Another Monday, another vase – Mondays were never this much fun, were they? Cathy has changed our view of the beginning of the week, thank you Cathy.
As was to be expected more of the Exotic Emperor tulips became ready to pick during the week so I found a larger vase and just kept adding them to the vase. The tulips open beautifully, the flower becoming larger as well as the stems growing so they are a vase that one goes back to enjoy all the time rather than being arranged and forgotten.
During the week the first blooms of Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’ were ready to pick; as there were only 3 I used blue-flowered Teucrium to make a slightly larger display.
But the rest of the flowers soon caught up so again I found another larger vase and picked more Teucrium, in this case more to help with keeping the tulips in position in the vase; I think the delicate slightly silvery leaves of the Teucrium as a lightness to the solid form of the tulip flowers.
I know many of you are interested in how I manage to have tulips so early in the year. This involves making sure I order my tulips early so that mine are dispatched first. They arrived during the first week of September and were immediately placed in the vegetable drawer of the fridge in the Orangery.
The Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’ bulbs went into the fridge on 4th September and were planted into large pots on the 4th December so 91 days of chilling at about 5°C. They were picked 57 days later. I think that if they were placed in a warmer environment they would flower more quickly. The weather has been very cold since December and the greenhouse is only heated to keep it frost free. Other years there would have been many more days when the daytime temperature at least would have been in the high teens or even low twenties; that didn’t happen this year.
Tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’ also went into the fridge on 4th September; these were planted into pots on 15th November so had less chilling time, 72 days, but then took longer to flower 64 days.
I had thought that because T. Exotic Emperor should flower earlier than T. Miami Sunset that the slightly shorter chilling time would be sufficient, but it obviously wasn’t long enough. I will try to correlate chilling times to length of time to flowering, and check against past years timings where I have them.
Do check to see what Cathy and all the other Monday vase addicts have found today.