Conrad The Tulip
Subject: FW: Conrad The Tulip – The Rest of The Story…
Today is a very exciting day in the Bulb Guy Garden.
When I first converted my back yard into a spring garden in 2008 for the spring of 2009, a single bulb somehow broke through the black mesh and 6 inches of pea gravel I put over the ground in the pathways. All bulbs were put in raised beds but somehow this bulb ( renegade ) found its way in the middle of the path ( see picture )
When I first saw the foliage, I parted the pea gravel to give it a little breathing room and a fighting chance. That first year and the next year only foliage showed up. The third year Jan 2011 a bud shoed up and I could tell we were going to get a flower. I was so excited. Now I would know what color it was.
In the mean time I had given a bulb gardening class at Kennedy Elementary School in San Jose Ca Nov 2010. Mrs Vu ( 3rd grade teach at Kennedy ) saw me sing with a 20 piece big band at a festival. ( What else would I do with my free time? ) After she paid me a compliment I told her I love to sing but my passion is bulb gardening.
I carry my 8 X 10 glossy's of the garden where ever I go to promote bulb gardening and showed her. She asked me if I would give her gifted students a class, which I jumped at. The class took about 2 hours and I planted bulbs along with the kids at their school. This was in Nov of 2010. I invited the kids to come and see my bulb garden the following April.
When the kids showed up I gave them the grand tour. The very first thing I showed them was the stray tulip in the middle of the path. I simply told them to be careful and that out of all the 2500 bulbs this was the most precious tulip and that this was the first year it was going to bloom. Conrad a 4th grader and the rest of the kids were in awe of the tulip.
Conrad, then a 4th grader, was very inquisitive. He had all kinds of questions about the stray tulip.
Why is out of the box? How did it get out of the box? What color is it? Does it have a name? I got the biggest kick out of him. I answered all his questions and told his name was George.
Mrs. Vu, their teacher, brought food for the kids and they made a half day of it just walking around looking at the colors. The kids were great, very respectful.
There were about 100 people that walked through the garden that day. Two hours into their visit, Conrad walked towards me with his face practically buried in his cupped hands as if he were crying. At first I thought he was hurt. There was a trail of kids following him.
"What's wrong Conrad?" Conrad held it as if it were a precious stone. At first I thought I was looking at a dead baby bird. Conrad blurted out. "Someone killed George!" He was near tears.
Someone had walked through the path and had inadvertently snapped the head of the tulip right off. Conrad was demoralized at first. I knew it was an accident and not done intentionally and explained this to him. I thanked Conrad for bringing me my most precious tulip to me and assured him that if he came back next year
George would be back stronger than ever. Dennis his father was there as well and assured me he would bring Conrad back the next year. 2012 was going to be a great year for the Bulb Guy Garden. The garden made my home town calendar and KNTV was doing a story on The Bulb Guy Garden. Over 4000 bulbs were planted but none of them had the anticipation attached to them as did George The Tulip.
I told Mrs. Vu, Conrad's teacher, that I would call her at the first site of George the Tulip. The third week of January George poked his foliage through the black mesh and pea gravel for the 4th year in a row. I called Mrs Vu and told her George was back but I renamed him Conrad and that he has a ceramic guard frog and a guard turtle to protect him. (See picture again)
Conrad the Tulip was a beautiful canary yellow. It all made sense now. Conrad the Tulip was planted years ago in my past bulb gardens before the total conversion. Matured and made its presence.
Conrad did come back with his class last year April 2012. When they first saw I had renamed George to Conrad, they went nuts. They took pictures with "Conrad The Tulip" as if he were a rock star. Way cool!
Conrad was there when they shot the story, "Grow it and they will come" on KNTV. I got to tell the story about "Conrad The Tulip" about 100 times and introduce Conrad to everyone. Conrad is a special kid. He eventually chimed in and embellish the story ( there should be a movie ) as we were standing there. Something I will never forget.
Today at 12:00 PM Jan 2, 2013, not one but two tulips shoots popped through the black mesh and pea gravel. "Conrad The Tulip has a sister…..or a brother……Connie or Chuck…..I haven't decided.
I also planted the tulip seeds from Conrad last year. It will take 6 to 7 years before I see a flower…..but I got nothing better to do. Just keeping you in the loop Joan. I see you moved from the garden section to the pest control section.
Just keeping you in the loop Joan. I see you moved from the the garden section to the pest control section.
Good info by the way.
I hope you can come see the garden this year. And to think this is the short version.
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