Sunday, May 02, 2010

On with the show, part II

Don’t worry, there won’t be a part three! Though there are some species tulips yet to come, and hybrids yet to mature, I think the bulb show is at its peak. I’m realizing now just how many species tulips it takes to create a real burst of color. It’s a lot. And I still have gaps.

The t. orphanidea flava (above) are new this year—from John Scheepers, they look suspiciously like those sold as t. whittallii from Brent & Becky’s Hmmm. Another newcomer is the t. kolpakowskiana (below, at right). It’s a lot like t. clusiana “Mary Jane”, but taller and bigger. There are some no-shows: the humilis alba coerulea oculata (I should have known better) and maybe some of the varieties I’ve planted in past years are returning with less fervor. That’s why I always plant more, every year. If you want tulips, you have to do that. End of story.

My very first hybrid mix buy (almost ten years ago) was the Cool Out from Colorblends, and I’ve returned to it this year. Though it does not accord with the orangish theme going on elsewhere, it is lovely with the violets. Though I don’t remember violets and hybrid tulips coinciding this much before. It’s the new earliness. Sadly, the new earliness means the Queen of the Night and the White Triumphator in this mix are shorter; I’d rather have them more willowy. But perhaps they’ll get a bit taller.

Soon the show will be over, and I’ll have to figure out an all-summer solution for the color in the front yard. But for the next couple weeks, I’ll be happy—and I’m planning to add even more species tulips for next season.


Sylvana said...

Those tulips sure do add pizazz to the front garden. I have humilis alba coerulea oculata - they are very touchy and particular. I really do like them a lot, so I am going to get more and hope they survive.

Anonymous said...

What do mean no part III? I want part III!

MA said...

Look at those bergenias! Not a vine weevil chomp mark on them.

Jean said...

That Cool Out combo really is pretty, isn't it? I'm always so envious of northern gardens when tulips are blooming. I know I should try species tulips too.

Layanee said...

Tulips are so gratifying. I have 'Mary Jane' and she is very well behaved. I like the colorblend mix. Spring is so freshly beautiful.

Kathy said...

It takes a lot of species tulips to make an impression, yes. I planted 150 of them last fall. Four showed up. Waaah!

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Yes, those small numbers like 150 tulips just are too small, aren't they? :)

I order from John Scheeper's sister company, Van Englen, for bigger quantites. Tulips are my favorite, but having to buy them every year does make things expensive--even from Van Engelen.

I'm in a zone 9, so lots of bulbs that will return for you won't return for me. I did find some daffodils that should come back here (a smaller variety) and I enjoyed 300 of them this year.

Right now I have johnny jumps ups growing under the dafodils (which have been deadheaded already). They'll last through this month, and then I grow vincas all summer long. The vincas reseed themselves.

The johnny jump-ups come from Wildseed Farms, an awesome wildflower seed catalog with great prices. The smallest size is a packet; the next size up is just about perfect for maximum impact (I think it's 1/4 ounce). What's even better is that you may have good flowers each year if they reseed. I am growing larkspur from them as well.

If you haven't read the book Miracles on Maple Hill, you may enjoy it for the information about the wildflowers.

Your garden is lovely.