We bought a house last year and moved in mid-April, when most of the tulips had already bloomed and withered away. The town we moved to is famous for its vast tulip fields, so everything in town is decorated with them. I love flowers, allergic to them as I may be, so I bought some tulip bulbs from my daughter’s school fundraiser last October.

Growing tulips has been full of surprises. I thought the flower bed on the side of the house was empty, so I planted strawberries under the tree. The strawberry plants loved the rain we got last fall and spread to capacity. I was surprised this February to see some unfamiliar plants pushing their way through the strawberry leaves, which turned out to be tulips planted by the last homeowner. Now I have strawberry-entwined tulips. They match well with the daffodils that decided to spring up in the middle of my heather patches.

I knew the previous homeowner had planted tulips under the maple tree in the front yard, so I waited for the first chill in November and added the bulbs I purchased to the lot. While digging around in there I ran across a bunch of white things that looked like onions. I assumed this was some kind of grassy weed and pulled it up. I didn’t catch it all, fortunately, because they were actually blue hyacinth and I’m a gardening idiot.

In spite of myself, I did end up with a nice plot. Now if I can just figure out how to keep the slugs out.

Author of Strawberry Shortcake: Return of the Purple Pie Man, Disney’s Frozen Comic Collection, Transformers: Robots in Disguise Animated and Littlest Pet Shop: Open for Business. She’s written for IDW Publishing, Hasbro, Lion Forge, American Greetings and Scholastic, and her work has been discussed in Comics Beat and The Washington Post. Subscribe to the newsletter

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