Notes from the Garden, Part II

It happens this way …

Six years ago, I planted pink gladiola bulbs and was thrilled when they produced the most delicately colored stalks. Glads usually bloom twice a season in our climate, so I was dumbfounded when the second blooming produced orange flowers. As the seasons rolled on, the glads consistently started out as orange and then second-rounded as pink. Go figure.

Anyway, a poem grew from that experience.

A sonnet for plotting amateurs

Deep Pink, the package claimed and photographed

our dream of gladiola sprays. We mapped

three dozen bulbs around our pastel plots

as complements, we thought, to bright-eyed phlox,

petunias, asters, salvia and mums

and contrasts to the brooding firs we’d come

to love. But amateurs miss facts: bees

are un-enamored of this color scheme

and weak-kneed hummingbirds whir by

thumbing wings at pinks and blues and whites.

We’d only half a natural world until

some mischief rescued our design. It filled

our yard with orange glads in mid-July,

then shrugged with birds and bees, So labels lie.

Then, three years ago I planted glorious blue glad bulbs and was thrilled when


they maintained their rich color for three seasons – until this year. The blue turned orange! What mischief is playing with us?



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