she who keeps this diary

21 August 2003 - 3:54 PM

Consolation of Tulips

Horrible, stupid, 2-hour pointless meeting which could have mostly been dealt with in one good memo, save possibly for assembling our "crisis kits" (rubber gloves in case someone is bleeding, but no first aid kit? Not even gauze pads?) and the lecture we got about how we were not to bring up new business in meetings because it is Honcho's prerogative, as Honcho, to decide what is and is not discussed in faculty meetings. Well, actually the lecture could have been handled in the memo too. Oh, but it is crucial at the beginning of the year to discuss how student orientation will go, because (gasp) it's going to be exactly the same as last year! If we had new faculty, I could see it, but we have no new faculty this year (despite the fact that my department is understaffed by at least one and arguably two, and other departments are in the same boat) and none of us are so stupid or forgetful that we cannot figure out the student orientation schedules which could have been left in our pigeonholes.

I think it is bad that I feel so bitter and burnt out, before I even teach a class this fall. We cannot afford for me to be unemployed; we need my income and we need the health insurance. But I would so love to chuck it all and work part-time at a bookstore.

As a consolation for this grievous waste of my time and strength, I am ordering too many bulbs. From High Country Gardens I am getting:

24 Fritillaria meleagris (Checkered Fritillary or Guinea Hen Flower). I first saw these blooming under a large nondescript shrub outside the St Andrews University library and they are such strange, somber little things that I fell in love with them at once.

12 Tulipa clusiana (Lady Tulips). I've been looking for these species tulips for years; they have almond-shaped petals, alternately red and white, and they have a wild grace that modern Darwin hybrids just don't.

12 Tulipa pulchella 'Persian Pearl.' An impulse purchase, I admit, but they are tiny and purple and I liked them. At approximately 66 cents a bulb, they're not a great indulgence.

6 Narcissus pseudonarcissus obvallaris (Tenby Daffodil). This is supposed to be a native of the British woodlands and it's a charming little thing.

12 Allium moly 'Jeanine.' Probably the only allium I will ever grow, and only because it is mentioned in the Odyssey

12 Crocus sativus (Saffron crocus). Growing my own saffron sounds difficult and exotic, and therefore I want to try.

From Wayside Gardens I am getting a mixed bag of 6 oriental lily bulbs; I have a bed along my front walk which is planted with various spring-blooming bulbs, but once those are done it looks like a landing strip. The oriental lilies, and probably a few bareroot dayliles next spring, will help cover the dying foliage from the spring bulbs and give me something to look at other than mulch for the remainder of the summer.

For whatever reason, I didn't find much to make me squeal in the White Flower Farm catalogue this time around. Some of the things they carried last fall, like Lilium martagon, they aren't carrying this fall, and some of the trumpet and/or oriental lily varieties which I have seen in their catalogue in the past and liked also are not available. On the other hand, I am already looking at 6 dozen bulbs which should be arriving by mail in the near future, and knowing me I will buy more at the garden centres, so maybe it's just as well that WFF doesn't tempt me this year. That bulb auger from Lee Valley Tools, however, is looking really good.

verso - recto

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