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.)