Photo of flowers

By David Hyde

Every April, since I bought my house in Janesville, the same amazing thing happens in my driveway. Now, let me preface with the fact (preposterously well documented) that I am not good with plants. It has often been said that plants come to my house when they are ready to turn brown and die. My wife is a better gardener, but she’d rather look at them than do the work they require. On the other hand, weeds do exceedingly well. I can raise a great crop of dandelions, thistles, every kind of climbing vine that can take apart a fence, and everything else that any garden would rather do without. Bushes and trees are generally safe, although I did lose my shade tree to the Emerald Ash Borer a few years ago, so my arboreal reputation may be in doubt.

Just to reassure me that not all plants have gotten word of my black thumb, in April of every year I get a small crop of tulips through my driveway. I didn’t plant them. They must have been there when the concrete was poured and, with patience and diligence, they’ve produced a crack through which they shove their blooming heads this time of year. This has led to some consternation for passersby, neighbors, and those who think that driveways are places for cars. Several years ago, a cute little girl came up and asked if she could examine the tulips more closely. Of course, I said yes. Later I realized the tulips must have found a new home in a vase in hers, because they were gone from the driveway.

So how does this relate to blind children? Sometimes, despite everything, they find ways to do the improbable. They, like all children, bloom in unexpected ways and unlikely places. It takes perseverance, fortitude, and the willingness to try new things. Sometimes we all learn best by doing it the hard way.

So, the message I take from my volunteer garden is this:  If you can grow through concrete, what can’t you do?

David Hyde is a Parent Liaison and the Professional Development Coordinator at WCBVI. You can contact him by email at or by phone at (608) 758-6152 or toll free 1-866-284-1107 x6152.