Sunday, November 15, 2009


Last weekend I finally got the majority of my bulbs planted. I bought most of them a while back, but after the struggles of planting our perennial bed, I was lacking the motivation to do battle with the cement slabs, beer bottles, and belts of rusty nails that are buried just under the surface of our flower beds. However, The Boyfriend was in the garage fixing a dozen or so flat tires (I'm not exaggerating here either), so I figured I had some time to kill. Plus, if I was going to justify drinking a beer in the garage with him, I thought I should probably do some work to earn it. I don't call it a home-improvement beer because you get to sit on your ass while you drink it!

At first I was paralyzed with the decision of where to plant the bulbs. Where would the colors look best? Where would they not compete with the generously landscaped beds? What would those beds even look like in March? It seemed like a big decision, until I reminded myself I could always dig them up next year if I hated where they ended up. The Boyfriend made some suggestions and I dug in (pun intended). I was pleasantly surprised that the dirt in the front of the house was rocky, but otherwise fairly innocuous.

As most of you won't be surprised to learn, I had some bulbs to plant that were especially meaningful, which might account for some of my hesitation in deciding where to place them. I started with the irises. The irises came from Grandma Zada's yard almost a year and a half ago now. Last spring, I planted them at The Mini on what turned out to be the day that my uncle lost his battle with cancer. Last spring I waited and waited for them to come up, wanting desperately to see something beautiful spring forth from that sad, snowy day. Finally, little green tips pushed up through the soil, slowly at first and then surprisingly quickly. They didn't actually produce flowers last year, as Erik had warned me might happen. But they grew and they were alive and that's all I cared about. When I moved out of The Mini this summer, they were one of the last things to make the move. I dug them up and stashed them in a paper bag in the garage, where they've been waiting for their new ground--ground I hope they will occupy for quite some time. During that time, Grandma passed away, but while I was planting the irises on the west side of the driveway, I couldn't help but smile thinking how thrilled she would be that some of her flowers are here in Boise at our place. My Grandma Garden will be complete in the spring when I get some gladiolas in the ground.

Around the crazy tree in front, The Boyfriend and I both thought some tulips would look nice. I planted the little bed full of dark maroon and white tulips. The ones that didn't fit there went across the path in the hopes of creating a beautifully bordered springtime entryway. I even poured out all the bulbs on the sidewalk and mixed the two colors in an effort to combat my irrepressible urge to plant things in an ordered, symmetrical pattern. We'll see if randomness looks good next spring!

The final planting of last weekend was some daffodils that were in an arrangement I got following my uncle's funeral. You might remember this arrangement as the source of my hydrangea and azalea that we planted in the perennial bed in back. I only had three of these little guys, but I thought they would look perfect in front of a rock at the curve of the driveway. I dug these guys out of the arrangement, clipped the leaves off, and stored them in sawdust last spring, which in my mind leaves lots of room for error. Here's to hoping!

The only thing I have left to plant are some crocus bulbs. I bought these because there is not a more welcome sight in the world after winter than looking down and seeing those thin green harbingers of spring. When I lived in Corvallis, Mom and I would compare when the crocus came up as a sure sign that spring was in fact going to come again (Corvallis always won, for those of you who are curious). Crocus may be my annual Prozac, promising me that spring is around the corner even if many cold days will surely transpire between the first crocus and the breaking out of the flip flops. It's the promise that spring's coming that jolts me out of the doldrums of winter. Nevermind the fact that spring comes every year--I still need some green proof that this year won't break the mold.

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