Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Post Trump Tulip Disorder (PTTD)

This has been my tulip spring. I ordered and planted them around Trump time. We all did strange things, then. In the central vegetable plot (tulips are edible, was my reasoning) they provided an April burst of glory after that November shock, when nothing good ever seemed possible, again.

 Tall, graceful and long lasting: these are 'Impression' cultivars - a mix of three, ordered from Dutch Bulbs.

But this tulip - purchased in the same order - puzzled me.

While its petals were pleasingly parrot shaped, especially early on (above), and the plants bore more than one flower as the weeks passed - which is very unusual for a tulip -  the flat red did not thrill me. Why did I choose them? Impulse buying too late at night, online? Too much Trump? Was the Cheeto orange rubbing off?

Only when I sat down to write this post did I realize that these tulips were a mistake. And not mine. Checking my emailed receipts, I saw that they should have been a cultivar called 'Dragon King:' elegantly tall, pink, a pale yellow stripe up every other sheathed petal. But those never arrived. The red ones did, and I planted them. Bulbs look like bulbs. I will let Dutch Bulbs know and I am sure they will fix it, retroactively

From Brent and Becky's came the smaller flowered but stupendously long lasting (four weeks) 'Queen of the Night.' They are still in bloom, shedding petals, now. As the flowers matured, they became blacker. I will buy them again.

Also from Brent and Becky's a long limbed white bloom, 'Clearwater,' which flowered for a long time mixed with the ostrich ferns - all-morning shade, about four hours of sun from 1pm-ish onwards (pssst - notice the gravel in the last two pictures? That's another story...).

Another Brent and Becky's selection was 'Golden Apeldoorn,' planted in shadier spots and blooming among the Heuchera and cinnamon ferns. It gave a pop of colour where it was needed.

Now the garden's season has turned to columbines - the plants gifted to me by my garden designer friend Julia Miller; and alliums and camassia are blooming. The Solomon's seal still looks spectacular. The wisteria is just about over (I picked the flowers and made syrups, vinegars, gin and pancakes) and the Boston ivy wall on the opposite side has been attacked by a terrible blight (all the rain we had, I think) causing its leaves to crisp and fall. Potted hydrangeas and elder are going gangbusters and the new wasabi plants from Oregon are steadily shoving out tiny leaves

I can't wait to eat them.


  1. The tulips are wonderful ... almost convinces me to order a few for next spring. (They are pretty much an annual here.) It's hard to believe how many weeks "ahead" we are - the peonies are just finishing now. Thanks for the great photos.

  2. I'll just pop back from time to time for my fix. No such thing as a tropical tulip, I'm afraid.

  3. I love tulips...I once planted over 100 of which 0 now exist. The squirrels keep eating them :-(

  4. The tulips are gorgeous, even the mistake bulbs! We have to suffice with daffodils down here and other bulbs---not enough chill for tulips in SE Texas!

  5. Queen of the Night are one of my own favorites. I have many many of those planted along with medium pink (I can't remember the name) and hundreds of mixed daffodils. Years ago I bought a drill bit for planting bulbs, it's about 3 inches across, made of solid brass and you use an electric drill. I planted several hundred bulbs in less than an hour!!! Since re-doing my city blvd last summer I will be planting more of all three this fall.

  6. They are lovely, glad at least something of beauty is coming of our national nightmare. For me lily-flowered and parrot tulips have been by far the most resilient types - apart from species tulips - with the former even sometimes multiplying both in Michigan and in Massachusetts.

  7. PTTD! Only you could come up with that. The mistakenly delivered red ones look great in that vase,Marie. But the tall white Clearwater tulips next to those Ostrich ferns -- design genius. Great post; please keep blogging.
    Diane in Denver

  8. balm for the soul, while mr. blusterpants is in the middle east, wreaking havoc.

  9. Is your Wasabi from Frog Eyes? May I ask what you planted them up in? I had two plants last spring and put them in well-draining potting soil but they both got rotten and died. I'd love to try again but am a little wary because of the cost.

    1. Yes, Frog Eyes. I used Black Gold potting mix plus about 1/4 natural cedar mulch, very well mixed in. I water them almost every day until I see water seeping from below. They were quite slow, but every plant has sprouted with only one growing very slowly.


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