A Week of Flowers-Day 3

My mother’s family is all centered in Northern Germany in the city of Osnabrück, and my mom would tell stories of their summertime beach trips cross the border to the barrier islands off the coast of the Netherlands.  It’s really not all that great a distance and to be honest if someday some genetic testing finds a bit of that Dutch-tulip-loving DNA in me I would not be surprised.  To me tulips are nice.  Obsessively nice, and if someone were to say to me ‘but they’re so much work’, I’d have to point out that my kids aren’t exactly a picnic, and if you’re looking at dollars I would guess one Christmas’ worth of either child’s presents is probably more than I’ve ever spent on tulips… Hmmm.  Guess who just had that “what is Santa’s budget this year” discussion?

garden perennial tulips

Tulips in the potager.  They’re dug and dried for the summer and replanted in the fall after the tomatoes and peppers freeze off.

Let me just quickly add that in my garden we rarely have tulip-eating vermin such as deer, the rabbits are quite lazy (or full of other plants), and the tulips seem to just like the soil here, enough so that they usually perennialize even when not dug.  I know that’s not the case for everyone so please let me enjoy this one success!

garden perennial tulips

Darwin and Triumph tulips mixed into the front perennial border.

garden perennial tulips

A garden filled with tulips and daffodils is one of the best announcements of spring’s arrival.

garden perennial tulips

These are a few of the antique broken tulips of the earliest days of the Dutch tulip industry.  I’m still trying to find a spot they like here, for me they’re not nearly as vigorous as the newer types.

garden perennial tulips

Fortunately tulip season is followed by irises and peonies and clematis and a billion other amazing spring flowers.  If that wasn’t the case I’d probably need medication and a few days in a dim room by myself in order to recover from the high.

Tomorrow will be a quick post.  It’s hard to move on from tulips.  Thanks Cathy for giving me the excuse to revisit one of my favorite times of the year, and if you’d also like to revisit more floralific seasons give Words and Herbs a visit for more of Cathy’s Week of Flowers

9 comments on “A Week of Flowers-Day 3

  1. Cathy says:

    You have such a wonderful collection Frank! You are also very fortunate that you don’t have mice or voles. One day I’d love to visit the tulip fields in Holland, although I know there would be busloads of tourists to compete with. Your antique ones may be worth a fortune one day so you could consider them an investment rather than an expense! 😉

    • bittster says:

      Perhaps I should ‘invest’ in even more old tulips!!
      I hope you do make it to the bulb fields, what a plant pilgrimage that would be. I wonder if there are any bulb fields closer? I know here a local farm grows a few to cut, but even with the closer distance I’ve never bothered to visit during the season. Maybe I’m too happy at home!

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Outstanding tulip garden, Frank! I admire your mammoth efforts to make them flourish, and totally envy you being free of varmints, the garden gods bless you!

    • bittster says:

      I’m wondering how much longer I’ll keep up the tulip planting energy. It’s a bunch of work, and I think you know how I feel about bunches of work 😉

  3. I don’t want to give up on tulips despite my rabbit problems. Yours are inspirational. Next year I am going to try planting them in pots in the fall and overwintering them in my garage which I think is colder than yours.

    • bittster says:

      I think pots would really work! The rabbits here are exceptionally lazy, and just a few twiggy branches or a raised bed is often enough to defeat their efforts. Maybe it helps that there are tasty weed options all over the place.

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your tulip collection is so colorful and inspiring.

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