Friday, May 2, 2014

Celebrating Tulip Time

Happy belated May Day, everyone!  For the first time in months, you won't hear me complain about the weather. Oh, it's one of those on-again-off-again rainy kind of weeks, but we have been fortunate in not having the devastating storms that have plagued parts of the country, so I am going to count my blessings.  After my last post in mid-April (where has the time gone??) when a late snow covered the emerging blooms, we went headlong into spring.  Since that time, temperatures have often been in the 70's, even reaching the 80's (27 C) one day.

With the warmer temperatures, my garden has kicked into high gear.  While I had just a few early bloomers for the April GBBD, now, just two short weeks later,  the garden is full of brightly colored tulips.  In fact, I don't think I've ever had so many blooming all at once before--it's as if they are all in a race to see who can open up the fastest.

Here's a look at what is blooming in my garden this week:

The first to bloom were 'Fur Elise,' which is probably a good thing, because with their shorter stature, they would get lost among all the later, gaudier blooms.  They're much prettier than this photo shows, but with the strong winds we have had many days, perfect photo ops have been hard to come by.

Red tulips aren't my favorite, but they were meant to be a contrast to another variety I planted here, 'Red Sorbet' which is white with a red flame.  It would have been a striking combo, but, of course, the 'Red Sorbet' never seem to bloom until the 'Reds' are done.  Oh well, I'm not going to complain.

The most common sight throughout all my flowerbeds are the 'Pink Impressions.'  It's not just because I like pink, but it's also because these are the longest-lived tulips I've found, coming back year after year.

Speaking of longevity, if you are looking for tulips that last more than a couple of years, the Darwin hybrids are the best in my experience.  Last year the roadside garden tulips had to be replanted, because it flooded in the spring and most of the bulbs rotted.  I decided to replace the combo I loved with a collection of Darwins, so I wouldn't have to plant here every year.  My vision didn't quite turn out the way I'd planned, though--I definitely need to add some purple this fall.

A 'Pink Impression'  in this planting.

The trouble with tulips--and the only flaw, as far as I'm concerned--is that they often don't live for more than a couple of years.  But that just gives me an excuse to give into my tulip addiction and buy more every year.  New this year is 'Ad Rem,' a tulip I purchased at last year's Chicago Flower and Garden Show.

Another new purchase from the Chicago show last year--'Cool Crystal,' a ruffled double that hasn't fully opened yet.

My spring garden isn't just tulips, of course--there are plenty of daffodils, like this one in the roadside garden, 'Pink Charm,' maybe.

And the double 'Replete' in the sidewalk garden.  

A shorter narcissus--many different varieties were planted in the arbor bed,
 whose names were carefully recorded . . . somewhere.  

I do remember the name of this tall beauty, however--'Mount Hood.'

I also have several colors of Muscari, including this new tri-colored one this year that I love.

I love everything about spring and every spring bloom from the tiny first crocus to the sweet little scilla to the multiplying daffodils in my garden.  But I confess--it's the tulip show I wait for every year.  I can't resist the enticing photos in the bulb catalogs and buy and buy . . .   My shopping addiction means by the end of planting, I always have more bulbs than empty spaces, often resulting in less than harmonious plantings like this one in the arbor bed.

But  I just can't help myself.  Who can resist a huge double like this 'Sunlover'? 

Or its orangey-red cousin that was mistakenly put in the same order?  Both of these have not only returned for several years, but they are multiplying!  Of course, I would have even more if it weren't for some pesky varmints visiting my garden this year--notice the beheaded stems in both of these photos.  This is the first year I've had a problem with deer and possibly rabbits, probably because it was a hard winter for them, too. I finally understand why many gardeners don't plant tulips--the deer and rabbits find them just as appealing as I do.

Fortunately, they didn't do as much damage as I first thought.  The double 'Maureens,' which are still opening up, were unscathed and have multiplied--I know I planted only 10 bulbs of these a couple of years ago!

The deer also enjoyed some of the 'Akebono,' so it's a good thing I added a few more of these bulbs last fall.  This has become my very favorite tulip--just wait until it's fully opened! 

With the forecast for even warmer temperatures next week, many of these blooms won't last much longer.  Fortunately, there are quite a few varieties still waiting to open, which means I can enjoy my favorite time of year--Tulip Time--for awhile longer.


  1. Hello Rose girl !
    I am going to have to call you "Queen of the Tulips" haha .. you have so many different varieties and they are so pretty .. I love the pink ones especially too.
    I myself am a daff lover .. they are strong and hold up even from rainy days .. and last a long time! Did I mention our squirrel mafia don't care to bother them? LOL
    Yes .. Spring is so very different from when we were kids .. it doesn't last but a few weeks if we are lucky for that much. Then it shifts to high gear into heat and humidity of summer .. BIG sigh !
    Mean while enjoy your beautiful tulips and assorted Spring beauties !

  2. Wonderful collections of tulips Rose. I love Cool pretty.
    I have tulip envy. I only had one bloom this year. After the rabbits had the feed, slugs seemed to have finished them off.
    So disappointing, never mind that is gardening :)

    Weather here is very cold and we are expecting a frost tonight. I am covering plants with fleece in the hope they won't be damaged too much. Most unseasonal.....

    Have a great weekend.

  3. How wonderful to see so many flowers you have in your garden at the moment. I wish we had your temperatures overhere. But we don't after weeks of dry, sunshiny weather its grey and much colder as it was. No complains the garden was waiting for the rain we had.
    Have a wonderful Mayweekend.

  4. You have such a lovely assortment of tulips. When I see them in all their glory It makes me wish I had planted a bunches of them too. You should repost this next fall to inspire me at the right time. ;) Now all I can do is drool...

  5. Tulips do look lovely and brighten everything up. Love the ruffles and and the double narcissi.
    You are lucky to have such warm weather.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  6. Joy, I'm thinking about planting more daffodils than tulips this fall--those darned deer are pretty frustrating! I agree, spring seemed so much longer when we were kids, maybe because I was counting the days till the end of school:)

    Cheryl, Oh, I would be so upset if rabbits ate all my tulips! I was upset enough with what the deer and maybe rabbits ate this year. Wow, I wouldn't have expected a frost this late in the year for you. Our last frost date is two weeks away, so I won't be planting any annuals until then.

    Marijke, Once spring came, it certainly warmed up here. It's been cool the last few days, but we're in for a warm spell again next week. It seems like spring is much too short before we head into summer!

    Lisa, I'll have to remember this next fall--I always wish I'd remember some of the other spring bulbs when I'm ordering. I do want more scilla!

    Maggie, We went from winter to near summer in just a matter of days! I'm enjoying every moment of all these tulip blooms.

  7. Rose you have such wonderful collection of tulips! Love your 'Fur Elise,'I see they grow with white muscari, don't they?
    Also your other tri-color muscari are awesome!

  8. I hope the weather here warms up soon as it has done for you. You have a terrific show of tulips this year Rose. I especially like the double 'Maureens'. The 'Pink Charm' daffodils and the unnamed narcissus also caught my eye.

  9. Your tulips look wonderful! I love that 3 toned muscari too.

  10. You have a wonderful collection of tulips. I am very fond of Elise but your Akebono is new to me and I shall certainly look out for it- Gorgeous! Tulips are my lottery fantasy. Id like thousands of them throughout the garden. And somebody to plant them for me.

  11. So glad that your weather is bringing you cheer at long last Rose. I wish that I could bring myself to love tulips but do like seeing photos of them happy in other people's gardens. Hope that you have seen the last of the snow and that you are in for a glorious spring!

  12. Oh, those Ad Rem are gorgeous! I have a mixed pink and yellow (no idea the name) that had their first year last spring. I'm waiting for them to open, but I have a photo from last year that I'm using as my Facebook cover photo :-)

    I had never wanted a lot of red tulips either, but I've discovered one definite advantage: I can see the bright dots of color from the house when it's rainy for a week!

    I used to lose all my tulips to rabbits until I started using Liquid Fence. I don't know if it has any affect on deer, but it keeps the rabbits away very successfully.

  13. You have a wonderful assortment of tulips and daffodils. Just stunning.

  14. I saw some really pretty purple tulips today and I thought about you - but didn't have my camera!

  15. Nadezda, I have several colors of Muscari; they're hard for me to photograph, but I do love them!

    Jennifer, I hope the weather warms up for you, too. We've had several weeks now of beautiful weather. The 'Double Maureens' have really exceeded my expectations and have returned for several seasons.

    Sweetbay, isn't that Muscari so sweet? I'm going to have to order more of it this fall.

    Chloris, Ha:) When you find someone to plant all those tulips, send them over to me, too:) 'Akebono' is the most beautiful tulip I've ever seen. Do you have a blog post up? I can't access it, but I'd love to visit you, if I could.

    Anna, Tulips are my favorite spring bulbs; I think it goes back to my childhood and seeing my grandmother's tulips.

    Casssi, I agree about the red tulips--they really show up from a distance better than the pastels I prefer. I've never had a problem with deer or rabbits before this year, but I think I'll definitely look into a repellent next year.

    Tina, Thanks! I keep adding a few hundred more each year; I love them!

    Liz, The purples have disappeared here; I need to add more this fall!

  16. You have a really colorful collection of bulbs. Like you mentioned, some of the tulips only last a few years and critters raid the beds. I at one time had the garden filled with bulbs, but eventually they dwindled. So much work in replacement too. Your gardens look wonderful for Spring, great you finally got the Spring weather. We did too, although it is still a bit below normal. Tonight is 38°, so at least it is above freezing like the past few nights.

  17. Goodness me! Rose you certainly have a riot going on in your garden! My tulips are just poking above the earth about 2inches!
    Spring has arrived! Yah! Smiles Anna

  18. Oh my what a beautiful collection of spring bulbs. "Fur Elise" is my favorite though. Actually it reminds me of the money my mom wasted on my piano lessons. I never could play that one to her satisfaction....:)

  19. So beautiful! I really love the Akebono and the orangish-pink ones. I buy whatever tulips are on sale in the fall and stuff them in empty spaces in my pots. But I would love to have as many as you do!

  20. Wow, wow, wow! You have an incredible Tulip collection, Rose! My favorites are the peachy-colored ones. Isn't it wonderful to finally have some great weather, and to see the hummingbirds return?! Enjoy!

  21. Lucky you! We're still cold and wet in Maine but at least the grass is green and the daffs are out. I'm looking forward to tulips. Thanks for sharing yours. They are gorgeous!

  22. Great tulip collection. I agree that the Darwin hybrids are among the best for perennializing. Some species tulips also show staying power, and will even naturalize.

  23. So beautiful!

    I have loved seeing your tulips on Facebook too


    S x

  24. Gorgeous flowers and I thoroughly love your tulip love. Happy Spring Rose!

  25. How beautiful your garden is. So many gorgeous tulips. Sunlover is glorious!

  26. I have been enjoying all of your Spring Pastels on Facebook! Seeing them all collected here together is just awesome... You better get a hold on those pesky but beautiful deer...

  27. Donna, tulips are a lot more work than other bulbs, but I love them and am going to plant more every year as long as my knees hold out:)

    Anna, Hope your spring bulbs have made an appearance by now!

    Troutbirder, 'Fur Elise' is one of the few pieces I can still play on the piano...though not as well as I once did:) Thanks for the chuckle.

    Casa, The 'Akebono' was even more beautiful last year; I'm not sure why. I tried planting tulips in pots here, but they didn't survive.

    Beth, I love the pink and peachy ones, too, and the doubles are a special favorite as well. Cooler this week, but yes, I'm loving spring!

    Sarah, I hope it has warmed up for you by now! We're back to cooler, rainy weather, but I know it won't last.

  28. Jason, I have planted a few species tulips; they're interesting, but I don't like them as well as the hybrid tulips. I'm planting more and more of the Darwins to save myself some aches and pains each fall.

    Suburbia, Glad you enjoyed my Facebook tulips! It gave me a chance to show them all off.

    Gail, Yes, I admit it--I'm a tulip-aholic:)

    Skeeter, I may have to invest in deer repellent next year:)

  29. How absolutely LOVELY! I don't get enough chill where we live to grow many of the beauties you do. Thank you for sharing!


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