Tulips surprise me every year. I buy them half price after Thanksgiving and force them in pots in the garage. By early March, their green shoots poke up out of the dirt, and I bring them indoors to warm up. As soon as one blooms, I take it and its pot full of sister tulips outdoors to the front step. Soon, a dozen pots of tulips decorate the front door.
Left in the refrigerator of outdoors, the potted tulips bloom for about three weeks, though this year, they held their color for nearly six weeks. Then I dig a hole in a flowerbed and plop the spent tulips into it.
A year later, a few tulips survive and surprise me. The chipmunks did not eat the tulip bulbs. It feels like a miracle, and I am grateful.