Looking back over my photographs of tulips for this year I realise that the season was very short. A few appeared at the end of March but the majority were completely finished by the end of April, a few very late varieties in shady spots have clung on until this week but not in a way to make any kind of show.
I have a memory that last year I spent weeks walking along the, then, new spring walk. I was disappointed that so few of the tulips in the spring walk actually flowered again this year. There are a couple of possible reasons.
- Mice ate some of the bulbs during the summer or winter; I did find some holes while I was weeding the bed in early spring.
- The plants of Sisyrinchium had bulked up so thickly the shoots of the bulbs couldn’t force their way through.
One thing I found interesting was that the new bulbs planted in the extension to the spring walk last autumn began flowering early (they were a mixture of early flowers) but have actually only just finished flowering now. Tulips planted in individual drifts obviously had a shorter period of interest so it is worth mixing some early mid and late flowering types together to give the longest flowering time; in the past I would have thought that the dying blooms would detract from the newly flowering ones but that doesn’t seem to be the case, or not this year.
I also wonder if new bulbs have been stored in refrigerated conditions and so have already experienced at least some of the chill factor they need. Next year I definitely intend storing my tulips in the fridge before planting them, perhaps I’ll have to talk to my friendly greengrocer who has a large cold-room which would probably be ideal.
These have been in the garden since at least 2009, not all are still present but those that remain have split so that one original bulb is producing 3 flowers. This is a beautiful tulips and I intend ordering more this year.
This is probably my favourite tulip; it repeats consistently and lasts well, it is tall (and many tulips seem to be shorter than stated in my soil so that is a real plus point) and it dies slowly and beautifully!
You would hardy think it was the same tulip. It does this in a vase too, I forced Brown Sugar this year and will buy more for next year.
I have these with Hemerocallis so their dying leaves disappear instantly, in fact the foliage of the Hemerocallis grows up well before the tulips have finished flowering.
These were one of the first tulips I planted in this garden, reliable and lovely.
I am a huge fan of Negrita; again these have been in the garden since before 2009. After a couple of years the bulbs do split, this year it is clear that some bulbs are producing four or even five blooms, I actually really like this in the garden as I think it makes them look more natural when they are mixed with other plants. They flower early and usually stand up well whatever the weather.
An elegant and truly beautiful tulip, I think this is one I may try to force next year.
Double Dazzle is a fabulous double, I don’t have any good images from the garden but here it is in a vase.
Julie at Peony and Posies used a creamy white double T. Mount Tacoma for wedding flowers, I would like to try that one next year too.
Barcelona is a great strong pink with a good form.
Not many of the tulips I planted in the formal beds in 2008 remain, strangely those that do are at the edges close to the lavender; I wonder if that means they are protected from mice by the smell of the lavender, not thought of that before but it is possible.
T. Blushing Girl opens with one largish white flower as that blushes pink a further three slightly smaller flowers open white which also fade to pink.
Perhaps the most photogenic of all the tulips, Ballerina is tall, elegant, tough and last well.
So Goodbye tulips for 2015, and now its the turn of the bearded irises and roses which have now begun flowering in My Hesperides Garden.
A last view of the spring walk. The figs on the tree (above the tulips) are now forming and getting larger each day but it will be a few weeks until they are ready to pick.
Which is your favourite tulip?