As of last weekend, spring had definitely sprung in spite of any intervening ice or snow. I know because the bulbs we planted late last fall came up all over the yard.
For years we have had a lovely green lawn because Bill, my husband, spends hours manicuring it. In the spring he fertilizes the lawn, and then all summer he complains because it grows too fast. We have very few flowers in the yard because he keeps forgetting they are there and runs over them with the mower.
I tried planting lilies along the side fences because one bunch of orange lilies has survived eight kids and our 40 plus years of living here. The new lilies lasted only one year due to a slip of the mower.
We usually have blue morning glories on the fence because the mower can’t climb the fence. There are gladiolas along the front fence because grass won’t grow in the soil which is mostly clay. There are annual flowers around the top terrace because I plant them in flower boxes and the mower can’t reach them.
But there were no flowers in the yard. Until now.
Last fall I noticed all the flower bulbs on sale at the stores as I walked past them. I didn’t buy them because I knew they would just be fodder for the mower. After a few weeks of looking at them, it finally occurred to me that if I bought early spring bulbs, I should be able to plant them anywhere in the yard because they would bloom before mowing season.
From that point on, I bought all kinds of bulbs. In fact, I lost track of how many multi-colored crocus, hyacinth and tulips. I thought it would be easy to plant them. But I had a little problem. My usual volunteers agreed with their dad that the green lawn should not be messed up with flowers.
I tried to dig up some space around the edges of the yard with the shovel, but the handle just didn’t fit my hands. It looked like I was going to have to five the bulbs away and then go see them blooming in someone else’s yard.
Then a willing grandson came by. He needed some odd jobs to earn money for a class trip. In no time at all he agreed to help me plant the bulbs. By then I had collected well over 100 of them.
So on a nice Sunday afternoon he came to plant the bulbs. With visions of beautiful colorful flowers blooming all around the house when spring arrived, I directed our grandson to the fence across the side of the yard. I knew the glads bloomed there in the summer, but nothing was there in the spring, nothing but the glad bulbs.
Not wanting to ruin the success of the blooming summer gladiolas, we carefully dug a few holes and inserted some jonquil and tulip bulbs among the glads.
When we got past the glad patch, we dug a trench and carefully spaced the various bulbs according to the directions on the packs.
Then we went to the back side of the side fence and carefully planted lots of bulbs there between the rose bushes. We dug a few little round holes in the yard and put the crocus bulbs in because I was sure they would be done blooming before lawn mowing time.
My volunteer and I were both getting tired of digging and planting, but there were still a bunch of bulbs left. So we finished the job by digging long narrow trenches and dumping bulbs wherever the shovel moved easily. Finally we finished.
Now our rewards are evident. Green spikes are coming up all over the place. In no time at all those spikes will be topped by colorful flowers. I hope.
However when we came home last Sunday afternoon, Bill stopped on the walk and said, “What’s that?”
Then he answered his own question. “Someone’s running a lawnmower.”
So, if they grow really fast, or if Bill slows down, the flowers may beat the lawn mower.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate March 26, 2003.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.