Surprise, surprise

Despite unpredictable weather there are glimmers of hope emerging in flowerbeds in the form of yellow daffodils and tulips.

Many gardeners who put in the effort last fall are patiently waiting to see the results this spring. Bulbs, many of the red and white variety, were planted as part of Canada’s 150th celebration this year.

As often happens with best laid plans, mother nature has a way of asserting herself this time of year, letting people know she’s actually in charge. Whether it be squirrels and chipmunks helping themselves to a tasty winter treat or poor planting techniques, some hopeful growers are getting anxious as the days pass to see if all their hard work will burst into bloom or not.

For lucky green thumbs their yards will soon sprout into a treasure trove of colour and lushness. White tulips with red flames may be the most prominent this year since such a push was put on last fall to sell these special birthday bulbs.

The affection Canadians have for tulips is partially the result of a longstanding tradition that goes back to 1945. That’s when the Netherlands started sending tulip bulbs to Canada as a gift of gratitude for the efforts of Canadian soldiers in the liberation of Holland.

In the nation’s capital some 60 varieties adding up to over 250,000 tulips will be featured in over 30 flowerbeds in one large park alone. The show will be impressive and well worth the visit for locals that have the chance to make it to Ottawa this spring.

Since such a long drive isn’t an option for everyone, keep your eyes out in Arthur and other communities that undertook a special 150 tulip program this year.

We hazard to guess most gardeners wouldn’t be surprised or mind at all, if a car or two slowed down to look at surprises found in their yards. After all, caring and sharing seem to go hand in hand in the flowerbed.