The squirrels are better gardeners than I am.


It is quite generally known that I am not a gardener. I have a history of killing houseplants (unless they are of they are unattended root vegetables, in which case, they occasionally thrive.) One year, at my old house, I did clear out the garden plot left by the previous owners, and planted a vegetable garden. Things went quite well, until a woodchuck wandered in. After that, there was no more vegetable garden. (Woodchucks, by the way, are even worse gardeners than I am.) In any case, I left the garden to grow wild after that, and soon the vines and thorns took over.

Some years later, a splash of red caught my eye inside the tangle of vines and thorns. Tulips were springing up! I had planted vegetables there, not flowers, and we hadn’t had any red tulips. But there they were. I have heard that squirrels will bury stashes of food in the ground, and such stashes will sometimes include root bulbs as well as nuts and acorns. I can only guess that some squirrel had dug up someone else’s red tulip bulbs, and planted them in my untended garden. Unlike my ex-cucumbers, it would appear that tulip bulbs are not attractive to woodchucks. And so the tulips were left to grow.

Each year, the tulips return with more and more blooms, thriving in some squirrel’s secret garden.

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