On Planting Bulbs

It have often thought that the most dramatic change season to season is not the temperature (though the sudden thawing of our world from frozen March to this humid April has certainly been dramatic) but the change in light. The sun sets later, and I find myself forgetting that we did not always eat our dinners at 8:00 pm,  for now that the world is still light when husband comes home from work, our meals have acquired a sense of timelessness. 

With light and spring comes growth, and Zack and I spent much of the weekend unburdening our yard and barren flower beds of Autumn's foliage. When we bought the house in late January, there were deep piles of fall leaves buried beneath mounds of snow. As spring crept in and winter slowly melted away, we discovered the previous owner's autumnal neglect. Raking leaves in April is a somewhat strange task, tossing one's mind and body into a few moments of seasonal confusion.

With daffodils, dogwoods and spring greens in mind, I was easily sidetracked on a trip to Lowe's with a friend. Our intention was to collect paint swatches, nothing more. We left, instead, with a cart full of herbs, a bag of potting soil and a good sized rake. 

At her home, she insisted I dig up enough bulbs to fill a bucket, thinning out her full garden to fill my empty one. She cannot stay on hands and knees for long--not since the accident--and so I sat in the dirt as she watched over, my hands deep in dirt, feeling for the deep bulbs and carefully pulling them free from the soil. There were worms. And rocks. But for this, even a trowel is to harsh for the delicate stems of the daffodils and hyacinths. Only soft hands and persuasive fingers will do.


Once home, I planted. Some went straight  into the earth, but most were planted in pots. And when there were no pots left, a tea tin or two sufficed.

Now they sit in the house cheering the shadows and thriving in light.

There is a pot of daffodils on the front stoop--a teal coloured pot left over from one of the weddings last year. You can hardly see it from the street; the overgrown bushes and encroaching azaleas manage to hide even the most vibrant yellow and blue. Yet from inside I can see the daffodils swaying in this April breeze. And it is enough.


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