We had some friends over for drinks last night, and Kish brought home these pink tulips to provide a pretty welcome for them. It’s always nice to have flowers in the house, and tulips are a special treat this time of year. On dreary March days, their beautiful colors and fresh scent remind us that, technically, the March equinox has passed and spring is here, and the real, blooming Midwestern spring is just around the corner.
Tulips also remind me of Grandma Neal, who had a taste for poetry and an astonishing ability to recall and recite poetry from memory. One of her favorites to recite when spring arrived was The Garden Year, by Sara Coleridge, which mentions tulips:
January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.
March brings breezes, loud and shrill,
To stir the dancing daffodil.
April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.
May brings flocks of pretty lambs
Skipping by their fleecy dams.
June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children’s hands with posies.
Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots, and gillyflowers.
August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.
Warm September brings the fruit;
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.
Fresh October brings the pheasant;
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.
Dull November brings the blast;
Then the leaves are whirling fast.
Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.