Ha! Celebrated my birthday this year a bit belatedly to be able to share with my dear friend Eta and also so lovely daughter Antonia could join us once her grad school classes were complete for the semester. That’s our beautiful Princess Cake above. Yum.
What I had not anticipated was that my dearest friend Cornelia would bless me with 106 bulbs as a birthday present! Fabulous, glorious and intimidating!
She gave me 36 lilies (a mix of Casablanca, Rio Negro, and Dizzy–what I’m going to be after planting so many bulbs!) and 70 gladiolus (Espresso and Fiorentina). The bags say Sun/Soleil on the front, so the folks in France are going to be joining me in finding sunny spots for our new beauty endeavors! Now. In spite of having lived in Holland for three full years do I know zip about bulbs? Not really. So this is not only a gift of bulbs; it’s an opportunity for me to finally get over the mystery in my head about bulbs in general and learn to Do This Right!
So off I go to John, the nurseryman, to ask for his kind guidance in bulb schooling…
[Here you imagine my getting into my truck and going off to the nursery. BUT!]
A funny thing happened on the way to the nursery. There’s a woman who has been remodeling a house in the neighborhood who happens to have a lot of gorgeous new tulips out front. And she was there in the front yard as I drove past. Screeching halt. Pull into her driveway. Hi! I’m your neighbor!
As it happens this woman is a very experienced garden with professional credentials. No need to go all the way to the nursery. At all.
“I’m noticing all your lovely tulips out front. My friend gave me bulbs for my birthday.”
“They aren’t tulips. They are glads. And lilies.”
“Oh! Well, perfect timing.”
“Uh, what kind of tulips are these?”
“Normal? I’ve never seen tulips that big.”
“They’re normal. They’re just open.”
“Open? Those are BIG tulips!”
“Huh. Maybe they are empires.”
So talking to my new friend Lois, I guess all I really have to do is plant these bulbs soon, in the sun, about 6-8″ deep in the ground. And here’s the best part! Because I live in California, I don’t have to do anything much else except enjoy them! Because apparently all that early programming I absorbed about bulbs being mysterious only applies to other regions. Not here. Isn’t that fantastic?? I can’t wait.
Love and gardening blessings,
Oh! Book News!: Ode Magazine is publishing one of the stories from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy in their June issue! It’s the story of when Antonia and I created a garden in front of our flat in Amsterdam, thereby transforming our connection with the whole neighborhood! Happy about that!
Posted on March 31st, 2011 by Kathryn
Filed under: People at Life