“To walk in a woman’s garden is to visit her soul.” c. e. hollis
In Natchez, high on a bluff above the swollen muddy Mississippi River, sits a masterpiece left over from a grace-filled era. Rosalie, sporting in front and back, great lofty white columns and tall windows along the verandas and porches.
The grounds are full of blooming roses, hydrageas, and the white beauty of gardenias. Hostas and ivies climb wrought iron fences, surround Koi ponds and birdbaths, and trundle along beside brick walks. I imagine what a summer’s evening on one of the upper veranda’s wicker rocking chairs (with a book and a tall glass of minted iced tea) would be like.
The air holds the warmth of the south, the river’s motion and sounds: a tugboat’s warning and the water’s ripple, bird’s calls and cicadas’ songs. There for a moment in the past, I linger dreaming in the shade of spreading live oaks and river’s cooling breeze––watching Rosalie––a ghostly, white statue of stately graceful youth––and I smell the unmistakable, unforgettable, heavy scent of gardenias.
“Tulips are cups of colorful sunlight–like shapes of rainbow on the ground smiling up at God.” c. e. hollis
I love tulips; and I have dried and preserved many this year. How do I save them for another spectacular show next spring?
Tulips come up by themselves for years and years as long as you live in the right climate and do not disturb them, but you may want to plant something else in their places come summer.
Visiting Muskogee, Oklahoma’s Honor Heights Park gardens, I found the gardeners pulling up the remains of tulips (the whole plant: leaves, bulbs, roots and all.) and laying them out separately on the concrete floor under an awning.
When the plants had dried enough, she loaded them in paper grocery bags (left open). I found the bulbs were for sale and purchased some bags with instructions.
Here is the simplier-than-it-sounds method for preserving the bulbs.
Pull up the faded tulips after the petals have begun to fall off of the last of them.
Lay them in a place where they can dry for a couple of weeks. [Example: garage floor, or porch floor away from animals, children, moving cars and bikes, or weather which might destroy them. I put a plastic tablecloth on my guest room bed and turned on the ceiling fan above them.]
Check them regularly and when the green leaves are dried and brittle gather them.
Remove the tops from the bulbs.
Place bulbs in a plastic bag with holes or a net fruit storage (like oranges come in) bag.
Place in a storage container to protect them from water, rot, rodents, insects or mold.
Store until late fall; then plant in the flowerbed.