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.