Tulips bloom in our dreams

It’s time to plant bulbs. This is a wonderful time in the gardening season in that the slate is wiped clean. There are no weeds screaming to be pulled or invasive pests devouring leaves… It’s over. Yes, there are a few scraggly petunias hanging on, and the roses are blooming again, but we know their cycle is almost done.

6-25 Page 4A.inddThis year’s garden will soon be last year’s garden, and the time is right to forgive ourselves for things left undone in August and September and to plan anew.

Each fall brings a vision of what could bloom next spring. In mind’s eye are thick clumps of heathy tulips, untouched by ground squirrels and other vermin. Daffodils are nodding their bright heads in sunlight. The smiling faces of pansies greet us along the walkway.

Ever since May, when I saw a yard bordered with white tulips paired with white pansies, a dream was created.

Realistically. there is no hope of growing tulips in our yard unless some kind of barrier protects them from those who consider tulip bulbs a rare delicacy planted for their enjoyment.

These invaders don’t care for the flavor of daffodil bulbs, so those beauties get off Scot-free. However, despite past history, there’s no reason not to try a different way of doing things. It could be that tulip bulbs would grow undisturbed in sturdy containers. So, that’s the plan.

I won’t plant many, just a few as an experiment.

And container gardening has a lot of advantages. For instance, last year I wanted to try some new daffodils. I wanted to plant them in the bed to the left of our walkway, so I went out with bulbs and trowel in hand.

After digging in just a few places, I discovered there were already bulbs planted in that area of the garden and I was digging them up. This was not good.

So I moved to another location.

Unfortunately, our dogs watched my labor and decided to expand the small area dug up into a much larger one.

The end result was that not only were old bulbs dug up, they were distributed at various random places around the yard. It became a futile and repetitive activity to replant them, so finally I surrendered to the inevitable.

If I could grow just seven white tulips, it would be enough. It’s not too much to ask, do you think? And bordering them with white pansies would be so beautiful. There’s a big round pot out there on an old stump that gets enough sun to make this a real possibility. So that’s the plan. And for the next few months of winter, my least favorite season, the dream will live on.

That’s all it takes. A little work and a little optimism… I believe.