It takes a flower of infinite grace to withstand being turned into a potted ubiquity at every neighborhood nursery, grocery store, and florist shop, which is where I’m bumping into tulips this month. Growing them for myself is an intensely personal experience, one that exists outside the bounds of commerce. Nothing can cheapen it. And of all the plants that we bemoan have seen ruination from hybridizers (like the “falls” of irises that antithetically stand out straight from the bloom like propellors), the more outre tulips become, fringed and doubled, the more we covet them, such a long association have tulips and people had interfering in each others’ lives.
Last year it was a couple pots, this year five. Next year, double that.
I agree! Such pots of promise, Denise. I have potted daffs coming up but I, regrettably, didn’t do any tulips. Hopefully the ones in-ground will make a comeback. Nothing says spring like the subtle scent of a tulip flower.
I am in an intense self-reprimand for my inattention to bulb-business last fall. And my substantial employee discount makes it worse. I have tulips coming up from last year, but 2nd year blooms are iffy – next year I’ll do better.
Grace, I did just a few paperwhites for the holidays. I need to look further afield too. I wonder if alliums can be forced?
Kathy, having to put tulips in the fridge vegetable drawer for the 6 wks of chill almost guarantees they get planted, because they’re really in the way. I bet your tulips don’t need that chill though.
You had me at outrÃ©. I think we all have a longing for tulips right now. I put up a photo post today, and almost simultaneously saw a couple more… It’s like the collective consciousness is willing spring to come.
Helen, it’s the gardeners’ “hive” mind!
You’re in the tulip’s thrall. I love looking at them come spring, so even though I’ve had poor luck with them, I am always tempted by the seductive catalogs from bulb companies. It makes me very happy to see yours and your increasing passion.
Jane, I am in thrall now but haven’t always been. I don’t think I was chilling them long enough, and the necks usually were shortened. Maybe some varieties don’t prechill well. Queen of the Night has always been good and last year’s Beauty of Apeldoorn worked out great. I added a few new varieties this year. Cheap experimentation. I don’t think I’d bother if they bloomed mid summer but for late winter it’s very entertaining.
Try watering the bulbs right after you plant them to jump-start their root growth.