My tulips have all but finished now. The storm on Monday night last week not only revealed another leak in the roof, but also blew away the last of the petals from most of the tulips I have grown this year. Only two remain – some White Triumphator in the raised bed and a pot of China Pink which look like flamingos swaying away in the wind. I thought I’d do a final post on the tulips I bought for this spring so that in future years I can look back and see how certain ones fared and which ones I prefer.
J. Parkers Tulip Fluted Collection (Lily Flowering) (Pack of 60) – £19.94
(1) Red Shine
One of the earliest to flower in late March red Shine is a glowing ruby-red (though I’d say mine are very much a lipstick red) flower with the lovely elegant lily-flowered shape. It gets its name from the way the petals literally shine when struck by the sun. According to the description by J.Parkers this should have a yellow base, but mine appear to have a white base! It really glows in the sunshine. And flowers for several weeks. These were planted in one of my blue glazed pots which contains a scented-leaf pelargonium.
(2) Lasting Love
This was also beginning to open by the end of March. The flowers also lasted several weeks and change colour from a pinky -purple tulip with darker tones. Mine became a darker red with age and at the base they have a purple/black marking which was much more noticeable as the flower aged. I planted these in a black container where they will remain to die down.
(3) West Point
I was not sure about this tulip when I first saw it in bud. It looked quite strange, a very elongated flute-shape. As it matured and the flowers opened in the sun and closed again in the shade I became quite fond of their pretty star-shape. These were grown in a cheap black plastic container that I will leave them in to die down and then replant in fresh compost in October. They flowered for weeks too and were very cheerful in the sunshine.
(4) White Triumphator
Tulipa White Triumphator is creamy white, fading to white, with very pointed petals on shorter stems so probably has good weather resistance. They start off with green buds and when young they have a distinct greenish-white band, so I’m not certain this is named correctly. Though the green band disappears as the flowers mature. I planted these in my raised bed where I have blue and white flowers (and a few other colours now!) These began flowering in early April and hung on to mid May, this bed is quite shady at this time of the year.
(5) China Pink
This tulip was the last to open, probably around mid-April when it began to colour up with a faint green tinge and a white base. I am not a pink person although I do appear to have several pink flowers in my garden, so I wasn’t sure whether I would like this one or not. It has a very distinctive flute-shaped flower and in the breeze from a distance they look like pretty flamingos. These are also planted in a black container and will remain there to die.
Ballerina is probably my all-time favourite. A tall, elegant lily-flowered tulip with a distinctive citrus fragrance. She is a tall tulip and has a lovely shape and colours, looking especially good when the sun shines through her. Also grown in a black container. I might try and find room for Ballerina in one of the raised beds in October.
Plus Tulip Green Star/Dolls Minuet (Pack of 20) £7.98
(1) Green Star
Tulipa ‘Green Star’ opens right out to a five pointed, stripy green and white star. It has the elegance and poise of a Lily-flowered tulip but with the longevity and elegance of a Viridiflora. I bought these to go in the shady courtyard as viridifloras like shade. But they remained in the garden in the sunshine. They are a very elegant tulip with very neat foliage. Also planted in a black container.
(2) Doll’s Minuet
Doll’s Minuet another viridiflora but in contrasting carmine pink and green stripes which has a much shorter stem and is very difficult to photograph the colour accurately. This was the least lasting flower, opening in mid April for a couple of weeks. It was in the full sun though so maybe this would have fared better in a shadier location.
(3) Tulip Long Stemmed Mixed (Pack of 30) free – all planted into the wide zinc planter and were very early flowering. Mainly goblet shaped and in various colours. They lasted very well and the bright colours cheered us up a lot during March and April.
(1) Tres Chic (10) which is included in the White as Snow Collection (£13.10) which includes (10) Narcissus ‘Thalia’, (25) Crocus Snowbunting, (25) Cionodoxa luciliae Alba
Tulipa Tres Chic is a pure white perfectly formed flower carried on a tall slender stem, very strong and sturdy. A beautifully shaped lily-flower with a nipped in waist. This was planted in a container along with Narcissi ‘Thalia’ which is also pure white and scented. These flowers would probably look lovely mixed with some purples or pinks like Ronaldo and China Pink.
(2) Queen of Night (10) £3.80
I really like the colour of Queen of Night and it really shines in the sun. Nice goblet shaped flowers and tidy foliage, these are very tall tulips and I was concerned that they would be snapped in the wind that we get here. But they lasted well, though we didn’t have severe winds in April. They would look nice with the orange of Ballerina. These were planted in another of my blue glazed pots which contains a different scented-leaf pelargonium and will be left to see if they return next year.
(3) Flaming Spring Green (10) £5.20
Tulipa ‘Flaming Spring Green’ a Viridiflora tulip with an ivory base and streaks of raspberry ripple and green. It began flowering in early April and was still looking good at the end of the month. A beautiful tulip which shines in the sunlight. These were planted in the raised bed. They would look nice with Red Shine nearby.
Total Cost = £50.02 I had beautiful flowers that brought a lot of pleasure from mid-March to mid-May, a good 8 weeks, for a little under than £1 a day.