The Survivor Bulbs

For the last few weeks, I have been looking for signs of life. Evidence of existance…..

My mailbox garden greeted the postmaster each day with Lantana and a red climbing rose (that was super thorny and obnoxious, but that’s another story). The garden bed was lined with beloved Oxblood Lilies. After the flood, debris was piled through the entire yard. FEMA came through, with a bulldozer, and flattened the mailbox garden as flood debris was loaded onto a dump truck. Deep rutts where Oxblood Lilies once thrived were the only thing remaining were deep rutts where Oxbloods once thrived.

I hadn’t planned on digging yesterday. I had just finished a performance, and I just wanted to “survey” (the term my husband uses for me as I walk through the garden and ponder). I had on a new white shirt and a scarf…..not really digging attire. But, I saw tiny bits of green foliage and I was hooked. I grabbed my shovel, which is always randomly placed where I dug the day before, and stuck it in the earth. It might as well have been digging through concrete. I literally jumped on the shovel, over and over, to pry the earth open.

The bulbs were in bad shape. Suffocated and cold. Broken and marred. The previous freeze, with the compacted ground had caused some of the bulbs to rot. The bulbs were already trying to heal.


Often times, I see life through nature. I see how I want to be. I see characteristics of a perfect, unflawed world through the garden. In this case…survival.

Surviving a trauma, whether it is a bulldozer than runs you down or a tramatic human experience, deep imprints are left on your life. Some choose to succumb to the anguish….and just give up. The push to heal and bloom is simply too hard. Breaking free from the compacted muk that surrounds us is too great. It’s easier to just rot…..

But some, like my Survivor Bulbs, choose life. To push forth. To hold true to the fact that sometimes bad things happen to good people….but God is still good. To me, the strength it takes to break out of a trauma is awe inspiring. A story within itself. A testimony of goodness. The Survivor Bulbs will be given a special place in my garden. A reminder of hope.

I gently placed the Survivor Bulbs in a basket I found among some of the debris still present after the flood. I let the bulbs breathe in fresh air and bask in the sun. I imagined a new beginning for these bulbs in a new garden……..


Happy Gardening, my cherished garden friends. For pictures of the Suvivor Bulbs, or recent digs…..please check out Heirloombulbgirl on Facebook or Instagram.