Once Upon a Time…

tulips… I didn’t appreciate tulips. Hard to believe that now, although I suppose I could still say that I am not keen on dumpy ones with big leaves like kaufmanniana – or solitary tulips in a border for that matter – but my Epiphany was a random visit to the historic Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick at what must have been peak tulip time one year and saw them en masse for the first time (and probably in pastel shades rather than purely yellows and reds). In more recent years I have become particularly fond of the dainty species tulipa, of which I would like more.

Here we have (clockwise from top left): chunky but but beautifully stripey leaved T. greigii ‘Fur Elise’ just coming into bloom, with T. pulchella Persian Pearl in the next pot, T ‘Peach Blossom’ (a relic from last year, surprisingly blooming again which it doesn’t usually), T. praestans and T. clusiana ‘Lady Jayne’. We might expect the species tulips around this time of year but the larger tulips are unusually not far behind. Lovely to see them all, early or late…

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18 Responses to Once Upon a Time…

  1. Chloris says:

    They are gorgeous, what’s not to like? Every year I wish I’d planted more. I love the dainty little ones too. But then I love most of them, they come in such sumptuous colours.

    • Cathy says:

      And if the non-species ones are going to start coming up year after year as well they will be worth an increased investment in them too 😉

  2. Kris P says:

    I love tulips in almost every incarnation. They REALLY do not like southern California, though. I swore off them entirely for years but succumbed briefly this season, picking up a pre-sprouted package of 4. They last 3 days in a pot. Next year, if the desire strikes again, I’ll stick with cut tulips in a vase.

  3. Christina says:

    I admit there was a time when I didn’t like tulips either! I cannot for the life of me remember why. It is sadly your wet summers tht stop them returning year on year. I wonder what would happen it you covered them so they didn’t get wet???

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I wonder too – this year I have started some in pots and will drop them in the soil as they bud up, then lift the pots later. I think my original dislike stems from the ‘old fashioned’ solo red or yellow tulips dotted about with nothing at their feet.

  4. Pauline says:

    I am amazed at how early the tulips are this year. I’ve given up trying to grow them in the borders as they never return. But my tin bath (which I neglected after they flowered last year) is full with a few flowering already, when I think of all the rain we had over the winter, it must be the good drainage that has saved them. I too love the early little ones, they are so dainty.

  5. Annette says:

    I adore tulips and most of all the species tulips – T. clusiana and T. whittallii are flowering now and soon there’ll be vvedenskyi and linifolia. Then there are the lily-flowered ones of which I can’t seem to get enough. They multiply happily and come back year after year.

  6. I have come round to tulips more, in the past few years. My initial attempts were great for one year then more or less disappeared. So I gave up, daunted by the prospect of disturbing my borders too much. But they one me over in the end! I have resorted to treating them as annuals in a pot and if they overwinter, that’s a bonus! It does mean I need a bit of organisation and forward planning, though. This year I’m waiting excitedly for “La Belle Époque” to open. Nearly there!

  7. Interesting I have never considered that anyone might not like tulips. I love them in terracotta pots as annuals and to move them close to the house when in bloom or dropped into gaps in the borders. Glad they got to you. D.

  8. I’m with you on tulips, I am a convert, particularly with the species tulips, though I currently only have one kind. I have ghastly bright red ones popping up in the middle of my cicle border, presumably last years little bulblets made good, and they must come out, but I am loving the soft pinky-purple ones I planted elsewhere out the front. Now I just have to crack hiding the dying foliage well…

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