The Cottage Smallholder

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Species tulips

Little Beauty Species TulipIt was at Carol’s house that I first noticed a Species tulip. At midday the small flower had opened like a star. The leaves indicated that it was a tulip but this was a tulip with a difference. At the end of the day when the sun was going down and I was heading for Jalopy, I took a small diversion to look at it again. The petals had closed. I crept away.

I like flowers that change during the day. They seem even more alive.

That autumn I bought two packs of Species tulips and planted them in two low stone pots. The squirrel was clearly delighted. Out of the packet’s promise of twenty flowers, we found four. Lying horizontally in the spring and a lot of scuffed and messy pots all winter. Since then small groups of these exquisite bulbs have popped up in small groups in the herbaceous border. The squirrel clearly owns a large chain of larders.

Last November I planted some species tulips under some violas in a massive pot that sits just outside the back door. Inca has a hunger for violas and pansies but these are out of reach and have thrived.

The squirrel has rifled the stone pots but has missed this display, aptly named Little Beauty.

Species tulips will naturalise into drifts, given the right conditions. A sunny location and well drained soil.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Kate(uk)

    I like tulips. I have fallen in love with species tulips. Quite often they have more than one head to each stem and in the right place can be stunning.

  2. Kate(uk)

    Species tulips are quite magical- tulips are lovely, but the species are really special,they often prefer to spend summer baked in pots on their own being ignored until next spring and, if happy, they do indeed multiply like mad, the opening and closing thing is charming and they are so dainty. Delicious!

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