It took me quite some time to realize, not to mention admit to myself, that a love for flowers and the beauty of nature is not synonymous with having a green thumb. In fact, it doesn't even mean you like gardening. The truth is I'm a romantic gardener; and like many things in life, I like the idea of it more than the activity itself. I'm open to applause for I feel it was a stretch in humility for me to accept that. (The Russian is clapping with all his might.)
So when all those spring flower bulbs appeared on the supermarket shelves two weeks ago, I exercised a heretofore unknown ability to choose wisely, asking myself the pertinent question of "Will I really plant this?" Because, and I bow my head in a slight gesture of shame, I used to buy and let die on the dugout shelves. Such a bad gardener I am.
I do not own a shovel - I do not own gloves. But I do have cute boots that I think coordinate nicely with my pajama pants; this is particularly important for romantic gardeners, since we plant when the whim overtakes us rather than when we are actually dressed for it. We use kitchen spoons for the shovels we do not own - a milk pot instead of a watering can. Are you proud of me for admitting this?
I allowed myself two packs of bulbs, White Grape Hyacinth and Lily of the Valley, and planted them this morning since they had already begun to bloom in their tiny plastic bags. Miniature flowers were struggling to break free of their prison, stretching roots out far and long in search of a place to take hold. They were not following the directions on the back of the box, as all good bulbs should; they were not waiting until I planted them between April/May to bloom dutifully in June in a sunny and well-watered area of the yard. My bulbs are unconventional; they resist rules; they would wear cute boots and pajama pants if they could.
Only time will tell whether their need for freedom has sealed their demise for this season, but something there is that needs to grow. Something there is that needs to be set free. How I understand them...