I always say I'm not wild about tulips, and then spring comes and one of the things I love seeing the most is tulips. So last fall, I decided to plant some more of them. Am I glad I did that? With so many of them in bloom right now here at Our Little Acre, you bet I am!
One of my favorite things to do when the tulips are blooming is to photograph their centers by sticking the nose of my camera right down in them. What works of art they are!
Last Saturday, we went to younger daughter Jenna's house to help her with some landscaping and planting. I walked in the front door and she said, "Mom, come around back and see these amazing pink flowers that came up. I don't know what they are, but they're so pretty."
As I rounded the corner and saw the row of flowers blooming, my eyes lit up and I said, "SPECIES TULIPS! You've got SPECIES TULIPS!!" Jenna wasn't too impressed, but I sure was. And darling daughter that she is, she didn't object when I asked if I could have some to take home. Bulbs included. She must really love me.
When I got home, I did a little research, trying to find out just which tulip it was that Jenna shared with me. As far as I can tell, this little beauty is called ... oh look at that ... 'Little Beauty.'
Species tulips are smaller, shorter, have narrower foliage and are likely to naturalize. I've had 'Lady Jane' species tulips for several years and love their delicate lily-like blooms. I've moved those twice, but they have enjoyed their present home in the Japanese Garden for several years now and have indeed multiplied.
They are not natives of The Netherlands like their hybrid progeny. Found in the highlands of eastern Europe, they are also called botanical tulips. They like rock garden-like conditions with lots of sun and excellent drainage.
There are a few other tulips yet to bloom here (once it quits raining and the sun comes out), and there are others that I want to procure this fall for planting in the gardens.
Here's the "short list":
- T. 'Black Parrot' (Parrot)
- T. 'Rai' (Parrot)
- T. 'Rococo' (Parrot)
- T. 'Tinka' (Species)
- T. clusiana 'Cynthia' (Species)
- T. 'Pink Fountain' (Fringed and pictured at right, in my garden this spring - I want more!)
- T. 'Crispion Sweet' (Peony & Fringed)
- T. viridiflora 'Esperanto' (Viridiflora)
- T. viridiflora 'Eye Catcher' (Viridiflora)
- T. humulis 'Alba Coerulea Oculata' (This one is a maybe, because it's expensive)
A favorite book of mine is Tulips: For North American Gardens by Brent and Becky Heath. Brent and Becky's Bulbs is an excellent source for tulips, as is John Scheepers.
I love tulips.