Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Last of the Shirleys

   Sometime, during the months after my mom passed away in April of 1997, I'd stopped in by Daddy on my way home from work to check up on him and to spend a little time.  I found him sitting at the diningroom table looking through a flower catalog that had arrived in the mail that morning. He pointed out, sort of forlornly, a variety of tulip named "Shirley". That was Mom's name. So I decided to order a bunch of Shirley bulbs for the two of us to share. The bulbs arrived that Fall and we split them up and planted them.
      The following spring arrived. The last thing I had time for was to check on my Shirleys, let alone Daddy's. He'd been diagnosed with cancer and was staying with Jeffrey and me. I was doing other things--lots of other things.  Daddy passed away that June and, oddly, I honestly don't know if he ever saw his Shirleys.
   Over the years, my Shirleys have poked their heads up each spring, blossomed, lost petals, and retired until the following year. I've planted tother tulip bulbs, dug up bulbs, stored bulbs, moved bulbs, lost bulbs. My Shirleys sort of waned. THIS spring, after planting many, many inexpensive bulbs in October, I had lots of tulip color. Last week when I was out diggin' in my tulip beds, I found 6 precious, precious Shirleys! The last of them came up in 3 different areas of my yard.
  My Shirleys have been carefully marked. As soon as the leaves start to brown and wither, I'm going to dig them up and move them to the sunniest, warmest spot in my yard, right next to the Clematis. Now, I'm wondering if there's a variety of tulip named "Alfred". hummm..........