"That," I said, "is NOT NICE."
I had cycled over to the display garden, where tulips and other bulb flowers are absolutely stunning.
The garden is the showplace of a big bulb company, and if you have tulips or daffodils in your garden they probably came from our local fields.
Then I saw a man snap a photo and then casually lean down and break off one tulip and then another and stick them in his pocket.
It wasn't fair, and before I knew it, I had blurted it out the truth.
"That's not nice. There's a sign right here that says Please Don't Pick the Flowers."
And that is how I happened to meet the owner of Washington Bulb Company, who thanked me after he stopped laughing and showed me that the tulips were rain-damaged and beginning to rot.
I'd come to sketch the spring flowers and though I shivered, it was the best afternoon in ages.
Good thing I'd brought my paints because I was having too much fun to stop at a sketch. Art is irresistible when you're out there amid the scilla, the narcissus, anemones, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths.
I drew them from all angles, and the hours flew.
I will show you the results sometime soon.
But if you love spring flowers, you must tear yourself away from duty and listen to the siren song of spring.
Come cycle to the gardens with me.
We'll pack a thermos of tea and a little sandwich, and while away the hours with pencil and paper.
Do come, and come quickly, before the petals fall.