It was almost ten years ago, that I planted bulbs in my backyard. I’ve written about this before. Those bulbs grew every year and made my little patch of dirt radiant! I did nothing to help them, and yet they graced me with hyacinths and daffodils every spring.
What a return on the effort!
For the last few years, though, the flowers have been fewer. So, when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I said “Bulbs.”
I was thinking hyacinths, to fill in the ones that were fading. I figured that bulbs must have a lifespan, and my bulbs had done a great job for 10 years. Time to lay in a new crop.
I did get bulbs for Christmas. So many! However, none of them were hyacinth. I was glad to have new ones to try, but I really wanted more of the hyacinths that had entranced me so.
I went down to the local nursery, thinking I could find some hyacinths and plant them all at the same time. I did find the bulbs, which were half off (yay!). No hyacinths, though.
I asked the clerk, “Do you have hyacinth bulbs?”
“Oh no, those have to be planted earlier. We don’t have any now.”
First, I was totally dismissive in my mind of his assertion that hyacinths must be planted earlier. My ten years of blooms were planted in January so I knew something of how to be successful.
I explained to him that my bulbs were dying out. He nodded, and asked if they had shoots of leaves year-round, but no blossoms.
Huh. The daffodils did have that problem. A year or two after I planted the daffodils, I noticed that they didn’t die off like they used to. The flowers fell off, but the leaves remained. And they stayed up all year.
I respected him a bit more now.
He went on to explain that the bulbs were reproducing, and were crowding together. This resulted in leaves but no flowers. If I went in, dug up the bulbs and discarded, or broke up the bulbs and planted them with more room they could bloom.
So. I did just that. I bought the rest of the half-off bulbs, no hyacinths but I am willing to see what Freesia can do for me.
I planted them all, dug up the crowded daffodil bulbs and replanted what I could. 100 bulbs!
Now in February they are starting to bloom.
For the first time in years, I see a daffodil.
Somehow, I thought the daffodils were doing fine. The leaves looked perfectly healthy. And if all I wanted was leaves, they did a great job of being leaves.
I have done that. I have been in places in my life when I was almost what I wanted. Fine. No problems, not really. But something missing, not my full potential.
These bulbs needed room. They had been so successful that they had crowded themselves out of blooming.
My cousin said something to me a couple weeks ago. “You can’t use the same skills that got you here to take you forward.”
Daffodils had something to show me about that. It was horrifying for the daffodil to get the cure. I dug them up, tore off their leaves, ripped apart the roots and stuck them into a new patch of dirt to make of it what they would.
And for me to tear myself up and do whatever it is that will take me to the next level feels horrifying too.
And I see one has made a flower already.
It’s the season to bloom.