Everyone thinks the life of a tulip is quite simple.
We get planted in the fall, hunker down all winter, then come up and bloom in the spring and soak up the sun juice to rejuvenate our bulbs. Then we rest all summer, fall, and winter, and repeat the next spring.
If only that were true. There is much more to the life of a tulip, as Pinky and I will tell you, because one of the worst things that can happen to a tulip almost happened to me and Pinky this spring.
We were almost smothered by weeds.
I'll tell you the tale...
Pinky and I came up early in the spring, as normal, sending up our foliage first, and then our flower buds. At first, all seemed quite normal. Sure, there were a few cold mornings that had us shivering in our roots, but we are used to that so didn't mind at all.
Then one day, Pinky turns to me and said, "It's getting crowded around here."
I looked around and sure enough. It was crowded.
There was quite a bit of purple dead nettle. And dandelions, too.
We didn't know where they came from but they teased and taunted us. They stole our food, the nitrogen in the soil. They tried to shade us out.
The dandelion even grew a big long tap root and kept trying to encroach on our bulbs where no one could see it, like a kid who pulls your hair when the teacher isn't looking.
They were thugs. It was awful.
Pinky and I didn't know what to do. We tried to shout for help, but couldn't shout loud enough to be heard, even with tu-lips.
Then Pinky suggested we just bloom as big and bright as we could and hope for the best. So we bloomed as big and bright as we could, Pinky and I, like we've never bloomed before. Finally, after what seemed like days, because it probably was, a gardener came by and saw our blooms amongst the purple dead nettle and dandelions.
Fortunately for us, the gardener was carrying some weeding tools with her and immediately set about freeing us from the clutches of the weeds.
I don't mind saying that both Pinky and I were quite brave through it all, even though that sharp weeding knife came quite close to us a few times. We've heard of weeding tragedies, which involved innocent flowers like Pinky and I being de-flowered before their time. It's frightening to see that blade so close to your tender parts, as Pinky can attest.
Fortunately for us, the gardener was careful. She talked to us in a soothing voice through the whole rescue. "There, there, lovely little tulips, I'll get rid of these big ugly weeds. They won't bother you when I'm done with them."
Then weed by weed, she freed Pinky and I from the their evil clutches.
|Pinky and Pretty, Two Tulips|
But Pinky and I will bloom in gratitude as long as we can and never forget the gardener who rescued us on a lovely day.