The mailman delivered a package this afternoon. I have been both dreading and looking forward to its arrival. Tucked inside is the promise of beauty. Three years ago, I planted 300 tulip bulbs in my front garden bed and waited for spring. They rewarded me with a spectacular show that took my breath away and garnered the neighbor’s comments.
There are tricks to growing tulips in my zone, as they don’t naturalize easily. Those methods require enjoying the flowers, letting the foliage dieback, and then lifting the bulbs from the ground. You must wash, dry and store any undamaged bulbs in a cool, low humidity environment until it is time to plant them again in the fall. The process helps to ensure the bulb’s health and encourages vigorous spring flowering.
I follow a different course. I elect to not lift and replant them but let them remain in situ. The result is fewer annual blooms. This year, a sprinkling of tulips raised their heads, but the showing was unacceptable. I will dig 300 six-inch-deep holes, sprinkle in a bit of fertilizer, add the bulb, tamp it in and move to the next. It is backbreaking toil that won’t produce results until late April.
What are you planting today?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer