Thursday, October 27, 2005

not instant

I am hopeful this weekend to get my bulps in the ground, an assortment of daffodils, muscari, tulips and woodland hyacinths or spanish bluebells.

This is one of the most satisfying things a gardener can do -- another, of course, is soil preparation.

It has nothing to do with instant gratification. I put the bulbs into the ground, cover them up, and then, as if in surprise, the gifts return back in the coolest days of early spring, too cool for most perennials. When they bloom, spring bulbs give us that special season between winter and regular time for gardeners - late spring and summer. Spring bulbs are joined by flowering trees and shrubs. And I find myself looking up and over at spots less dramatic, less interesting in usual times, now made dramatic, fanciful, whimsical by the blooming clumps of something planted some time ago.

Maybe that is why I like spring and fall so much. In the former, the colors of trees blooming, and bulbs so naturally appearing, cause the landscape to look so different for a few short days or weeks. And in the latter seson, when all is going dormant, the very act of dormancy, a blow to those of us who prefer the living seasons over the cold, dead one, this very act is softened by the most marvelous display of color. One heralds a coming season of blooming things, and the other takes the decomposing, dying materials and envigorates us as we prepare for solitude, the cold, and less active lives.

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