• John R

Are Those Bulbs in My Pants?

(or am I glad to see you?)


I’m so happy! Like deliriously giddy. Maybe it was those two Excedrin with caffeine I took to ward off the ennui of another 2020 day—let’s call those little pills a contributing factor. But actually, it’s the bulbs.

A little history about my road to unbridled joy. I have bulbs. Lots of them. I don’t know where they all came from, but every time I turned over a rock or raked some leaves out of the flower beds these bulbs would appear, bubbling out of the soil like, um, bubbles. Hyacinth, tulips, iris—gosh and golly, I don’t really know what they all are. Trust me: the fact that I unearthed a buttload of bulbs bears little correlation to the scant amount of flowers that actually appear in our garden during the growing season. Nevertheless, there they were, and picking them up brought the same kind of thrill I get when picking a dime off the sidewalk. Freebie! Charmed life! Yay!



I gathered them up with the idea of turning what was obviously random chaos into some semblance of conscious order which, in our yard, would be something of a giant breakthrough. I dutifully put them in a box covered with peat moss like a “how to store bulbs” Google search says to do and awaited prime autumn bulb-planting weather.


Which is now. So, fueled with high expectations and not a few milligrams of encapsulated caffeine I set out to create a bed for my bulbs. I dug a respectable trough some 5 feet long and 2 feet wide and a good 12 inches deep. I filled said trough with high-grade planting soil and a tad of organic compost and began to plant my bulbs according to the advice I got when Googling “how to plant bulbs.”


I took some of the fattest bulbs and stuck them in the ground a few inches deep and 8 inches apart. When the bed was completely planted, I still had scads of bulbs left over. What good are scads of unplanted bulbs? Answer: No good! So I went back and doubled the density, carefully planting another set of bulbs in between the first. Still, a plethora of bulbs remained. Yes, a plethora.


And then, inspiration struck. Screw conventional wisdom—when has that ever been real actual fun?

Answer: Rarely! I felt a deep and exhilarating urge to be undisciplined, unbridled, unchained!

Into the trough went all the bulbs, probably one hundred and fifty. I covered them with a couple of inches of soil and stood back feeling positively elated and free. Take that, 2020! You think you can turn everything upside down? Ha! I see the cluttered mess of your days and weeks and raise you a completely whacked out flower bed that defies common sense.


And what will spring reveal about my bodacious bed of bountiful bulbs? Who knows, but it will be something better than you, 2020, something much better than you.


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