Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A bunch of tulips

Species Tulipa tarda
I bought some species tulips to add some variety to the tulips we grow. The tardas and tukestanicas worked quite well and since they bloom at different times they very nicely extend the blooming season. The flowers are definitely not as large as most but they make up for size by having several blooms on each stem. The tardas naturalize easily and have expanded in the area planted. They are almost like a ground cover.

Species Tulipa saxatilis
We planted as many T. saxatilis as the tardas two years ago, but only very few survived. Unfortunate as the flowers are quite pretty.

We planted these inexpensive common tulips in drifts rather than in a line or rows which for some reason we have a tendency to do. Works quite well this way I think with groupings here and there.

And here are my favorite tulips, Angelique, although this year they decided to come up with a light yellow cast. They should be white with a pink blush. Nevertheless, a full and lush tulip. I wonder if they are reverting to the parents' color and form? These have been in ground for 3 years and are starting to get tired as many of the clumps did not do well this year. Deer predation didn't help and the cold spring may have contributed to the decline. A book I read on tulips mentioned that Angeliques grew too tall and the heavy flowers were easily bent by the rain and wind. We have not found that to be true at all. The stems are quite strong and we've not had any bent by the wind.


Anonymous Pam/Digging said...

Your tulips are quite pretty. I'm partial to the red ones, even if they are the cheapies. Sometimes I'm like the kid who prefers the cardboard box to the expensive toy. :-)

7:09 AM  
Blogger Gotta Garden said...

What a wonder your garden is right now! Beautiful! I am amazed that you have Angelique returning...you are doing something very right! So, in that vein, tell me...how do you get so many flowers with Tarda? I have lots and lots of leaves...but very few flowers...boohoo.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Thanks Pam. You're right, sometimes the plain ones are the best looking, strongest plants. Like weeds I suppose and maybe something to do with hybrid vigor? And you sure can't beat that red color. It's fun to have the old reliables around to brighten the yard.

Thanks, Gotta Garden. We have the tardas in semi shade . I don't know if that makes any difference. But we have the saxatalis in the same location and almost no flowers so I don't know what to make of that. Maybe I should move the remaining saxatalis in full sun as I read that they need poor soil, moderate winter and a hot summer. Other than that I don't have any advice. The tardas must like where they are though since they've multiplied like crazy.

The Angeliqes are still doing fairly well considering we don't lift them and store the bulbs for winter. This year I'm going to heavily feed them to see if that makes a difference. I tried to find fish fertilizer which is what my mother-in-law used when she grew tulips and hers were gigantic but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Probably too expensive to ship liquid fertilizer anymore. Sandy of "In A Garden" mentioned that the fish compost she used to buy was overpriced now at $60 a yard when it was only $20 when she first started buying it and $40 the previous year. I guess fish products are getting expensive now that overfishing is the rule. But one would think that they use only the inedible castoff parts of the fish so it should be cheap as fish consumption is steadily rising and you would have abundant offal. I used to like eating brisling sardines but they are priced beyond what I would pay for them. I noticed this year that even the cheapies are over a buck a tin. We are sure doing the number on this planet. Ok, off the soapbox now.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

The 'saxatilis' is exquisite... almost like a waterlily.

The color change in 'Angelique' has me quite intrigued, Ki. I grew that tulip for years and years myself -it was a great favorite!

In 2006 you posted photos of 'Angelique' tulips blooming around May 24th, so these are three weeks early, wow! They were so pink last year, and this year they look almost as pale as 'Casablanca' tulips... do you think this is part of global warming? Has it been so sunny that they're bleached out?

Curious Annie

6:19 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Ki, last year you said you were going to buy 'Snowstorm' double tulips - maybe the 'Angeliques' heard you and changed colors just to make you happy, ha!


6:29 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Annie twice, I never did buy 'Snowstorm' and I only dimly remember what it even looked like. ;( I am amazed you would look back through my archived blogs on tulips. I should do my own search to see what I previously wrote- might dredge up some interesting stuff there...or more drivel.

As the Angeliques age they look a bit whiter, not so yellow and some have a slight pink blush but definitely not like last year. Some are in semi-shade and others in full sun and there's no difference in color. As you mentioned it may be a reaction due to the changing climate tho I would think the change is too quick. It could be that we had a warm spell just as they were coming up, then a prolonged cold period in Spring.

I'll have to look up Casablanca tulips - sounds interesting.

Another one I definitely do remember is Tacoma. Similar to the Angeliques but a pure white. I was going to buy them last Fall but again it slipped my mind or we already spent too much money on bulbs and decided to forgo the purchase. Maybe this Fall if I remember?

The saxatilis is a beaut, thanks for the spelling correction. The pink is not just pink but sort of radiant. Hard to describe. It could be a trick of the eye with the yellow contrasting pistil and stamens enhancing the color of the petals.

T. saxatilis is one you may be able to grow in Texas. The description says, 'One of the few warm weather tulips suitable for Southern Calif. as it requires no cold period. Zones 5 to 10'. And, maybe tarda too. It also doesn't require a cold period and is a zone 2-8 plant.

4:22 AM  

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