Saturday, April 21, 2012

FOTD: a solution for hybrid tulips

Many say their hybrid tulips come back year after year. That’s nice for them, and I think, given proper conditions, it is possible. It’s not possible on my property, and, even if it were, I’m not sure I’d want to give up that much in-ground planting space to tulips

What I’ve done is create two circular raised beds in front and plant hundreds more in containers. (And plant different species tulips throughout the garden every fall.) The hybrids are treated as annuals, for the most part, and composted yearly.

A first-year tulip bulb is almost magical. I wonder if it would just come up without soil or water, as long as it had a proper chilling period. All I do is throw the bulbs in pots, out them in the garage, take them out in April, and voila.

Friday, April 06, 2012

FOTD: Never enough

Species tulips are just as elegant and interesting as hybrid tulips, but they are small. You have to have a lot of them (sort of like crocus) and you have to observe which ones have the healthiest return rate throughout the seasons and plant more of those types.
Pictured above is humulis “Persian Pearl,” which is one of the most beautiful species out there. I love the combination of it and batalinii “Apricot Jewel,” below. That’s the other thing about species—they can bloom at any time between early April and late May depending on variety. Something else to watch.

And always plant more.