Turnabout Tulips

tulip.turnabout(from left to right)
Top: unknown freebies, tarda?, Orange Sun
Middle: Angelique, Peach Blossom, Princess Irene
Bottom: Little Beauty, Beauty of Apeldoorn, vvedenski ‘Henry Hudson’

I feel as if I am getting towards the stage of becoming more organised in all aspects of the garden, not just in the seed sowing stakes but in planting, bulb ordering and moving or turfing out things that don’t work – definitely less of a haphazard approach. Bulb ordering in the past involved mainly tulips for the pots outside the window, building up the narcissi and crocus in the streamside grass and trying to inject colour into the hot borders (and the initial bluebell and wood anemone purchase for the woodland). This almost random bulb ordering has left odd nameless tulips in the hot borders, a handful of leafy daffodils now ousted from those borders and allium seedlings popping up all over the garden. The discovery of the joys of species tulips in recent years brought a few clumps to the main herbaceous borders, but also lonely singletons separated from their friends by a major layout upheaval two years ago.

Last year’s order still included ‘hot’ tulips, as the decision to embolden the hot borders had not been made, hence the inclusion of ‘Orange Sun’ and ‘Beauty of Apeldoorn’ (in pots to be dropped into place); species Tulipa vvedenski ‘Henry Hudson’ and batalini ‘Bright Gem’ (not shown) were included for the same reason. I seem to have acquired ‘Princess Irene’ as a freebie somehow, and I haven’t a clue what the frilly looking buds in the top right picture are – another freebie, I guess! For the pots outside the kitchen I tend to alternate between ‘Angelique’ and ‘Peach Blossom’ and seem to have ordered the former (unusually with some double and triple headed flowers) for this year, whereas last year’s ‘Peach Blossom’ were rescued and are flowering again. This is the third season for the little beauty ‘Little Beauty’ so the clumps are clumping up nicely – but who can confirm the middle picture on the top row? Is it Tulipa tarda?

I have already started a list for my next bulb order, which will include some bulbs specifically for cutting and – who knows?!- perhaps some tulips that are not red or yellow or orange for the bold borders!

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12 Responses to Turnabout Tulips

  1. Chloris says:

    Every year I wish that I had bought more tulips. They are the stars at the moment and one can never have too many. We need broad sweeps and a bottomless purse. For pots the little species are really pretty. It is difficult to see whether the middle top is Tarda until it opens.
    By the way have you tried any of the viridifloras? I am mad on them, especially Spring Green.

    • Cathy says:

      The possible Tarda was fully open earlier in the day – the inner side of the petals was about two thirds yellow I would say. I have some clusiana Cynthia for the first time, barely in bud yet, and had ordered clusiana peppermint Stick too but my order was lost and they were out of stock when PN resent it. I am sure I bought viridifolia Spring Green in the very early days here but they must have only lasted the one season. Now that I am really appreciating tulips I will have to think very carefully about my choices 😉

  2. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Your lovely range of Tulips is almost making me want to plant more… I’ve always had my eye on one called ‘peppermint stick’, but any plans will have to wait for another time. I’ve had a few on your list in the past – and might yet pop up – such as Angelique and little beauty. Angelique died a while ago, but I do still often have little beauty popping up in the odd pot, I also have a brilliant small red and some yellows that I believe were free in a collection and I always really appreciate them when they do bloom – assuming slugs/snails don’t get them first.

    Have you tried ‘uncle tom’ before? It’s quite a small bloom – but large plant, not one of the dwarf types – and it’s quite rounded, he’s quite nice. My mum bought Maureen and Tommy for me to plant together, just a shame they bloom at different times (they’re my grandparent’s names). Such a nice plan, shame it didn’t quite work out!

    • Cathy says:

      Peppermint stick was on my order last year but Peter Nyssen sold out. I have made a note about Uncle Tom and will have a look – shame about Maureen and Tommy 😦 I bought Maureen for a colleague one – a beautiful tall white tulip. There is so much choice of tulips it would be hard to have a favourite but I would definitely start with the dainty species ones

  3. Here in North Carolina tulips are planted as annuals because it doesn’t get cold enough during the winter to reproduce flowers after the first year. Lovely green spears however. The heartbreak of the deer who lop of the blossoms when you only get one shot at them turns lovely gardeners into grumpy people.

  4. Christina says:

    I’m glad to read that I’m not the only one already preparing a bulb order for this autumn! Sorry I can’t help with the IDs as I’ve never grown any that you mention.

  5. Pauline says:

    I must plant more tulips as the ones in the tin bath did so well last year and most of them have come up again, thank goodness. I try to be organised but then so many other things take priority at certain times of the year, but yes, I must try and get my narcissus and tulip order in early this year. I think they will all have to be in pots as they would be too wet in the ground over the winter.

  6. I am definitely becoming encouraged to grow more tulips. “Angelique” and “Peach Blossom” are two I’ve grown in the past, though I’ve lost them since. I was never organised enough to dig them up for overwintering. Species tulips, I believe, may be the way forward – more suited to my often hectic style of gardening!

    • Cathy says:

      Indeed – one of the reasons why I like them so much! Not sure what I’ll do with the tulips I have been growing in pots this year though…

  7. I’ve started my autumn bulb order too, and it is already too long and expensive! I love tulips more and more, and now that I garden somewhere that they are happy to pop up again, rather than just rotting away, they are definitely going to become a mainstay. I too have fallen for the species tulips, and I am sure the will feature in the front garden next spring. I think I may have to resign myself to not trying to keep all the tulips I plant in pots though, They can get a little tricky to plant around, and as you have seen, my garden isn’t huge…

    • Cathy says:

      Some friends have brought me some tulips today which have been in the ground for years – but I think it’s pot luck, and the ones I started in pots look fine just placed in the borders now but can I be bothered drying them out or shall I just leave them in the pots till next year.? There are lots of species tulips available bit other bloggers have shown so many lovely bigger tulips too…

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