Some Tulips Should Be Savored Up Close

Tulips aren't for everyone. They typically look their best for just one year, making them expensive to plant. And then there is the way they don't look like much unless they're planted by the hundreds. Or at least in clumps of a dozen or so. But I discovered a new way to enjoy tulips that won't put you in the poor house, or have you digging them up after they flower.

Tulip 'Akebono' certainly has a lot going on, with extra petals and the most delicate red edging.

As 'Akebono' matures and opens, it continues
to add a little intrigue to your garden.
Pick them one at a time and bring them inside. This is especially true with the doubles, or multi-petaled varieties, and the parrot types.

'Akebono' is considered a double tulip, and provided a few days of entertainment both in the garden and in a vase.

A species of Tulip called T. clusiana is more likely to come back for a few years of repeat performance.

I planted a handful of a variety called 'Lady Jane' in my seriously raised garden bed so I'd be able to enjoy them up close. A wiser move could not have been made.

'Lady Jane' is small and easily overlooked in the landscape. Whether by design or luck, I managed to plant the bulbs where nothing would overshadow the flowers when they popped up.
'Lady Jane' is closed up tightly in the morning...
...but with warmth and sunshine, opens to reveal a more colorful attitude.
Tulip 'Dream Touch'
Some tulips go through a transition into maturity that's worth examining. The best way is to just pick one and keep it close.

Among the varieties in my garden, I think I've enjoyed a variety called 'Dream Touch' the most. When it first came up, it was a cute little, lipstick-colored number that faded into the background, surrounded as it was by its bright orange neighbors.

I'd even forgotten what it was called. By the time I looked again, it had turned into a beauty, with a delicate white edge to its notched and ruffled petals.

Not only did it get my attention; it seemed to put the orange tulips to shame for being too blatant.



Tulip 'Dream Touch' subtly commands attention. 


I couldn't resist cutting just one to bring inside. It lasted for several days when I made sure to cut the stem each day and give it fresh water. 'Dream Touch' rewarded me once again, this time with a purple/mahogany/cream petals that had a sheen like satin ribbon.

Tulips are an extravagance. Buy just a few of the most bodacious and promising varieties; enjoy them in a vase, and then try a different variety the following year. I'm already perusing the online bulb specialty sites looking for my next choice.


1 comment:

  1. My tulips are long gone. It is nice to see yours especially since you have some unusual ones. I have never seen one with a red rim, very striking.

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