"The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size." ~ Gertrude S. WisterI planted tulips this year...literally, I planted them THIS year... 2011... even though I was supposed to plant them in November 2010. As usual, I have an
With all this hustle and bustle at the unexpected cold snap... I forgot about the tulips, but only for four weeks. Yet, alas, it was too late. We had a couple of insignificant... at least insignificant for those in northern states... snows in the weeks before Christmas and much colder temperatures than usual. Here at the coast with the Gulf Stream it is not unheard of to have temperatures in the 50's and 60's at Christmas time. But this year it was COLD! The ground froze... I tried to plant just before Christmas and my bulb planter would not get past the mulch... the ground froze... it really did. We even had that frost heave they speak of where water gets in the soil and freezes, expanding and pushing up little bits of soil. Then it snowed twelve inches on Christmas night and the day after... and January was just as cold as December. So, it was February... the middle part.. before I managed to get them in. The bulbs had started to sprout in the garage, but at least they seemed viable. So I planted them.... 97 around the two trees in the front of the house.
The daffodils come up in March, early... and the tulips just after them. Everyone else had tulips and I finally started seeing the little pointy shaped buds pushing up out of the mulch... then the leaves started to form.... but no flowers. Across the street was a stand of tall shapely tulips... long slender stems and bulbous cup shaped red flowers swaying when the breeze blew. Mine... nothing. Then one day I saw a dash of red on the ground and thought it was a piece of trash blown into the yard. I checked and to my surprise.. it was a tulip! At ground level! No stem to be seen at all! A few days later... another... same size... and another and another. Pretty soon I had a bevy of blooms... sitting right on top of the leaves and less than three inches off the ground. They were supposed to all be red... they weren't... some were pink and some were purple with white stripes. But all of them were munchkin... short... petite.... very strange looking. I'm sure I saw people driving by twice trying to figure out exactly what they were.
I learned one thing... well, maybe two. First, did you know that after you cut a tulip the stem continues to grow for a few days? I didn't. But after the blooms were spent... the stems on my tulips decided to grow... about 8 inches. And again... people would wonder what these things were. The second thing I learned is... no matter how afraid I am that the bulbs will come up too soon in our usually warm winters and then be hit with a late spring freeze... I WILL plant my bulbs this year in the first week of November... NO MATTER HOW HOT OR COLD IT IS!
Oh, yes... I forgot... to get these pictures I had to lay down on the ground with the camera....again, neighbors wondering.......
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