EcoTulips

My indoor tulip-growing efforts have reached almost epic proportions. This is just a sneak peek--the story will culminate in an explosive finale once the bulbs I layered in a three-gallon pot burst into bloom.

In October, when I went to the DC Green Festival, I bought two or three bulbs from EcoTulips, a local organic tulip grower. I had thought they were prechilled, but I could have been mistaken. I planted them in pots on my windowsill. I almost forgot about them until after the first Snowpocalypse, when I found an empty pot of soil and wondered what the heck I had going on in there, only to discover little buggies and rotten tulip bulbs. In the comments of the post I mentioned this in, Jeroen Koeman, the EcoTulips man, said he'd send me some replacement bulbs to make up for it. I don't doubt that I overwatered and wasn't a good steward of the bulbs, so I decided to forgo his generous offer and buy prechilled replacements myself, intending to make more of an effort to be nice to the bulbs.

Back in early January, I ordered a set of prechilled Purple Prince tulip bulbs. They look pretty, eh? I got an automated e-mail on 11 January saying that my bulbs had shipped. A few weeks later, I gave Jeroen a call, asking whether they had shipped or whether he had a tracking number so I could see if the bulbs had arrived. The "post office" in my building often gets things confused, but I asked the dry-cleaner lady (she's the one who signs for us) to check the packages a few times, and none were for me. Jeroen was very apologetic that I hadn't received my bulbs, and he resent the package. In addition to the one bag of Purple Prince bulbs that I ordered, he had added a bag of Roussillion bulbs and two pots of planted bulbs, one Purple Prince and one Leen Van der Mark.

I brought the pots into my office--I need a splash of beauty there! I took a few days off, and when I got back to work yesterday, my tulips had bloomed beautifully!



Jeroen has been very pleasant throughout, and I'm ridiculously pleased with my tulips! He says he does EcoTulips all by himself, with an evening side job, and "it is not easy to start an (eco-friendly) business." But it's businesses such as his that make people more aware of the cut-flower industry and how really ecofriendly it isn't, even though it revolves around plants--a counterintuitive idea, to some. (Plants, not ecofriendly? Le gasp!)

Jeroen has a cut-your-own month planned for April, and I'm looking forward to checking out the fields. I have only seen pictures of massive tulip fields. In person, I'm sure they're breathtaking!

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