Bloom Day Tulips

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It’s Bloom Day again, that day mid-month when garden blogger’s all over the world share what is in flower in their gardens, the brain child of my friend Carol of May Dreams Gardens. Did she imagine what this event would become when she first proposed it back in March of 2007? Anyway, this April 2013 sharing features tulips growing here in the Fairegarden. We love tulips and keep searching for those that will reliably return year after year. We are still searching, but some are better than others about it. The image above is merely a hook for the rest of this post. While out with the camera this sleeping bumblebee was spotted nestled inside of the daffodil, Narcissus ‘Fidelity’. It was too wonderful not to include here. Sorry. Onward.

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The species tulips are the best at gracing the garden year after year without replanting. Tulipa ‘Little Beauty’ has been here over ten years. It is a little thing, as the name implies, shorter even than the grape hyacinths and blooming at the same time.

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Tulips were planted in the lawn/meadow for a punch of early spring color. This is species Tulipa orphanidea flava, a pretty reddish orange. We need another kagillion of these in these beds to meet the vision in the gardener’s psyche.

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Tulipa greigii ‘Toronto’ is sprinkled on the slopes behind the main house. There is a color echo with the daffodil that blooms at the same time, Narcissus ‘Tahiti’. It has proven more perennial than T. ‘Oratorio’ that was planted with it in each hole. That one has been a no show since year one.

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Efforts were made to capture the pink glass fiddlestick in the same frame as the species Tulipa clusiana ‘Lady Jane’ on the Daylily Hill. This is the best of the lot. Lady Jane is perennial here. Need more.

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I am not sure if an appearance after more than ten years of no show counts as being perennial, but a couple of Tulipa ‘Ballerina’ are blooming in the Black Garden in 2013. Persistant patience presents a pay off for the gardener.

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Originally planted in the same hole with the Lilium ‘Royal Fantasy’, (click here to read about these fine lilies), more than a decade ago on the path edge of the Daylily Hill, Tulipa ‘Silverstream’ has sent up at least a few blooms faithfully. More of these should be ordered and planted in single family dwellings.

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Another species that has proven perfectly perennial no matter the chill hours of any given winter is Tulipa vvedenskyi ‘Tangerine Beauty’. The color echo with the small fragrant cup of Narcissus ‘Geranium’ was a lucky coincidence.

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Absolutely returning year after year is the white Tulipa ‘White Emperor’, aka Tulipa ‘Purissima’. More of the emperor types should be tried here.

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Up in the knot garden Tulipa viridiflora ‘Spring Green’ is the focal point in each of the four quadrants in April. Some years see a better performance than others, but it is always a joyful sight. They are just beginning to open now, later than normal, but what is normal anymore?

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Last fall another experiment was tried to better understand the habit and bloom time of the tulips. Three different colors of varying heights were planted in pots. Tulipa ‘Prinses Irene’, an orange with purple flames had been beautiful when planted in the Black Garden the year before. Tulipa ‘Couleur Cardinal’ sounded to be similar in height and bloom time.

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The text explained the heights explicity in the Old House Gardens catalog, twelve inches, fourteen inches and twenty four inches. So why didn’t I envision this height difference of the purple Tulipa ‘Demeter’ to the others?

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There was a surprise with one of the Demeter tulips, however. This *broken* bloom showed up unannounced. Is this an example of the cause of Tulip mania in Holland back in the day? Hmmmm…


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17 Responses to Bloom Day Tulips

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your “broken” bloom is a beauty. I love all the tulips. My white one is blooming now too. Amazing that it never reproduces but comes up year after year. Dontcha love this time of year?? Happy GBBD.

    Hi Lisa, thanks and happy GBBD to you. All the tulips are wonderful, but they really do not reproduce, or grow more bulblets here, either. They should not be allowed to seed unless they are the smaller species ones. This is my favorite month!

  2. Lea says:

    Beautiful tulips!
    I especially like ‘Spring Green’
    Happy GBBD!
    Lea’s Menagerie

    Happy GBBD to you, Lea, thanks for visiting. Spring Green is quite elegant. I love them all, though.

  3. Wow, Frances. I thought tulips were a heartbreak in our zone. Yours are gorgeous. You have inspired me to try some of these. Making notes now.

    Hi Georgia, thanks. Try the species tulips, especially, some of those can take southern winters better.

  4. Christy says:

    Hi Frances….your Tulips are just wonderful, and as I’ve said before, I just love your garden. I planted a few Tulips in my front walk bed about six years ago and they still come up. However, I know this sounds odd, but I swear they are different colors every year!

    Hi Christy, thanks so much for those kind words. Your tulips sound very interesting! Some tulips change colors as they are open longer.

  5. My biggest challenge with tulips is keeping them from being eaten. I planted 50 of the Little Beauty tulips one year and all but one were eaten–or at least relocated. Many tulips want a hot baking during the summer in order to perennialize, and that lack, more than lack of chill hours, can be a problem here.

    So true, Kathy. I have to put chicken wire over all new tulips plantings here, but only for the first year. The squirrels dig them up and eat some of them. Once they have been in the ground a couple of years, they aren’t bothered much with digging. I am lucky to not have deer, and the rabbits seem more interested in other things. Crocus are another story, though. Many critters eat those, but I just keep planting. We have the baking sun here.

  6. pearl says:

    Just beautiful….Love spring green!!! I have trouble with the critters getting mine:(
    Where are some of the best sources to get reliable bulbs that will return every year. Seems like I have to replant every fall.

    Thanks Pearl. I do have to cover the newly planted tulips and other bulbs with chickenwire or hardware cloth in the fall to prevent the squirrels digging them up. I get bulbs from a variety of sources, including Van Engelen, Old House Gardens, Brent and Becky’s Bulbs and the big box stores. The type of bulb, like the species, matter more than where they were purchased, however.

  7. gail says:

    They are so lovely my dear and now I miss them all the more. I should have planted them as you do~covering with chicken wire. But, I digress into my woes! I love the little species tulips, Little Beauty is a perfect dance partner for grape hyacinths. A very very inspiring GBBD post Frances. xoxogail

    Hi Gail, thanks so much. It is a battle to have these beautiful tulips each year, but worth the effort.

  8. Dee says:

    I love your experiments. Happy Bloom Day.

    Thanks, Dee. Happy GBBD to you!

  9. Kris P says:

    I envy you your tulips! I’ve always loved them but have found them almost impossible to grow in southern California – even after weeks of pre-chilling and careful planting, our Santa Ana winds always seem to come up at the wrong time and wither them up.

    Hi Kris, thanks for visiting. We used to live in Southern CA and found that the species tulip bakeri would bloom well there. Give them a try.

  10. I must try to source some species tulips – though I’d probably have to import them. The very limited variety of tulips available have never done well on Sequoia (or elsewhere in most of South Africa), and last only days in our hot springs. Thanks for sharing!

    Hi Jack, thanks for stopping by. It seems nearly all bulbs, including tulips come from The Netherlands, so they are all imported to everywhere except there. I hope you can find some that will grow in your conditions.

  11. spurge says:

    I love all of your little species tulips, especially ‘Little Beauty’. Such bright spots of color. Thanks for sharing your experience with naturalizing different varieties.

    Funny about your “need more” thought… I think that to myself about everything when it’s in bloom – need more of those, need more of that… if only it would really all fit!

    Hi Spurge, thanks for stopping by. Those need more thoughts occur here regularly, but no matter how full the garden gets, there is always room for more bulbs.

  12. I love species tulips, and they have such amazing variety. I have mostly T. praestans and T. turkestanica. I’m not familiar with your species but I love them, especially the color and shape of that T. orphanidea flava.

    Hi Jason, thanks for sharing here. I have tried turkestanica once, some time ago. It didn’t like my garden then. Orphanidea is a pretty one, taller, but my planting of one here, one there in the lawn/meadow is not at all the vision. Need more!

  13. The Grape Hyacinths and bright pink Tulips create an awesome combination. You’ve done a nice job of creating masses of all your spring blooms. Simply lovely!

    Hi Beth, thanks for dropping by. The little tulips and grape hyacinths were a lucky combo! Having the same bloom time and height really helps set them both off.

  14. Rose says:

    I had to laugh at the ‘Demeter’ tulips standing out in the pots you planted–you can say you were trying for some vertical interest:) As a confirmed tulipaholic, this is a treat for the eyes, Frances! I could plant a kagillion tulips, and I still wouldn’t have enough:)

    Hi Rose, thanks for understanding the error in that planting! HA It seems with tulips, finding the ones that return and planting more each fall is the only way to get a mass planting without breaking the bank.

  15. Happy Bloom Day…love the tulips in the pots.

    Happy Bloom Day to you, Donna. Thanks for stopping by.

  16. Randy says:

    I love all the beautiful tulips you have right now. I can’t wait to see how your Dianthus path does this year, at least I hope I haven’t already missed the photos. :0)

    Hi Randy, thanks. The Dianthus have not bloomed yet, but they are sending up buds now. I hope the show is a good one!

  17. So many beautiful tulips! Now I’m going to sprinkle a little more ‘Toronto’ in your comments. It’s silly that I don’t have any of those growing in my own garden. Must rectify.

    Toronto is such a pretty one, Helen, and a good returner here. You need some, a lot of them!

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