The Bloomin’ Bulbs Competition
And try to will them to bloom. Nothing happens. Back inside the house, I start dialing Les’s number. Then I catch sight of the clock and hang up quickly. It’s only 6:30 a.m. and even I’m not crazy enough to phone someone this early in the morning. At 8:30, I phone. Les’s wife Sandra answers. I’m scared. "Good morning, Sandra. It’s your Bloomin’ Competitor calling! Is there anything blooming in your garden today?" "I’m pretty sure there’s nothing blooming," Sandra says. "But I’ll get Les to the phone." Les is calm, unruffled, in sharp contrast to my feverish pitch. I’m pretty sure it’s all an act. "Now, please don’t tell me that all your daffodils are blooming," he says in his droll way. "Not quite, young man." (Les is a couple of decades older than me. I usually call him "young man" when I’m trying to be authoritative). "But don’t count your chickens yet. Anything could still happen. It’s supposed to be a sunny day today!" Les laughs. I laugh. Neither of us really believes we’ll get blooms today, but it’s important to keep the pressure on. We wish each other a good day and hang up. Nothing blooms that day. Lady Spring has suddenly gone very cool and everything is slowed down in the garden. The next day my daffodil buds are a brighter yellow. But they’re still not open. The tiny blue scilla seems on the verge of blooming. But not quite yet. Crocuses have bright green leaves with white stripes down the middle. But no blooms. Hyacinth flower heads stay closed tight. This isn’t looking good. While I wait for a decent hour to make my daily call to Les, an email drops into my Inbox.