Tulip Time!

There must be some Dutch in me because I’m a little wacky about tulips.  Not real bad, I don’t collect every kind and have them all over the place (my criteria for plant wackiness), but I’m always adding a few new ones…. and then I feel some kind of urge to tend them and multiply them and replant them.  It should end once this relatively new garden starts to fill up, but for now I can indulge that inner Dutch.

The rain and cold kept them shut for a while, but even then they looked nice (these are pictures from early last week).  Four years ago I bought this blend on clearance as a generic “darwin mix”… it was nearly all orange, so I threw in a couple pinks just beacause I had them.darwin tulips

"sweetheart" tulip "geranium daffodil

The “sweatheart” tulips were new this year, don’t know why I bought a lemon meringue colored tulip when I have so many daffodils in similar colors…..

Also new was the “Princely mix” from Van Engelen.  Not sure what’s in it, but again…. on clearance… can’t beat this color for around$15.  Plus I spread the other half of the box around the rest of the beds :)The random white peeling post is our attractive front light.  The less you see of that the better.

princely mix tulips

pink impression tulips“Pink Impression” (also new) is always a winner.  I’ve bought it before but have gotten other, similar tulips instead.  This looks to be the real thing  and the flowers are huge!

Tulips will last much longer in cool weather, but when a warm sunny day finally hits (like we had last week) the flowers open wide and you know it’s finally full, head-on spring.orange darwin tulips

I just go around on days like this and get nothing done.  It’s too tempting to just sit around, enjoy the sun and admire the season.  Since the vegetable garden is the easiest place to plant out your excess tulips, that’s where most end up.  I’ll regret this in a couple of weeks as I’m scratching my head looking for a spot to stick a tomato.  mixed darwin tulips

I don’t really cut too many for the house, most of the picking is done by the kids.  A couple end up at grandma’s, some get planted in the mulch, many get pulled apart and thrown, and random neighbors often get deliveries in exchange for an ice pop or cookie.tulip pickers

double early tulipsDaddy sometimes gets a flower, but much of his time is spent protecting the double tulips, since they seem to be particularly attractive to flower collectors.  The doubles have started to grow on me though.  Ever since I bought this mix of early doubles called “magic carpet”, I’m finding an excuse to keep them around (even though the singles are still so much more graceful).  To me the doubles look like huge fluffy wads of tissue paper…. but wow!  that’s some fluff!

temple of beauty tulipMy favorites might be the ones just coming into bloom now.  The late tulips seem to have the most subtle blends and nicest forms.  If you ignore the color clashes in this planting and just look at the color and almost lily shape of these fruity colored “Temple of Beauty” tulips, I think you might like them a little too, even with the crappy camera focus.

 

Tulip season is a little past peak now with the earliest ones already going by.  The pickers are still keeping busy and I’ll be busy too when I need to dig them all up out of the veggie garden.  That’s a job for June though,  May is for enjoying flowers.tulip picking

 

 

Finally…. mulch is down

It might take normal people a weekend to get their mulch spread, but I went for the one week plan.  The biggest time drain was sprinkling the mulch down in between emerging  clumps and working the wheel barrow back into a bed that was filled with soft sprouts.  On top of that I was trying to stretch every mulch dollar by walking the fine line between too thin and too thick and trying to figure out just where exactly my limited mulch supply would go.  Oh, and did I mention the allergies and sinus infection?

The newly renovated front bed got a nice top coat, showing off the mix of tulips I put in last fall.  This is what a weak moment during Van Egelen’s fall clearance sale will get you. It’s the Scheeper’s mix, made up of all Scheeper hybrids.  Not sure if the color is a good choice for in front of the orange brick….. but oh well, colors don’t clash in May   🙂front bed

"isla gold" tansyThe mulch looks so neat and tidy, and it does look better than before when dirt was splashing everywhere and weeds were popping up by the thousands.  Look how it sets off this “Isla Gold” Tansy.

The tansy is one of my favorites right now.  I’ll be the first to admit I’m going through an I-need-everything-with yellow-foliage phase, but the lacy foliage, the fresh color, and the fact it keeps this color all season are just a couple reasons for my smitten-ness.  Did I mention it even has little buttons of yellow blooms in late summer?  I bet it would look great then with a blue salvia.

Right now I could pair it with polemonium reptans which is in bloom.polemonium reptans

polemonium reptansThe polemonium comes from my parent’s house.  The original planting was there when they first purchased the house over 40 years ago and has been going strong ever since, without dividing or anything.  You could trim it back after blooming if you want but I never get around to it.

Probably about half the beds are now covered, but in order to complete the job I’m guessing it will take another load.  Together the two loads will run about $660.  That really kills my garden budget for the year, but mulch costs are easy to pass by the boss.  I sometimes think that if our yard was just mulch beds, lawn expanses and a few rounded yews she’d be happy.

It’s May and tulips and daffodils are blooming all over the place.  There’s more to do than time to do it but I need to post a few tulip pictures.  They really rule the yard right now, and here’s a well mulched batch of “apricot impression” and some mixed lily flowered tulips.  After the tulips fade this bed will hit a lull for a couple weeks,  and I’m working on that, but usually hostas take over and a couple coleus find their way in.  So it all works out well enough.tulip apricot impression

There are more tulip pictures.  A lot more.  I’ll be catching up on those next.

 

 

Springtime Fun

The weather is perfect, the pond leaks, the mulch is here, and Donna wants to rearrange the furniture. With all this going on, the only thing I want to do is wander the yard with coffee in hand.

But there’s a couple yards of natural mulch in the driveway and it can’t stay there.  It looks nice and dark right now, but will fade quickly unlike the dyed mulches.  I don’t mind.  I want to focus on the plants, cut down on weeding and save some watering.  Plus my garden can do without the dye and whatever else they put in.natural mulch

lily flowered tulipsI guess furniture moving is first on the list.  Then move the furniture again.  Then talk paint colors (furniture moving always leads to multiple projects).  Then try to make my escape.  The mulch beckons and it will take me forever since everything has already sprouted and needs to be mulched around.  Plus I stop all the time to admire stuff, and with tulips opening there’s lots of stuff to admire.

There are mixed lily flowered tulips, of which only the yellow/red seem to return reliably…. not the pink and white ones that I preferred.

apricot impression tulipsThese are “apricot impression” going on their third year.  I have luck with tulips here, probably since I don’t water in the summer and they like the drought.  Still, after three or four years division is a good idea.  I guess we’ll see in June if I remember or not.