In a vase on Monday – Happiness is………

Every Monday I join with Cathy at Rambling in the garden where she challenges us to find flowers or foliage from our gardens to bring into the house to enjoy for the week.  Some weeks there are just a few ‘found’ flowers but today I have the first of my favourite flowers that I have been anticipating since they were prepared and planted before Christmas.

Yes, for the first of February I have the very first of my forced tulips in a vase.  The tulips were prepared by being placed in the fridge as soon as they were delivered, then after several weeks they were popped up and placed in the greenhouse.  The greenhouse is maintained by a fan heater that doesn’t allow the temperature to drop below freezing and in fact this winter so far, even with freezing temperatures outside for a week, the temperature inside hasn’t dropped below 5°C.

Tulip Exotic Emperor

Tulip Exotic Emperor

All the 25 bulbs have reached the flowering stage together so that’s a plus in comparison to the Iris reticulata and Narcissus bulbs.

Tulip Exotic Emperor

Tulip Exotic Emperor

For so many tulips I brought out my medium –sized rectangular glass vase and used a few small stones to help keep the stems upright.  I chose this vase because when all the flowers are open I wanted there to be enough space for the blooms not to be squashed.

Tulip Exotic Emperor

Tulip Exotic Emperor

Tulip Exotic Emperor

Tulip Exotic Emperor

Exotic Emperor is a creamy white tulip, semi double with a green flash on the petals.  It is said to last well in the garden, I hope it will last a week in the vase.  The stems were long with the foliage beginning mid-way up the stem so I don’t expect the bulbs to be able to sustain themselves for next year but ever the optimist I will plant them out somewhere in the garden in the faint hope that they might flower again next year.

Do visit Cathy to see what she has created this week.  I hope you all have a great week.

53 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – Happiness is………

  1. No wonder you are thrilled Christina. Such a fine display! The rectangular vase is perfect to show the tulips. So you’ve cut the tulip stems, they are not still connected to the bulbs?The creamy white flowers are luscious.

  2. Oh that is one beautiful tulip Christina (well, a couple of dozen really!) – definitely one to look out for… Was it one of Peter Nyssens? I was wondering whether you could have carefully emptied the pots and placed the bulbs in the vase and covered the base with the pebbles, thus keeping the plant intact…do you thnk it might have worked?

    • Yes, I buy all my autumn planted bulbs from Peter Nyssen. I could have pulled the bulbs and ‘planted them in the vase but as the stems seemed so long I just cut them. I may try leaving the bulbs attached to the next pot of tulips, I do have quite a few in the greenhouse, I can see buds on another pot so maybe next week or perhaps two weeks time. I’ll show the flowers as they fully open in my post on Wednesday. They have already opened quite a bit since yesterday when I picked them.

  3. Congratulations on your success with the tulips, Christina! They’re lovely and very elegant as you have them displayed. Tulips, along with peonies, and among the flowers I REALLY wish I could grow. I’ve tried growing them many times only to have our Santa Ana winds wipe them out just before they’re ready to bloom and, as they don’t get chilled enough to bloom a second time in the ground, they’re an expensive experiment here. I wonder if I could convince my husband that I need a greenhouse to support further efforts in this area?

    • You could try them in pots and protect them if it is windy at a vital time. Maybe a small area of your garden with wind protection netting? I’m sure you could have them flowering very early as you can buy them pre-chilled which I can’t here.

  4. Lovely! That was a surprise to see you had Tulips, I’ve forced some Hyacinths as everyone does this winter and a few Daffs but tempted to try Tulips next Autumn. I like the added Hazel twigs too, a good way to add support.

    • Tulips need 10 to 12 weeks of chilling before they will flower. I haven’t found exact instructions as to temperature it certainly doesn’t need to be freezing, I think somewhere between 5 and 12°C.

  5. That is such an elegant vase of beautiful tulips Christina fior the 1st of February, definitely worth all the temperature control. It is interesting to hear they last well in flower in the garden. I have found that creamy white tulips last much longer in flower than the strongly coloured ones. I wonder why that might be?

    • That’s interesting Sarah, I can’t say I’d noticed that about different coloured tulips lasting different amounts of time. I’ll watch this year. I was quoting the website of Peter Nyssen when I said they last well in the garden.

  6. I love tulips in all stages, even after the petals have fallen. I hope you will show us this lovely arrangement again as the flowers open. Their whole personality changes, don’t you think?

    • You’re right, tulips do change personality as they open and fade. All the best flowers fade beautifully as they die; I’m not keen on flowers that die in an ugly way.

  7. Wow, they are beautiful and unusual tulips, really special. I’m curious that you kept the water level quite low in the vase. Is there a reason for that other than aesthetics?

  8. Oh that was certainly a project that paid dividends Christina. The Emperor is certainly a fine fellow looking fellow. I remember admiring him when I was ordering was tulip bulbs but stuck to an old favourite ‘Spring Green’ instead. I might be more adventurous next year. When do tulips come into flower in your garden?

    • Hi Anna, tulips don’t flower very much before in the UK because they need chilling and it doesn’t usually get cold here until after Christmas. Around the garden they are just peeping through the soil. I actually chilled some of the ones that went into the garden as well and they seem to be coming up before the others, which does prove the point about how important the chilling period is for them. I’ve never had great success with ‘Spring Green’, Exotic Emperor does look similar but should be slightly double.

  9. It worked! Wonderful to have tulips so early, and I like the way you have supported them in the vase with natural pebbles. Quite an elegant and stately flower, deserving of its name.

  10. Exquisite tulips beautifully displayed in your glass vase! I always find it difficult to cut tulips and lots of other flowers because they last so much longer outside but the beauty of this display makes the cutting worth it.

    • I grew these especially to cut so I didn’t have a problem. I don’t like to spoil the displays in the garden so I’ll only be using wind damaged or broken stems of those.

    • Thanks Julie, I’m so pleased to have discovered a way to force tulips and thereby extend their season, which is shorter here as the early and late varieties often seem to flower together. I wonder which variety will be ready next.

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