The promise of a bulb holds the same hope as a new pet, new love, new career, even a new baby. We project ourselves into the future each time we plant one. It’s hard to foresee what circumstances may thwart our plans: a too-cold winter, a colony of voles, the tractor that scoops up the earth and the bulbs hidden deep beneath; like life, it’s hard to predict what will happen after we plant our dreams.
Yet, some, if not most, make it. The tulip bulb that was accidentally dug up and thrown in the pit and, I thought, gone forever, bursts forth in a clump of compost. The bulbs planted in soil that was too hard, spring up from the ground later than the others, when the April rains have finally softened a space for them to poke through.
There are some that don’t make it, it’s true, but the joy for the ones that survived—returned to you, in a way—rewards our original hope. We just had to wait, have patience, and believe that our loyal labor of love would be rewarded.
I put in an order today for my fall bulbs. I placed it with Bluestone Perennials since they seemed to have the best selection.
I guess it’s not surprising that, as my children are about ready to vacate the nest or, at the very least, be away from it more, I’m turning to bulbs. What do they say to me? The future. Making something others can benefit from, even when I’m gone. The element of surprise—a tulip springing up among the rocks or some other unusual space.
Every time a new flower pops up my son comments—you planted that one, too? And, he seems a bit amazed I was out planting these last fall. What lesson does that teach him?
Maybe it says, sometimes you have to delay the reward, but that makes it even better.
I hope so.
Here are the bulbs I’ve bought today to plant next fall to experience next spring. Each one holds a promise.
Firefly (Snow) Crocus
Whitewell Purple Crocus
Mt Hood Trumpet Daffodils