Anyone who has visited this blog in the spring before, knows that I love tulips and that tulip time is my absolute favorite time of year. Every fall I drool over all the different varieties of tulips in the catalogs and order twice as many I had intended to. And every year, as I hurriedly rush to finish the bulb-planting before winter makes its appearance, I look at the remaining tulip bulbs, wondering where in the world I will plant them. There is a last-minute scramble to plant them here and there, with no thought to the original careful plans for color coordination and bloom time. Not surprisingly, this results in some surprises every spring.
On this fine spring day, as I walked around, delighting in all the new blooms, I noticed something unexpected--almost all the tulips in bloom were yellow! The first tulips which appeared in the arbor bed nearly a week ago were yellow.
The thing is, I don't even like yellow, especially the bright happy-face sticker kind of yellow. At least these are a paler yellow, but still.
They were everywhere! One solitary brighter yellow in the Lily Bed.
And more in the sidewalk bed (bordered by the dead Encore Azalea that I refuse to admit is dead). A few of these might be 'Vanilla Cream,' which I do remember planting, but I expected them to be more cream, not yellow.
Every single flower bed--except one--had yellow tulips. If you look closely, you'll notice a little critter on this one--apparently, they like yellow better than I do.
The only place that didn't have yellow tulips was the Roadside Bed, where these pinkish tulips are blooming. But I'm lucky to have any tulips at all in this area: last fall squirrels, voles, or some other marauding creature dug around in this garden and not only ate most of my bulbs, but destroyed a lot of other plants as well. But that's a story for another day.
To be honest, the last day or two I've noticed a few other colors here and there in the garden. 'Red Impression' tulips above in the Arbor Bed.
And a pink-peachy blend have opened up in the Sidewalk Bed--'Ad Rem,' I think. Their color really changes as they open up during the day and as the light hits them.
Pink tulips blooming in between the shrubs in front of the house--if all I had seen lately were pink tulips, I wouldn't have been so surprised because I do love pink. These are probably 'Pink Impression,' my favorite pink tulip for reliability and longevity.
We all know that hybrid tulips are short-lived, some much more so than others. Wouldn't it be nice if they came with expiration dates? Or a little sign that popped up in the spring saying, "Hey, this is our last visit to your garden this year, so you'd better plant more of us this fall!" It would certainly help me in my bulb-ordering and planting each fall:)
Speaking of longevity, this orange tulip has been in the shade garden for at least eight years. There once were quite a few more of this variety in different colors, and I wish I could remember their names because I think their days may be numbered. I am leaning more and more each year to long-lived tulips to save myself so much work in the fall.
A closer look at the same tulip. The forecast for temps in the 70's all week certainly sounds wonderful, but not so wonderful for the tulips who much prefer it a little cooler. I need to enjoy them while I can.
Elsewhere in the garden, there is a plethora of daffodils. I have been buying larger collections of different varieties for naturalizing with different bloom times, so the display of daffs will extend longer through the spring.
Other spring blooms can be seen on my last post, but I couldn't resist one more photo of a favorite, the Puschkinia. Aren't they sweet? I'm tempted to find a spot where I could plant a whole mass of these.
But back to the mystery--who planted all those YELLOW tulips?? One clue might be found in some of the blooms just opening up. These have become my favorite tulip--'Akebono,'
'Akebono' is a double tulip in gradations of yellow with a darker pink edging around the petals,
barely visible here.
The first year these bloomed for me I was so taken with them that I planted a few more the following year, and when the rabbits ate some of them that spring, I planted even more that fall. And I probably added a few more this past year. What I noticed was that not every year's plantings have turned out the same. Perhaps it's because I've ordered them from different companies, but some of the blooms are not as full as the original 'Akebono.' Perhaps a few of the mysterious yellow tulips are also 'Akebono,' but more of the single-petaled variety.
One of the companies lists 'Akebono' as a Darwin tulip, which usually is one of the longer-lived types of tulips available. That explains why I have so many of these this year in my garden; these particular yellow tulips I am happy to have!
However, not all the yellow tulips are this variety, so I may never know why I have so many. But an even bigger question remains: what happened to the gardener who carefully recorded her bulb purchases in a garden journal each fall and then made detailed maps where each type was planted?? Apparently, she wasn't around in the fall of 2015. I certainly hope she returns this year, but if she doesn't, will somebody please remind me this fall, Don't Plant Any More Yellow Tulips!
I'm joining in (a day late, sorry) with Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day where you can check out spring--and even some autumn--blooms from around the world.