Friday, January 29, 2010

There's No Place Like Home--and if there was I probably wouldn't go there.

When I first saw the tulip fields in the Skagit valley I felt like I had walked into the poppy fields in the Wizard of OZ. So much solid color for as far as the eye could see. It was glorious and unbelievable. I was like a little kid giddy with excitement. Of course I just had to have my very own fields of tulips. Unfortunately I did not have the room for it. Not unless I planted every square inch of the front yard and then moved on into the neighbors yards as well. Not that I think they would have minded but they may have questioned my on my color choices and I simply wasn’t willing to go there. There was also that small but important fact that made my dream even less likely to come true. I didn’t garden! A small set back to my Dorothy schemes.

I reluctantly came to terms with my territorial limitations and non gardening ways and consoled myself with yearly visits to the fields and ogling the tulips of the neighbors who actually did garden.
When we moved to our current home a few years ago those dreams long denied and dormant resurfaced with a vengeance. As soon as we had beds with dirt I wanted to fill them with bulbs. Tons of bulbs, swaths of vibrant mind blowing color as far as the eye can see. I got the catalogues from our local growers and began filling up my order, eager for those big beautiful fields of color to be mine, all mine. And it took about five whole minutes before I found out just how flipping expensive that was going to be! The Wicked Witch of Want and her evil Monkeys of Denial had thwarted my Dorothy plans once again.

But no! The Scarecrow of Autumn arrived with a wonderful gift—the 50% off sale. I was saved, my dreams of creating “No Place Like Home” were back on track. I grabbed a cart and began scaring the daylights out of the Saint. I snagged bags of 75 this, 100 that and 50 something else. In went big bags of red plastic mesh filled with red yellow mix tulips 100 count, giant King Alfred daffodils 100 count, then pink ones, and yellow ones then hyacinth, crocus, iris …it was a mad flurry of bulbs and corms. They were 50% off for heavens sake--I had to!

This is my third year buying copious amounts of bulbs at deep discount ten minutes before the weather turns to rain, snow and ice. It’s a challenge and a lot of work but so far I have managed to get all those bulbs into the ground before the weather runs into the house to suck up to the fireplace for the next several months. This year I waited for the sales as I have done before, they seemed though I can verify it, to go on sale later. I made my final bulb purchase during a sleet and hail storm. They were going to sit in the garage for a bit.

Then the holidays hit, a main waterline broke leaving us no water over said holidays, then the flu, the Titanic event, the flu again, oh, and now the heater is leaking again. Nope, not kidding, the new water heater is leaking from ever single hose connection the guy made just a couple of days ago. Sigh. No water again lest we drown in our sleep.

At least the weather isn’t what it was last year around this time when it was um, cold. We had a wee bit of snow then. This photo was taken just after Christmas last year, when we got three feet of the white stuff over night. The year before on this date, we also had snow. This year however it looks like we are going to have roses blooming with the tulips. It has been very mild after a long hot summer and the garden has had about 6 minutes of sleep, which sadly, is about 4 more minutes than I have had lately.

I have been out there in the garden with my trusty spoon for days now trying to get 700 discount bulbs into the ground before the daisies and roses show up. I’m almost there but if I have to go through one more life altering event I might just choke a Munchkin and call it a day.


  1. Help and forgiveness!
    There were five comments here this morning but when I "published" them they seemed to have disappeared into the ether. I know it takes time to read a post and then even more time to write a comment and fill in those goofy letters so I appreciate each of your comments so very much. I am excited everytime I see someone has taken that time to leave one so it pains me immensely that this has happened. I can only remember two of the lost commenters, HOCKING HILLS and TATYANA. If I can remember the others I will post your names too.
    I'm sorry for this little blogging mishap. :-(

    Hocking Hills

  2. Your tulips are gorgeous. My bulbs are mostly in pots as I like the small indigenous ones, wild freesias and Lachenalias. And a few cross (that's angry, not hybrid) snowdrops and bluebells.

  3. You're right the roses probably will be blooming with them :) I planted nowhere even close to 700 and forgot where they all were within a week. I'm finding all sorts of surprises now. I wonder when those tulip fields will be blooming this year?
    Sorry to hear your new heater is leaking, there always seems to be something with houses doesn't there?

  4. Oh, the adventures that go in in your neck of the woods! I planted red and yellow tulips. Love that color combination.

  5. It's going to be just gorgeous!! So sorry about your water heater.

  6. Le San,
    How sad to lose your comments... I would feel the same way! If something like that happens again try going to history and have it reopen the page or hit back button... maybe there is a way to retrieve them... or is this a blogger kink? I am sorry to read also that you have more heater worries! Good Grief! That last photo is pretty amazing and close enough the field of poppies!! Gorgeous and the light is stunning. I just hope there are no voles near you!! I am so looking forward to seeing what pops up and open in the spring. :>)

  7. This is a bit of a shock to my winter-mode brain. I've just come in from skate skiing and snowshoeing to read about bulbs and see beautiful photos of tulips. Fun stuff!

  8. Beautiful tulips. I planted around 200 when we bought this place 20 years ago and I think less than 5 came up. But I think it was critters eating the bulbs - they probably never stood a fighting chance. Finally year before last I did a few in a tub again and had better luck. Did some bulbs in September and all looks good so far.
    Sorry to hear about your water heater. Always something isn't it? I just read your Titanic post. Not funny but your writing is great and I'm sure I was laughing - sorry! LOL

  9. LeSan, Good luck on getting your tulips in. I, too have put them in late when I lived up north. It is worth it!! Ahhh, your photo of the tulips makes me yearn for spring.

  10. LeSan,

    Many years ago I went to my brother's wedding in Oregon and got to see some of these tulip fields while we were tooling around... so I can see why you would want to emulate such beauty. I hope you get all of yours planted...bummer about the comments. I am sure there was some rather lovely cursing done.

  11. Oh, my, you are having a time, aren't you? I'm praying for you and for those lovely flowers to blossom and brighten your days!!!

  12. ELEPHANT’S EYE~ Wild Freesias and Lachenalias sound wonderful. I imagine it must be so beautiful when all that is blooming. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit.

    CATHERINE~ I knew you would understand entirely! Our gardens have so much in common and both seem have slept for all of fifteen minutes this winter. It will be very interesting to see how this works out won’t it? I almost wonder if everything is going to blow out by mid summer and leave us high and bloomless. Well, let’s hope it’s a big show until then.

    COZY LITTLE HOUSE~ Brenda I can sincerely tell you that I would welcome a break from these adventures. I don’t suppose I have never been more excited to see a month end. LOL I’m glad you planted bulbs, they are one of the most satisfying color blooms ever--just my little opinion of course.

    DARLA~ Thank you for your sympathy. Stupid house issues do seem to be never ending and ever annoying. I am really hoping that they come up. I got them in so late I hope they have enough time in the ground. The Northwest is pretty forgiving for gardening though so I’m counting on that grace. Fingers crossed!

    CAROL~ Oh what a helpful suggestion! I hope it doesn’t happen again but if it should I will definitely try what you suggested. I am so tired of that blasted water heater. Grr. We do have voles, moles, squirrels etc. we also have cats and dogs and raised beds on bedrock. That seems to keep the bulbs safe. I think you would love the tulip fields. There is simply no denying the pure magic of their rich colors. It makes me swoon ever time I see those fields.

  13. TERRY LYNN~ I have never heard of skate-skiing but leave it to you to do it—and to do it at the same time as snow shoeing. LOL

    RAIN GARDENER~ I planted some out back which was apparently prime territory for the critters to sneak up on them. I literally watched the little buggers take them down like in some cartoon rabbits taking down carrots. I learned that lesson. No more tulips out back. The moles can’t seem to make it through the gravel and bedrock out front though and thank goodness for that. I’m sorry that you had such a poor return on your first run. That must have been very disappointing. I’m glad you kept at though, they are so worth it when they bloom aren’t they?

    MARY DELLE~ I’m glad to hear that you planted late and had success, I’m hoping for the same luck. –especially when it took me so long to get them all in. Well I guess I’ll find out soon enough. hehe

    ROSEY POLLEN~ Ah Rosey, you do know me. Lovely cursing to be sure. I’m so glad you were able to see the fields and can understand my passion for them. I had never actually seen a tulip until I moved to the Northwest. I always thought they were small flowers for some reason and was shocked when I saw how large they actually are. I fell madly in love with them and I guess that shows when I can’t resist buying 700 bulbs I barely have time to plant. Sigh. I have issues.

    EILEEN ASTELS~ Thank you so much for your prayers. That brightens my day considerably even without the flowers. :-)