I'm a late convert to Tulips, maybe it was our holiday in Holland last summer that inspired me to plant pots of tulips to enjoy this Spring . . .
Tulip ... various!
I like tulips mixed with other early bedding plants – violas and wallflowers – so they rise through a sea of colour. These were souvenir Tulip bulbs bought at the flower market in central Amsterdam, they are tall 'lily-flowered' and I think they may be called 'Claudia'.
They have been flowering for ages! and I love how they open right out in the warm sunshine.
Here are some more 'lily-flowered' tulips, a present from Cliff a few years ago, they've been in the same planter all that time and grow up through blue-green grass.
Short stemmed, with beautiful blue-green and burgundy patterned leaves, these are 'Red Riding Hood'. The bulbs were thrown out 'past their sell by date' by a garden centre and we got a huge bag for free just before Christmas! I planted them in pots in the greenhouse and then transplanted them into large planters on our patio, over-planting them with self-seeded Forget-me-not plants. So this display cost absolutely nothing!
In the beautiful sunshine we've had this week, the flowers open wide revealing the black centre and golden stigmas and stamens.
Stray tulips that appear in overgrown corners, red made even brighter by the surrounding lush greens.
A row of orange tulips surrounded by self-seeded Forget-me-nots and Calendula. Among the blooms this year is one with flame patterns - is this the infamous 'Tulip Breaking Virus' that got the Dutch tulip fans so excited in the early 17th century?
Even the the dying petals have a curious beauty, as if they are made from silk
In a slightly shadier position these almost black 'Queen of the Night' tulips are yet to bloom
I like the contrast between our mostly natural and slightly wild garden and the artifice of tulips bred for their curious shapes and rich colours over centuries . . . first in Persia and then in Holland. They are among the earliest 'florist flowers', grown to be arranged and enjoyed, as ephemeral works of art.
You may have spotted, behind the Tulips in the above photo, some other 'florist flowers' . . . more of those in the next post.