plus more in the back], but nothing is prettier than tulips and daffodils.

jo(e) said...

So far, the deer have left the tulips alone. I think that's because they are planted in the front yard, near the house and the driveway, where we have people coming and going constantly. The whole area probably reeks of human. The deer tend to stay at the edges of the backyard.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Ooooh, prettty pretty pretttttty prettttttty!

I planted red tulips this call (last fall) too, but only about eight of them, wish I'd planted a forest of them!

PS I miss you!

Karin said...

Those are just so so gorgeous!!

J. said...

beautiful! yay to you for finally planting the bulbs!

heirloomgardener said...

Beautiful tulips! Like busymomma66, I have to fight off the squirrels (and deer), but like you have found, it's worth the effort.

Lilian said...

Oh, my friend, I'm so glad you did plant them!!! It reminds me of my own conflicted, depressed feelings when I planted my own 100+ bulbs last December. Thankfully we found out a few days later that we would be staying here a bit longer. That made me plant even more bulbs in January (mini daffodils, which are still blooming, BTW since I planted them so late).