After a restful weekend at Stout Island Resort earlier in the summer, I pestered my long-suffering husband to build two fairly large flower boxes. I had liked the designs of the boxes on Stout Island, and thought they would be the answer to a pest-control issue I was having…also known as Booker. Perhaps I should further explain–
I’ve never been a bulb planter, at least not the type of bulbs that need to be planted in the spring and dug up and stored in the fall. It felt like a lot of work for questionable results. Several years ago a college teacher gave me a bag of calla lily bulbs as a gift. I planted them and immediately fell in love with the happy speckled leaves and flowers with an inner glow. Even though I felt like I had followed her directions for digging them up and storing them, most turned to mush by the following spring. She gave me more bulbs, I was happy again, and this batch survived the winter. Life was looking up concerning bulb work. Then, she gave me canna lily bulbs. I scowled at her. “Are you turning me into a bulb digger?” She laughed and said just try them. “If you hate them let them die a wintery death.” I’m not a murderer, so into storage they went too.
After we brought Booker home to live with us this spring, and the flowers in our back yard began to grow, I noticed a strange crop-circle like occurrence. My plants were either being flattened or dug up and left to shrivel in the sun. At about the same time Booker would skid into the house with suspicious mounds of dirt on his nose or paws. After several hours of major deductions I realized that if I planted my lilies in the back yard as usual, my winter storage work would be for naught. That is when the idea of the plant boxes arrived. I decided the boxes, planted with my bulbs, could go along the driveway, and the callas and cannas would be safe from dog-love destruction.
It was working great. The lilies were looking lush and fabulous, and I was feeling really smart. Last week’s storm hit me right in my hubris. A poplar tree blew down in the wind and landed squarely on my canna lily box. The poor things looked like a tossed salad. Tad cut the tree up in chunks and we tried to delicately lift the branches off the lilies, but it was a sad sight. I felt badly that I had moved the plants from area of death to another. What do I know? Today, one week after the storm, the lilies have bounced back and are looking just fine. How did I fix them? I didn’t. I just left them alone, and allowed them to do the best they could. Huh. It’s like nature knows how to take care of herself or something. But before Mother Nature gets all in my face, I’d like to remind her that winter is coming. The last time I checked, those bulbs are not going to dig themselves up. Like it or not, she still needs me. Ha!