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The Fickle Life of Flowers

April 2, 2014

Three years ago, in a fit of fall optimism, I planted a row of bulbs along the stairs up to my front door. A mix of daffodils and tulips, my goal was to build a lush and inviting path to my door (which is, of course, posted with a “no soliciting” sign).

The first spring, the bulbs burst forth — albeit in a bit of an anemic way. Each bulb put on only one stalk and one flower. I didn’t think much of it because it was still early in the lives of the tubers.

The second year, while the bulbs put on flowers, one side was clearly more developed than the other. Of course, the winter months were mild, never really reaching the freezing temps that tubers thrive in.

So, this year, when the first greens started breaking through the topsoil in late January, I was cautiously hopefully. After all, while January had been relatively mild, we endured several days of sub-freezing temperatures before the end of the year.

Then came days upon days upon days of snow. I was positive that the greenery had died back. But to my surprise, the sprouts continued to thrive.

At least on one side of the walkway.

While the bulbs on both sides of the stairs receive the same amount of sun, water and care (which would be none). the tubers on the north side of the stairs have far outpaced the greenery and flower production of the bulbs found less than four feet to the south. In fact, those to the north of the stairs really need to be dug up and divided this fall while those to the south probably need to be pulled out and … well … put out of their misery.


Flowers on the north side of my front stairs.


And the fairly pathetic flowers on the south side of my stairs.


The beauty and majesty on the north side.


Another view of the beauty on the north side …


And the sadness on the south side — less than four feet away.


Seriously, that’s just pathetic …


On the plus side, all but one of the daffodils on the north side are blooming.


Those on the south side are not, but I think these beauties can sustain me.

I’ve asked my gardening expert (a.k.a. lawn guy) if he had any insight as to why this might have happened. He just laughed and said he hadn’t even noticed it was going on, but had no idea. I love my gardening expert, but sometimes his powers of observation are a little lacking.

Now, I just need to figure out how to fix this come fall …

From → Random Beauty

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