Two weeks before Mary was born, I planted several hundred bulbs. It hurt.
But the pain is a distant memory, especially as we've enjoyed the splashes of color: first the yellow daffodils...then the purple tulips...then the yellow streaked with orange tulips...then the pinkish tulips...and now just a tiny bit of purple irises.
Recently, Katie realized that bulb plants come up year after year. "Will the people who live here after us see the tulips, Mommy?"
She, like I, thought that was neat. Next spring, some other family will be watching little plants push up through the ground and wondering what surprises await them. Even if they recognize tulip plants, they won't know what color until it opens up and shows the world.
It was probably just a federally paid worker and not a private gardener who planted the azalea bush in the front that is finally losing its purple flowers. Same thing with the cherry or crab apple tree in the back. But it doesn't matter who planted them or why. I just wonder if the gardener anticipated the joy his or her work would bring to me years later.
The leaves of the tree in my back yard are now pushing the flowers off. Pink gives way to the green. Bill installed a birdhouse Billy made for Scouts on that tree, and sparrows seem to have claimed it as their home. How lucky we are to be able to watch them from our dining room table as we do school.
My only disappointment, if you could call it that, has been the irises. Unusually hot weather in October caused the bulbs to grow instead of sleep. By November, they were all out of the earth and wondering why the days were not getting longer. In early spring, while tending to the beds, I pulled the dead leaves off, but left the green ones. A few weeks ago, I considered trimming them to the ground, but they just looked so hardy that I decided to wait. Sure enough, I have a few blooms and see more coming. But they are pathetic looking! The fall growth and improper dormancy caused them to be stunted. That's okay. Next year someone else will see them in their full glory.