The secret life of a tulip bulb

“What would you call them if they were in a story? Would they be happy endings, or happy beginnings?”

~Margaret Atwood, from The Tent (2007)


Margaret Atwood poses an interesting question about the emotions evoked when planting bulbs in the darkest days of fall.

For me, planting bulbs is both: A happy ending to the summer and a happy beginning to what lies ahead…the promise of spring.


It gives me comfort in the winter to think of the bulbs tucked away safely and secretly under the snow:

Source: Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center
Source: Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center

And the sweet anticipation of warmer weather and this beautiful sight to come:


Does planting bulbs make you sad for the end of summer or happy for the knowledge of what will come in the spring?


  1. nonono, not sad! Preparing the garden for winter, all jobs that come with it, is putting it to bed for a nice and well deserved nap. I love that image of tulip bulbs leeping happily under a blanket of snow. Time for rest, recuperation and refelction,right?

    • Agreed, it’s the same for me. It’s harder for some….especially with our cold winters here in Ottawa. Always good to think about the life that continues underground!

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