Many a gardener has been seduced by pictures of great swaths of tulips exploding with color and delighting the senses. Many of these same gardeners have felt disappointment, viewing their own garden beds planted full of bulbs the previous fall, now mysteriously devoid of color.
Tulips are like candy to the fauna that frequent our gardens. Chipmunks, squirrels, and voles (among others), are drawn to these delicious morsels we layout as a banquet, seemingly only for their benefit. Very few tulip beds survive the winter, without many precautions, to emerge in spring and fulfill their promise.
That is why this lone tulip captured my attention this morning. Not planted in a bed, nor buried under, or in, a wire mesh. Not surround by moth balls, or protected by any other time tested (or cockamamie) solution. Here this glorious blossom stands, amongst the Lily of the Valley, Multiflora Rose, and Hay-scented Fern. Lost in the dumping area of pruning waste, fall leaves, and brush. A single lone red tulip, lit by the morning sun.
Not planted by this gardener, but perhaps by a short furry, quadraped, of the rodent ilk, stashed away for safe keeping.
It won’t be long before its blossom fades, and it’s swallowed up by the tall weeds and fern that fill this area every summer. But for a brief moment this spring, with a little help from mother nature, this “one lone tulip” arose in the wilderness, its promise fulfilled!
Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you discovered an uncut diamond in your garden? If so, I would love to hear about it.
I am endlessly inspired by a meadow. I think my fascination began as a child in Danvers Massachusetts in the late 1960’s. We lived next to a field of tall grass that provided all that was needed to keep a young boy’s attention, a fallen tree, snakes, hiding places, etc… Another inspiration came from a book we read as children. I can’t recall the title, but remember the story vividly. In it a young boy is searching for the end of the earth. He looks everywhere for it, and eventually finds it in his own backyard, at the end of a meadow.
Meadows have remained magical places to me, and now as an adult I am drawn to them as inspiration for pattern, color, and as example of how plant communities evolve in nature. Meadows are often photographed in late summer and early fall, as that is the time they are most alive and display such great beauty. There is, however, amazing inspiration to be found in a meadow during all four seasons, and I have found myself lately drawn to the early spring meadows that dot the nearby landscapes. Flush with the faded colors of last year’s growth, and ready to burst forth with a new season’s wonder, I am energized by the beauty of this transitional time.
These photos are from a meadow in Simsbury, Connecticut. Bordering a youth sports field, and at the foot of a ridge, it is a place of natural beauty nestled into american suburbia, and I am anxiously awaiting what it reveals next!