The Cottage Smallholder


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Tulips

Some of the tulips in our garden

Some of the tulips in our garden

I love flowers that open in the day when they are touched with sun and close when in shade. Somehow it seems as if they are even more alive. I was unaware that tulips do this as, until this year, they were just an occasional visitor in the garden.

Last autumn I splashed out on tulips. I bought some rather pricey Thompson and Morgan collections. I know that tulip aficionados are a bit sniffy about ‘collections’ but I wanted a good show of early, mid season and late tulips. Basically I just needed to ‘Look and Learn’. If you don’t remember that comic and the books you probably need a written letter from your parents before reading this blog.

I also bought wholesale bulbs from Gee Tee – Narcissus, Anemones, Tulips and more. Much cheaper than the most popular UK gardening sites. All the bulbs have flowered and delighted us. Bookmark this site if you want to make an impact with bulbs in your garden without having to lay out too much cash. They do sell in smaller quantities too and although these are a bit more expensive per bulb they are still good value.

Initially I was disappointed with the T&M collections. Only two different tulips appeared.
“I’m going to complain. The collections are a swizz.”
But as the weeks have progressed, different tulips have appeared. Some didn’t meet with D’s approval.
“Is that tulip diseased? Or is it supposed to be like that?”

Overall the collections have been a joy – introducing us to a broad range of tulips. We are also amazed by the lifespan of these flowers. You’d think that all that opening for the sun and closing at dusk would wear them out. The earliest specimens have been flowering for weeks now. No wonder that the Dutch had a tulip bubble way back when.

Meanwhile the paeony style tulips that I bought from Gee Tee are a true blessing. I’d not heard of peony style tulips before. Danny gazed at them this afternoon.
“The outside is like a tulip but the inside is like delicious flower like puff pastry. Wonderful.”
Always thinking about food!

We have two late flowering paeony flowered tulips. Angelique and Carnival de Nice.   The first is a real boudoir bloom and we love the way that the pink infuses in some more than others. The second is fun and gorgeous too. A much lighter note but uplifting.

I was planning to sell tulips at the gate this year but I just can’t bear to part with them – the pleasure is so much more that the few quid that they would raise. So for this year at least we’re basking in their beauty.


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4 Comments

  1. Try Ballerina- glorious orange,pointy petals and PERFUME.

  2. Anthony

    I never had any tulips until last year until i bought a load, they bloomed this year and they smell absolutly fantastic and they come in so many different varities spoiling you for choice!!

  3. I never fell in love with tulips until I visited the Lost Gardens of Heligan last year and saw the swathes of different types of tulips. They were wonderful and I wish I had the space to recreate the displays I saw. I never realised there were so many different varieties and I seemed to love them all. I too would find it difficult to pick them. I have a few, but not nearly enough.

  4. This is my first year of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. What a real treat they all are. I’m getting so much enjoyment from this year’s that I’ve already decided to order some other colors and types for planting this fall, although I’ve made zero mention of this to The Stern Voice of Reason, who will no doubt veto the idea. He doesn’t care the way I do, though. I love flowers! Hooray for floral borders!

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