To Buy or Not to Buy

The last two times Arbor Day Foundation sent me a gift to thank me for my donation (though really, it’s not so much as a donation as payment for the gift), the plants and bulbs were worthless. The plants were too tiny to plant, though in retrospect, I should have put them in a pot and babied them, but considering that I didn’t remember ordering them and didn’t even know what they were, it didn’t really matter what I did with them. The bulbs I got at the beginning of summer were a disappointment. Only one gladiolus bloomed, and I’m afraid if I dig up the bulbs like they suggest and replant them next year, the same thing will happen, so I’m going to cover them with some sort of mulch and leave them where they are. Maybe with an earlier start, they’d be okay.

Normally I’m not disappointed in the failure of Arbor Day Foundation “gifts” because I know how seldom they thrive, at least with me as their caretaker, but I was disappointed in the bulbs because the bulb collection they sent last year did well.

Because of the disappointment, I’d decided to toss away any further solicitations unread, but today, as I started to shred the card with my name on it, I noticed the most beautiful blooms. These are yellow, light orange, and apricot, and last year’s collection (the one that did well), was pink and purple.

I couldn’t do it. Couldn’t tear up the card, I mean. I know even if the bulbs bloom, they will never look like the photo, but even if one of the bulbs comes up, it will be a delight. So I’ve added this card to the stack of planting items to order this weekend when I have time to concentrate.

In my defense, I received a flower catalog yesterday, and though the gardens portrayed made me envious, I set aside the catalog and didn’t order from it, so perhaps my will power was all used up, and that’s why this gorgeous sunset-colored collection of bulbs got to me.

And the plants I’m not buying? Well, there is still plenty of time for me to change my mind, and if I remain steadfast and don’t change my mind, there’s always next year. So, it seems, when it comes to plants, bulbs, and seeds, my quandary is not “to buy or not to buy,” but “to buy now or to buy later.”


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator