First bloom tulips, planted this past Fall.
Second-bloom tulips, planted Fall 2009.
Some people grow up with a father in the home. I grew up with a father in the yard. He was always out there. And often we were, too. We got .01 per Cosmos that we deadheaded and put into our paper grocery sack. It seemed, to me, as a 10-year-old, that the whole yard was full of dead Cosmos. Purple and orange and dark purple. I remember picking grapes off the grape arbor that were too small and sour, but once in a while you would get a little sweet one and it made all the other pucker-worthy fruit worthwhile. I remember making "soup" from selections of herbs in the garden. I remember the sycamore trees, the Lilac bushes, and walking through the rose patch trying not to get snagged on the thorns.
Now, my Dad lives with us and is happy to let us do the dirty work in the yard. Claiming, he's moved on from his days of watering vast lawns and fighting rocky soil (here it's clay), I still catch him taking strolls amid the raised beds and even poking a few seeds into the dirt.
Last week Dr. Gooch and I were out in the yard. I was pruning our Eucalyptus and the Butterfly Bush and weeding, always weeding. He was flinging fertilizer on all the bulbs pushing up through the dirt. My parents drove up. I was shamelessly admiring my work out loud to my Mom. She said, "[Dr. Gooch] is so lucky to have you out here in the yard". I expressed surprise that she hadn't been outside more when we were growing up. She is a nature lover.
"There was always too much to do inside", she admitted.
There IS always too much to do inside. It is true. There will never not be too much to do inside. Yet somehow, it always waits for me. Maybe this is what drove me outdoors in the first place. But also, the yard is season-driven and cannot wait. Especially right now, when warmer temps tempt growth. Growth that demands guidance.
Dr. Gooch is lucky for many reasons. But I am lucky to have HIM out here in the yard with me.
He was converted to gardening late in our 10 years of marriage. I blame it on two things: finally having land of his own and bulbs. I've never seen such masculine swooning over tulip blooms and Lily shoots. He is a man in love. I am the lucky one.
*Order your bulbs or pick them up at Costco or Lowe's late summer, early Fall. Here in the Southwest we plant them a bit later than in the West. Novemberish here, Septemberish there. Six inches deep. Fertilizer. Well-drained soil. Then, your winter endurance will be rewarded with stunning surprises all over the yard!