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The secret of species tulips

Photo: Species tulips

Photo: Species tulips

I have written about species tulips before . I like growing ordinary tulips but have fallen wantonly in love with species tulips. Our local squirrel has adjusted our planting plans and has buried small groups all over the garden. And they are now slowly spreading.

When I first moved to the cottage I planted over 500 ordinary tulip bulbs. Sixteen years later we have just seven bulbs left (these are the red ones that seem to just go on and on). But Lady of the Night, a beautiful red and white parrot variety and a host of other tulip wonders fizzled out within three years. Perhaps I didn’t plant them deep enough. Digging them up at the end of their season was out of the question

Species tulips on the other hand seem to enjoy living in the cottage garden. They suit me too. Far less upright than the stiff conventional tulips, they seem much more relaxed when they bask in the sun. The flower heads open with just a sweep of light above a nest of stems and close tight at dusk. They ‘sleep’ when it is dark. Enchanting.

Species tulips look so much more delicate than an average tulip but they are clearly beautiful, tough lions. Well worth considering for any garden. They can be planted late too. Danny put some packs of these  diminutive tulips in my Christmas stocking. They were planted at the end of December and are delighting us now.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Steel

    Yes you are right.

    I love the species tulips and every autumn I plant a couple of packs in the garden. Gradually they are spreading!

  2. They are lovely.

    You might find some of your lost bulbs appear every now and then. This spring I had about 30 tulips pop up in one area that I didn’t even know had tulips and I’ve been here 4 years. I think they reproduce, get crowded, don’t flower and then somehow sort themselves out and appear as if by magic a few years later.

    It’s a nice treat!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Kate (uk)

    I can’t belive that it took me so long to discover these! They are amongst the real stars of early summer.

    Hello Heidi

    I’ve found that they do well in pots too.

    Thanks for dropping by.

    Hi Mandi

    Those sound gorgeous. Thanks for the tip. I’ll look out for them.

  4. My mum gave me a packet of ‘angelic’tulip bulbs last year which I planted mid last september and then completely forgot about ( I think thats how its spelt, although she pronounced them ang-el-leek) and I put them round the base of a tree in our garden. I’m not sure if its cos that part the garden doesn’t get much sun or the variety is a late one but they have only just ‘popped’, and beautiful pompom of raggedy white and baby pink flowers. I’m hoping she gives me another packet of surprises to bury and wait for the result again next spring.

  5. We have these in a pot on our decking and they come up every year.
    I had forgotton what they were so thanks for reminding me!

  6. kate (uk)

    That particular one is a favourite of mine- spreads beautifully and so cheerful.

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