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The Noble Tulip

By The Garden Commando

One of the best-loved spring-flowering bulbs, tulips provide gardeners with many different (and often confusing) options from which to choose. 

This article attempts to provide you some guidelines for designing your beds, with a few suggestions about some specific tulips. 

 

Favourite Tulips 

With fifteen divisions of tulips, including many different cultivars, choices are wide. However, since space is limited, I will touch briefly on just a few. 

Kaufmania, Fosterana, and Greigii.
All very early flowering, these tulips are short stemmed, and usually have beautifully marked foliage - often striped or mottled. The many new hybrids have produced a wide variety of bright, jewel-like colours. Because of their short stature, they are lovely as foreground material, and great for small gardens, or rock-gardens. 

Lily flowered. 
Like the Darwin, these tulips are late spring or mid-season flowering. They have slender buds, with reflexed petals when the flower is open. Very delicate in appearance. 

Rembrandts. 
These are called "broken" tulips, flower mid-season, and include Bjibloemens, Bizzares and the Rembrandts themselves. (Rembrandt is the name that most people associate with the tulips of this type.) They have bold markings in vibrant streaks of red, rose, purple, lilac or white. 

Peony Flowered or Double Late tulip. 
The large, double blooms make a wonderful late display, but unfortunately, tend to be top heavy, so you may want to provide some support. There are many others of course - Darwins, Mendels, Species - but those I mentioned are some of my personal favourites. 

Designing your Spring display 
Organizing your spring garden for best possible effect can be a challenge. Here are a few pointers to help you. 

1. Ensure that your design plan takes into account from where the bed will be viewed - along a driveway, a central bed, a border, or in a naturalized setting at the back of the property. 

2. Keep the design simple. Simplicity can be just as arresting as a complex design. For example, for a circular bed, a center piece using red Darwins, with two wide outer rings in two other colours. You could use orange Triumphs for the inner ring, and yellow Darwins for the outer ring. This would be simple, but eye catching. 

3. Avoid using more than two or three colours in one bed. A large bed with alternating blocks of red and white tulips, for example, will impact the viewer more than a random mix of colours. Borders or edgings using Lily flowered tulips in apricot and pink pastels along the back, with an outer or front edging of white or pale yellow. 

4. Plan carefully for continuous bloom. For example, you could plan your early tulips for a bed that gets shade from a deciduous tree in summer, but is open in the spring. Mid-season and late tulips could be planted in areas that remain mostly in the sun all the time.

A garden shed is a wonderful addition to any back yard and will keep all of your Tulip products and garden tools  safe and organized


Comments or suggestions on this Web page: wezel@wezel.com

This page was updated July 28/13

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