The bulbs we planted last fall grew beautifully. Well, some of them did. Out of the 100 or so we planted at least 50 came up and actually bloomed.
First the crocuses poked thought. We had just planted them here and there right under the grass. They were so small we would have missed them if we hadn’t walked through the backyard one day. Either they’re not as impressive in grass as they are in snow, or this was not a good year for crocuses.
Next came the daffodils. They were really spectacular. Even after they bloomed they seemed to grow larger. They grew and bloomed on both sides of the side fence, in front of the shed out back, in front of the tree out front, and in the bird bath garden.
We planted at least a dozen in front of that tree, but only three actually grew and bloomed. I consoled myself with the thought that those three must be really hardy because the soil there is pretty poor and they hardly get any sun. They will probably come up every year from now on.
Maybe I should explain the birdbath garden. Years ago when our first cat died after a long healthy life with our family, the kids decided we needed a suitable memorial for him.
Actually the cat was healthy when he died, just a little too slow. He got hit by a car just down the street from our house, and the neighbor buried him on the hill behind our backyard before any of our kids saw him flattened in the street.
We gave the memorial for that cat a lot of thought and finally decided a birdbath under the big maple tree out back would be appropriate. It really worked well. The combination of the birdbath, bird feeders, and a paper back Audubon guide gave our kids a good education in bird watching.
A few years ago when I complained about our lack of flowers in the yard, Bill put a small circular garden of perennials around the birdbath. This worked well, too. The birdbath watered the little flower bed, and it shut me up for a while.
This year while the daffodils were still in full bloom, the hyacinths popped up. As they bloomed we discovered deep pink, purple and white ones. I came up the front steps one day when the breeze was just right, and the sweet aroma of those hyacinths was almost overpowering. It was almost enough to make spring my favorite season.
A few days later, just before a spring frost threatened, two of the hyacinths were bent over almost on the ground. I picked them and put them in a bud vase on the window sill above the kitchen sink. They looked so pretty, but the aroma was really overpowering in the confines of the kitchen. There was no place else to put them, so there they stayed.
A little later Bill came in to wash his hands at the sink. He pumped some soap onto his hands, and took a deep breath as he scrubbed. “Whew, did you change soap in here?”
I don’t think he really appreciated the hyacinths on the windowsill. But after a few days the smell mellowed out a little. I do think I learned why hyacinths are seldom included in table bouquets.
The next bulbs up were the tulips. This must have been a spectacular year for tulips. Every place we planted them they grew. We had plain red ones, red with yellow edges, red with white edges, and deep pink with white edges. For next year we’ll have to plant some yellow and pink ones, although I don’t know where. I think we may be tulipped out.
Now the yellow iris along the fence is blooming. Looks like it’s going to be a good year for them too.
And biggest surprise of all, even the back fence where nothing useful but raspberries grow, there is a small lilac bush in full bloom. It must be a thank you gift from the birds who dine at our feeders all winter. The lilacs are a welcome change from the deposits they usually put on our cars parked out front.
AUHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate May 7, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.