Wednesday, October 1

The Great Tulip Project of 2008

I planted bulbs for the first time last weekend, and while I know it’s not rocket science, it is science, sort of, and I don’t know if these bulbs will actually produce any tulips, come spring. I also don’t know if perhaps I planted my ability to write something other than a run-on sentence, because wow. I absolutely love tulips, so I couldn’t let another fall pass me by without planting some.

We have a small berm* in the front yard around our marriage tree. (Have I mentioned our marriage tree? We planted it when we got married, and now on every anniversary, we are taking a picture of us by the tree, so we can see how much it’s changed and how we’ve changed. It’s like a metaphor for watching our love grow. I know, it makes me want to throw up a little, too.) And I wanted something other than the sedum** that Andrew planted around the tree. So I went to the nursery (the plant nursery, not the baby one) and bought 40 tulip bulbs, in varying shades of red, orange, and yellow.

This is where it gets complicated. I thought this project would take about two hours, from the removal of the ground cover to the planting of the bulbs, to the laying of the chicken wire over the top, to the spreading of mulch. FYI, the tulip website I looked at said that squirrels just love bulbs, so to prevent the squirrels from eating them, chicken wire could be placed over the top and the flowers could still grow through it.

But, clearly, it took longer than two hours. I’d say it took closer to six hours. Most of that time was devoted to ripping out the sedum. Those suckers have quite a root system. (And may I just point out that this, this right here, is a wonderful example of a topic I never ever thought I would discuss, had you asked me three years ago.) Once I finally got the sedum—okay, most of the sedum—out, the dirt was packed so hard, that I really was only able to dig down about four inches to plant the bulbs. I’m sure that had I not already been working on this project for three hours, I would have kept trying, but I was totally ready to throw in the towel. But I still wanted all the work to produce results, namely tulips.

To solve this problem, I bought more dirt and made sure the bulbs were planted deep enough. Brilliant, eh? I’m sure all you horticulturists out there are cringing. So more dirt, then chicken wire cutting and placing, then mulch. Then lots of watering. I must say, the berm looks fantastic. And, if I’m lucky, it will look even more fantastic this spring when 40 tulips bloom.

*berm: a word I did not know until I bought a house
**sedum: another word I did not know until I bought a house

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