They claimed to be the biggest supplier of garden bulbs in the country. Floyd was just one in a million that used their services. Only online orders were taken.
Of course, bulbs don’t flower the minute they arrive in the mail. Red gladioli bulbs might arrive in September but wouldn’t flower until January (Southern Hemisphere times!)
That is how Floyd developed a system. He would email the bulb company in January to complain that the red gladioli bulbs he ordered in September were now flowering and they were yellow. “It is so disappointing,” wrote Floyd. “After all these months of anticipation and then this happens.”
The following season Floyd would get a little parcel in the mail. “We apologize for our error in fulfilling your order with the wrong coloured bulbs. Here are the correct bulbs.” Floyd now had twenty red gladioli bulbs, instead of the mere ten he had originally ordered.
Floyd had used this trick for seven years. Among his order “corrections” were Mixed Ruffled Begonias, Zantedeschia Amberjack, Hippeastrum Terracotta Star, and Tigridia Pavonia. What a picture his garden was!
This year he would try something different. He would attempt to grow garlic, because these days the cooking garlic imported from China was tasteless. Floyd’s package arrived in the mail with a note:
Dear Floyd – here are the bulbs you ordered. Since you have been such a regular customer over the years we have included six extra bulbs for you to try with your cooking. So there are half a dozen bulbs for you to use for planting and half a dozen bulbs for you to use for eating. It’s our way of thanking you by giving you an opportunity to try before you plant!
Floyd did indeed cook with some! Of course, Hyacinth bulbs can be lethal.