Remember when I sent the AMP (absent minded professor) to investigate the drainage at the farm? He came back and said it was good. Well, sort of, as it turns out. I'm a farmer's daughter, drainage to me includes the growing areas. Apparently not for everybody.
We started to dig holes for the hundreds of bulbs I purchased out of a desperate need to add flowers to the property. The spade had barely broken the surface when it hit rocks.
The task rapidly evolved into sieving and wheelbarrows of rocks dumped out back and trips into town to get soil. A few holes were dug but darkness and fatigue were upon us so we retreated. The morning dawned bright with bulb planting enthusiasm. Wait a minute! The holes are full of WATER! The water table is really high here, said AMP. No kidding. I modified the design plan based on higher ground. Test holes were dug and left. No water. If there had been I dread to think how I would have responded. Best not to dwell on it.
Like most well laid plans it took much longer and some sterling work by the AMP but the bulbs are in and fingers are crossed.
Which brings me to my book recommendation for Holleygarden's book review meme.
The discontented Sophia manipulates her complacent and conceited husband, her beleaguered maid and her naive lover in a plan whose success or failure is tied to the doomed economic bubble. The plan is outrageous, but not unbelievable, and I was hooked until the end which I am glad to say did not disappoint.
The author recreates the 17th century setting convincingly. The circumstances coming into play at a certain point in history were revealing and fascinating. This was the Dutch golden age and the layers of art, trade, tradition, exploration and religion kept me absorbed. My understanding of the times and the Tulipmania episode have been enriched by this book. I would recommend it for anyone with an interest in bulbs, history or the human condition.
Tulipmania: Money, Honor, and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age by Anne Goldgar is a factual account.