I had a neighbour, when I was growing up, who was quite an unpleasant man. In all the 22 years we lived next to his family not a friendly word was spoken. Not only were the laundry hanging methods on their clothes line suspect, (children of me) but every year, he dug up in the fall and replanted in the spring, 32 bright red tulips in the garden next to the walk to his front door.
You would think I would have liked the tulips. But he planted them in ordered, rigid, disciplined rows which is most certainly not how flowers are meant to be grown. Four rows wide and eight rows deep, 32 tulips in rigid formation. Every morning when I walked past their front walk, I wanted to dig the them all up and scatter the bulbs to the wind. Let them land where they may, and grow as they should. But I never did.
Last spring I dug up a bunch of our crowded tulips and daffodil bulbs which had become overgrown in their pots on the deck. They spent the summer drying out in the greenhouse and today they were scattered to the wind and planted in the new beds in the garden next to the garlic. My bulbs are always planted in uneven numbered groupings, never planted apart from their friends. Never plant the tulips just with tulips, daffodils only with daffodils. In the garden, behind the fence away from the prying mouths of deer, they are planted as they are meant to be, to run amok with each other. Blooming when they want. Bringing spring to the garden on their own terms. Outside the fence it is a bit of a different story as only the daffodils can survive the grazings of the deer.
I have daffodils planted in every nook and cranny of the property. Again, before I planted them, I stood in one place and tossed the bulbs. They were planted where they landed. They chose their home. As I type the words it becomes apparent to me that I sound like a crazy person.
Down at the deck all of the geraniums were put under the house today. I decided I have no room in this tiny house to have them inside so will be eager to hear how it works for any of you who try to keep a few in your kitchen all winter. With any luck they will be safe under the deck and thrive in the spring when we bring them out from their winter nap.
So the garden chores are pretty much wrapped up. I have finished my book but don’t plan on sewing until Sunday. If no more articles are submitted for the newsletter tomorrow I may have to resort to spending another day reading.
To this day, I will never plant a red tulip
in my garden.