Sunday, January 25, 2015

What's Happening Underground

Last week, as I went down and back up the driveway for my daily walk with the dogs, my mind turned to spring bulbs. Before our move back to Georgia, I had never planted any, at least, not really. I did try to grow tulips in Florida by placing the bulbs in the refrigerator for the winter and then planting them in pots when the weather seemed appropriate for tulips. That was, without question, a complete disaster. Of 20 bulbs planted, only two sprouted leaves, and that's all they did.

But beginning in late October last year, we took what we considered a massive leap of faith. I ordered nearly 200 bulbs, a combination of Galanthus (Snowdrops), Hyacinth, and several varieties of daffodils. Day after day, Turfman marched with me to various spots on the property to plant the bulbs in the hard Georgia clay. The goal was 20 bulbs for each outing. Sometimes that was impossible, as we'd hit an especially unyielding spot and the drill batteries would die before the auger had made enough holes. Near the end, in desperation, we would march down the driveway, I with a basket of bulbs in hand and Turfman with the pick axe over his shoulder. He made trenches while I dropped in the remaining bulbs. As I carefully placed each one, I uttered a little prayer that our efforts wouldn't be a terrible waste of time.

Now, at the end of January, I keep thinking about when daffodils should be pushing their way to the surface. I've been wondering what the bulbs must be thinking. Are they making plans for a big move? Are they hunkering down? Rotting? As the dogs and I walk by the general areas where Turfman and I were so often on our knees in late fall, I scan the surface of the soil, desperate for some sign.

And then yesterday, I saw something.

Those are hyacinths

And further on, I came upon something else.

Those are daffodils

And then I was on my knees again, scanning and counting all other signs of impending spring growth. It seems that there's a whole lot going on underground right now, and it all looks pretty promising.

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