Tulip Tips!

Tulips bring me so much joy and delight.  The anticipation starts early as the foliage buds out.  This Spring season I learned a few things about growing and designing with tulips that I'd like to share with you. 

Lesson #1:  I planted a Darwin tulip (Darwin's are the most reliable to return the following year) called 'Ivory Floradale,' that I thought would be an ivory color as the name implies, but they bloomed a soft yellow.  They are beautiful, but not what I wanted to coordinate with the Zurel tulip, which is a variegated deep wine and white tulip, so I was hoping for a soft white tulip.  When photographing interiors, a soft/warm white is more appealing than a cool/blue white, but now I know not necessarily in the plant world.  After a few days of looking at the combination I couldn't stand it anymore, so I snipped the Floradales and arranged them in a vase.  They were really beautiful in the vase and the blooms were huge… just gorgeous.  So, at least I was able to enjoy the Floradales as a cut flower and the Zurels look great on their own in the garden with other burgundy wine plants surrounding them.  If you're looking for a good white, Wildhof Triumph or the Sapporo Lily Tulip are good whites.  They do start with a slight yellow tinge, but quickly turn white.

The Ivory Floradale Tulip, days after blooming.

The Ivory Floradale Tulip, days after blooming.

I buy my tulip bulbs at different local nurseries and also online from Tulip World and Holland Bulb Farms.  Buy early because they do sell out.  I have found both of these online companies to be very reliable and if you happen to get a rotted bulb, they will immediately send you a replacement and usually the entire package, not just the one bulb.  I think that's excellent service.

Lesson #2:  I usually like to design my own bulb combinations, but I thought I'd try this pre-mixed tulip package, because the variety of tulips together looked great - on the package photo… :) Well, I was a bit disappointed - too many of one color/variety, too little of one color/variety, and I didn't know which bulb would be tall or short.  I should have known better.  If you like to be surprised with what comes up where, then mixed packages are for you, but I like to be the decider of what is what and where it will go…:) 

Anyone else out there have a tulip or bulb lesson you'd like to share?  And, check out the links at the bottom of this post.  You can comment, like, and share.  Enjoy and always love hearing from you.

Till the next time…

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear