planting a rainbow – January edition

We “planted a rainbow” this fall with a few different kinds of bulbs, said good night to them as we tucked them in their blankets of soil and now are patiently waiting for spring to warm the soil… But who doesn’t love some fresh flowers in the midst of winter too? Actually it doesn’t really feel much like winter here in northern Michigan. I didn’t even wear a coat yesterday, but it might just be hormones? Or maybe because of the fever from the mastitis that’s got its angry grip on me again? Oof. Regardless of the blue skies and grassy yard out there, I know better than to think Old Man Winter won’t visit soon and poor Chris will have to be shoveling the roof off again. Sigh.

Whether we have snow to play in or not, one of our winter traditions is to plant paperwhite bulbs and watch them grow right in our midst. Last year we had some beautiful ones and are hoping for some hope-filled blooms again this year. Wren did most of this year’s paperwhite planting work and it made this Mama so proud to see her engrossed in her work. At one point when I tried to add some stones too she sternly looked at me and said, “Mama, this is MY work.” Montessori!

What traditions do you have in the winter to keep you from going too stir crazy? Especially when you can’t really play in the snow… Other than TV or some other electronic device… Truth be told, we’ve been enjoying enduring some Strawberry Shortcake too. A little bit can’t hurt, right?!

Planting a Rainbow

Yahoo, we got the last of our bulbs in the ground before our new little birdie arrived! It was one of those post-baby jobs that seemed almost Herculean as I pictured holding an infant while helping Wren dig, place and bury without flailing wet dirt all over her new little birdie friend. Whew. Done.

We were especially inspired this fall by one of our favorite books: Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. We read it every week, at all times of the year. It seemed to really make a lot of sense to Wren this fall, however, since the beginning is about a child planting bulbs with her mother and then waiting all winter long for spring’s warmth and sunshine to sprout the rainbow.

Wren quickly developed some fairly particular “rules” about planting bulbs, which I had a difficult time following. God forbid I kneel on HER knee pad or get any dirt on it, the bulbs cannot stay in their “sleeping bags,” which meant she HAD to remove the papery husks (?) from the orange tulips and azure allium, and the hardy cyclamen bulbs HAD to stay snuggled up together as a family, which meant that ideally there were three or four cyclamen bulbs all piled up together. I had to do some fairly tricky “hey, look at that over there!” maneuvering to separate them before hiding them with a little bit of dirt. I was caught a couple times… it wasn’t pretty.

We said “good night” to the bulbs as we covered them up with some more dirt, put our tools away for a while and went back inside, feeling hopeful and relieved. Whew. OK, baby you can come now!