They've won me over, and I'll definitely be adding more of these this fall.
But nothing lifts my spirits and makes me so excited to step outside each spring morning as tulips do. Knowing the colorful show that will soon arrive makes the long winter bearable. Although I seem to lean towards pink, it really doesn't matter what color they are...
. . . from the soft white/pastel yellow of 'Vanilla Cream' . . .
. . . to the bright yellow of this NOID in the lily bed . . .
. . . to the bright red of 'Red Impression'...
. . . to the darkest of all, 'Queen of the Night' . . .
. . . to mixtures of different colors . . .I love them all. In fact, I'm not sure there's a color of tulip I don't have somewhere in my garden.
Some might say that planting many tulips isn't worth all the effort because they're short-lived. It's true--compared to many other bulbs like daffodils, for instance, tulips often don't last more than a few years. I know I've been disappointed by some gorgeous tulips that failed to re-appear for a second season. But choosing types of tulips that are longer-lived, like Darwin tulips, will give you more years of enjoyment and less work. These 'Pink Impression' bulbs have been faithful performers in my garden for many years.
Last year I ordered a collection of tulips from Breck's called 'Forever,' which were promoted as having more longevity than ordinary tulips. I planted them on what I whimsically refer to as "Daffodil Hill," which is not a hill at all, but a slightly sloping bare spot in front of a tall evergreen in front of the house. They certainly look very strong and hardy this spring, which is a good thing, because planting tulips in this area with its heavy clay soil and thick tree roots is not something I want to do every year.
Sometimes other varieties can surprise you--my favorite tulip of all, 'Angelique,' has returned year after year. In fact, I think it has multiplied!
But even if most tulips last for only a couple of years, there are some benefits to this. My laxity in keeping garden records means I can't remember what I planted for more than a few years anyway. These tulips in the lily bed have me stumped. I remember planting some 'Fur Elise' here two or three years ago, but not this many. There's a second clump north of these as well. Either they've multiplied or once again I have some "DIPITs" (did I plant this??).
Knowing not all my tulips are going to return each year also gives me an excuse to indulge my addiction and buy some new ones every year. I'm a sucker for showy doubles like this 'Double Maureen.'
Another spectacular double is 'Sun Lover,' which has blooms that are 5-6 inches in diameter! Although I have been planting more and more of the more robust Darwins, I can't resist showstoppers like this.
|'Double Maureens' with 'Sun Lovers' and other bulbs in the arbor bed.|
|'Fur Elise' this week|
Tulips may not last forever, but neither does childhood. A day spent with youngest Grandson who just had to reach out to touch Grandma's blooms is a precious moment that will remain in my memory for years to come.
Possibly the most beautiful tulip ever, in my humble opinion--'Akebona' begins as a pale yellow, then opens up to a lemony delight with tinges of pink and red edging on its petals.
No, say what you will about the troubles with tulips, there is only one problem I can see with these Dutch beauties, and it's the same problem with all the blooms of spring--I wish they would last for months! But knowing their time is fleeting, I truly live in the moment each spring and delight in each and every bloom.