Sunday, March 07, 2010

I Love Bulbs

The house we live in we purchased from a family who built it and lived in it for 40 years. Most of the yard is low maintenance. We've appreciated this, and one of the most beautiful but low maintenance aspects of the yard are bulbs that like to pop up throughout the spring and mid-summer. I thank the Gunsolus's for their thoughtfulness in planting these.

Last summer I took a stab at planting flowers from seed in some containers and various other places in the yard. This met with some mild success. This spring, it's my intention to get very serious with bulbs. I love the fact that bulbs hide out, take care of themselves, then suddenly, gloriously appear, then pack themselves away in preparation for the next season.

Or as Anna Pavord in her new book on Bulbs proclaims:

They leap up into growth, do their ravishing thing, then pack themselves away until the following season, when, if you're lucky, you will get a repeat performance. But nothing marks the passage of the seasons in quite the same way that bulbs do: the longed-for sight of snowdrops and aconites in late winter, crocus and daffodils in early spring, then tulips, iris, and alliums, until high summer explodes with lilies. But that is not the end. As the fall descends on the garden, you can still look forward to cyclamen and colchicum, with fox-colored leaves lying among the burning yellow goblets of sternbergia. Their very transitoriness is part of their charm.

I'm hoping to let more bulbs mark the passage of time in our yard this season. I hope also that maybe, if we ever do move to a different house, that some of what we've buried in the ground might pop up and surprise a subsequent resident. That sounds like paying it forward.

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