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The Parrot King Tulip

April 9th, 2012

Today we’ll be taking a break from the cleaning series because I didn’t get home until late from the family Easter celebration and didn’t have time to take photos & write the post. Also because a few of my parrot tulips are blooming. These ‘Parrot King’ tulips are a show stopper and they’re stealing the show by my back door, the OOPS ones that I accidentally left in the garage. I can’t help but stop and stare whenever I’m head in or out!

I planted these in pots specifically to be able to examine them closely. The detail in these flowers is so amazing and hard to capture with my camera. They’re stunning from bud to bloom. The variety of colors in each bud, the fringe on the petals, the way the colors change and they get deeper as the blooms age.

Normally, I’m not one for blooms with flourish like these. I don’t even really like orange and yellow flowers, but for some reason I’m enthralled by these beauties. They remind me of Spanish Flamenco dancers with all the ruffles and their bright colors. Definitely focal points wherever you plant them. I’ll never have a garden without parrot tulips from now on and I don’t think I’ll go without forcing some in a pot to admire by the back door each spring.

Do you have a plant/flower that you love that doesn’t fit in with your normal gardening tastes?

For more photos of this beauty head on over to my Flickr photostream.

Parade of Tulips

April 26th, 2011

I didn’t used to like tulips all that much, but they’re starting to grow on me. Perhaps I’d only been exposed to the big bright yellow and red ones (I’m still not a huge fan of those). I do like tulips that are purple, white, and buttery yellow. Most of mine run in those shades, but I do have a yellow and red tulip in my garden that was labeled as a ‘Mickey Mouse’ I planted the first year we moved in.

Tulips aren’t usually perennials here in NE Ohio, at least not the hybrid tulips. They often bloom nicely the year after you plant them, then you might get smaller blooms for another year or two but they eventually die out. I read that if you plant your bulbs deeper in the soil you will have better luck having them come back year after year. I’ve been lucky with most of mine, they seem to come back and some of them multiply each year. I can’t remember for sure what varieties I have, ‘Negrita’, ‘Shirley’ and ‘Mickey Mouse’ are the only ones I can remember.

I’m pretty lucky this year that I have so many tulips blooming. Generally the deer munch them off right before they bloom. This past winter was hard on the deer because it was so cold and we had snow cover for so long. As a result I haven’t seen as many deer in my garden and I get to enjoy my tulips. Of course this may be the reason they always come back and multiply. Since they never get to bloom they put all their energy into producing bulbs.

I haven’t planted any new tulips in 4-5 years. I think this fall I’ll finally add some more to my gardens. I would love to buy a lot of heirloom ones from Old House Gardens. They specialize in heirloom tulips and they’re all quite beautiful.

If you’ve never been to Longwood Gardens during their tulip show, I’d highly recommend that you go, it’s amazing! They plant over 200,000 tulip bulbs in the fall for the show. You’ll see tulips you never knew excited existed!

What’s your favorite spring blooming bulb?

More Seeds in the Garden

September 2nd, 2009

I found this while I was cleaning out one of my garden beds the other day. What kind of seeds do you think they are?
They’re tulip seeds. I saved them and thought I might try to start them to see what happens. I’ve researched and found out that it will take them 3 years to bloom. That’s why it takes patience to garden!
I’m not sure what color they’ll turn out to be, I’m not even sure which tulip they came from. What a fun experiment to try to start tulips from seed.

Any interesting plants you’ve tried to grow from seed before?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.