This past summer was so hot and dry that I spent many hours watering my garden - dragging hoses from bed to bed and feeling more and more depressed as I watched my perennial plants struggling in 90 degree temperatures.
I was destined to have only small vases of flowers in my house as the pickings were slim.
Fortunately, in late August I made a trip to the Netherlands, where the temperatures were cool, the fields were refreshingly green, and where my soul was revived by seeing masses of flowers.
Whenever we think of Holland, we think of tulips, although they are not native to that country, they are now synonymous with it.
While I was in Amsterdam, I visited its famous Flower Market. It consists of a long row of stalls on the banks of a canal and each stall has buckets and buckets brimming with glorious cut flowers.
I was transported by the range and depth of the colors and by the fragrance. Of course the tulips weren't in bloom, but there were bulbs for sale.
Foreign visitors must take care to select only those packages that bear a seal certifying they are for export, otherwise there is trouble at Customs.
I purchased as many bulbs as I could carry, grateful that there are always flowers blooming somewhere on this planet, and that there is always the promise of next year's blooms.