Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Deep In the Heart of Tulips

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!

Tulipa 'Princess Irene'

When I planted 'Princess Irene' last fall, I expected a more pink tulip than they have turned out being. They're actually orange with a violet streak on the outside of each petal. While still pretty, I'm still searching for the hot pink/magenta one with those same streaks. Kara has them in her garden, but she doesn't know their name.

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.

Tulipa hagerii 'Little Beauty'

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.

Tulipa 'Lady Jane'

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.


Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I love looking down into the center of tulips too! They are so fascinating to me. I LOVE the species tulips you've featured here. Gorgeous!


Lona said...

Kylee, you have such a wonderful collection of tulips. I love seeing the patterns on the inner petals. So pretty.

Unknown said...

now I want some of those Lady Janes!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I knew tulips would win you over sooner or later. They are just the shot of color we need after a long brown and grey winter.

Sarah said...

My first time reading your blog and it was so relevant to me! I have tulips and just when the buds where about to open someone/thing came and ate them all (I think it was a bunny because I saw one in the bed tonight). Any ideas of how to keep them from being eaten up?

Shady Gardener said...

Kylee, I love them too. However, so do striped gophers. I've been planting bulbs these past two years anyway... first in little wire baskets, but last Fall I threw caution to the wind! ha. At any rate, there are a lot ready to bloom and I'm ready to watch! :-) Thanks for sharing all your pretty photos.
Happy Spring!

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

I love your tulips. I want to grow them, but pass because of the annual thing. Maybe next year.

Town Mouse said...

Usually I don't mind that we don't get frost hear, but seeing all those tulip posts around the blogosphere does make me just a bit envious... Very beautiful.

Victoria Williams said...

I love our tulips also. Some people seem to think they're too short lived during the season but what else brings such great color with so little trouble in the spring?

Jennah said...

Where can you buy species tulip bulbs? Or just ones that I'm sure won't stop blooming after a few years?

Ewa said...

For a person, that dosn't like tulips... your collection is pretty big :)
I love Princess Irene - what a color!

Anonymous said...

I really love tulip too just like I love iris. Thank you for blogging with those beautiful pictures! Flanella Jo

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