Saturday, April 4, 2009


This is a picture of one of my all time favorite tulips , Monsella. They are just so bright and happy. Unfortunately, tulips are pretty much an annual here. The climate doesn't especially suit them and they sometimes bloom a second year, but not usually after that. I keep myself happy with a few new ones each year. My other long time favorite is 'Shirley'. It is a white with a delicate lavender picotee edge.

Tulips that do better seem to be species types and not the fancy hybrids. This one is Tulipa greigii 'Donna Bella'. It grows in amongst the cactuses in gravel and seems perfectly happy - unless rabbits munch it. I like the patterned leaves, though they don't show up well in this photo.
The last is Tulipa 'Robin Hood'. I had thought is was a greigii, but the leaves don't have the mottling that is characteristic of those, so I'm not sure. It is awfully pretty, in any case. These are also fairly long lived here. Our resident huge deer munched them last week, though, so no blooms this spring. He even pulled one of the bulbs right out of the ground. It always amazes me when I walk up within a few yards of him. Surprises us both since I usually almost trip on him when he is sleeping. He leaves quickly, but doesn't get scared off permanently since we have such a salad bar here for him.
Like so many of the other spring bulbs we grow in this country, tulips are native to the Mediterranean region. Because of their native climate they do enjoy our cold winters, and spring rains, but we often can't give them the baking, dry summers they also like.
We also grow some very dainty species tulips which I'll post pictures of tomorrow.

1 comment:

keewee said...

What a shame they are annuals. You will have to check back to my blog in a few weeks as I will have pictures of my front garden which is full of tulips.