Monday, October 09, 2006

The spice of life? I think so.

Not to harp away on this, but who the hell cares if tulips only bloom for six or seven years? I just noticed a comment to that effect on some other blog (while narcissistically checking on my referrals) and wondered what the problem was. I guess some people sorely need to see the same flower bloom year after year for decades. Either that, or they really like to squeeze a nickel. Anyway, no way do tulips last that long, except the species and maybe the Darwin hybrids. Two or three years would be more like it—if that long.

My point is this. There are many things in life we can’t change, or can’t afford to change as often as we’d like. I can’t refinish the hardwood floors in the hallway this year, as much as I’d like to, and should. Nor can I change the paint jobs in all the upstairs rooms, though they could use it. For that matter, I'd really like at least four or five new cashmere tops for work. I don’t think it’s going to happen.

But for far less than the price of all those things, the one thing I can do is put a new set of tulips in the front yard this spring. (I’m sure our neighbors would rather we cleaned the gutters.)

8 comments:

LostRoses said...

Gosh, I thought for years that tulips just came back forever and wondered why mine didn't. When I first heard someone say "treat tulips like annuals" it changed my life! Well, my gardening life.

Now, if I could just get to those gutters!

Kathy said...

Some people, like my mother, and this person (http://perennialpassion.blogspot.com/2006/05/big-fat-tulip-leaves.html) have unrealistic expectations of tulips. A lot of people who would spend a certain amount for a flat of impatiens or petunias would balk at spending that same amount to replace their tulips every year. Some bulbs do come back reliably every year, and tulips seem to be lumped in with them--unfairly, I'd say.

Trey said...

This is a problem of “priorities”. Someone who loves to dine out will pay $100 for a fine meal but won’t cough up the money for tulips, which will supply a longer season of enjoyment than that meal.

Those of us who actively garden or work with gardeners surly see the irony, but those who don’t will continue to spend time and money on what they enjoy, not what we enjoy.

This is the challenge for us in the horticultural business. Creating that same sense of discovery and fulfillment that a gourmand feels during, and after a fine meal.

EAL said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
EAL said...

Well, nobody has to plant tulips if they don't want to. I'm just saying that if they want them, they should resign themselves to replacing them.

Gee, I don't mean to demand that all plant tulips. I'd rather they didn't in fact--makes mine look better!

Kasmira said...

I agree - accepting that tulips will probably be annuals is rather freeing. Now I can plant them in full shade and enjoy the effect in the spring, without worrying about their survival beyond the first bloom.
It has also helped me make smarter bulb choices. I spend more on things that will come back and very carefully choose tulips as my "accents."

lisa said...

Ok, here's something these bulb people WON'T tell you-I've been spreading bulb fertilizer over the greened foliage of my bulbs, and manure over the area when they're dormant....and I've had the "temporary" bulbs naturalize and fluorish for over 5 years! So there!

Kasmira said...

If you can stand anymore tulip comments... My neighbor saw me planting mine this weekend and warned me that the squirrels would eat them. He said that they had eaten his. He knew this because after a couple of years, they stopped flowering, and, when he dug them up to investigate, the bulbs were shrunken to nearly nothing. I guess he thought the squirrels ate all of the bulb but that little bit and then buried the leftovers.