The last of the spring bulbs went in today - an exercise involving much weeding and defoliation just to get to ground level. So much promise in so many wizened corms.
Last week I put in daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. Today it was the turn of allium and fritillary. I should have learned by now not to be so beguiled by plant catalogues. I order with much enthusiasm: 'We'll have a drift, a wave of 'Purple Sensation' - at least 250, at least, no less.....it'll look sensational, and daffodils, and tulips - green and white - we'll not see less than 100...such a welcome sight after winter's gloom...' etc etc. I buy into a dream.
The order is despatched. They arrive. The man in the white van heaves a heavy brown box through the gate and drives back to civilisation. I'm quite suprised to discover that the contents are bulbs, as by now ordering them is history and I was hoping for a case of wine. A check through the box reveals hundredsHundredsHUNDREDS of bulbs. OhMyGod! where am I going to plant them? There was a plan once but that was in August........
The bulging box is put in the utility room where it sits, eyeing me reproachfully each time I do the laundry. Question. Can a box 'eye reproachfully'? Possibly.
Of course, eventually and without much enthusiasm bulbs do get planted. And it's always worth it in the end. Sense of achievment, wonderful spring display blah, blah etc etc.
It's good to think, as these days get shorter and colder, of stirring life beneath the soil in springtime and the force that draws the shoot to the warmth and light of the sun. And petals. Petals unfolding and colour again after winter's grey.