Tulip Season Begins
Today I am a happy man, for the tulip season has begun in earnest in our garden. What, you say, tulip season in the middle of April?
Yes, indeed. First, Tulipa kaufmanniana ‘Early Harvest’ has come into its own, blooming in both beds and containers. The no neck phase was just a period of awkward adolescence. The stems are short, but they definitely exist.
Forget about necks, though – ‘Early Harvest’ has the most glorious color: a glowing orange mixed with red that warms up the chilliest April day.
I could stare at this tulip all day long.
Keeping ‘Early Harvest’ company is the relatively demure but still beautiful species tulip Tulipa turkestanica.
Here’s a closeup of T. turkestanica, which is slowly naturalizing in the Left Bank Border.
Compared to the two early rising tulips, the Narcissi are practically luggards. Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ has a few blooms, and the very first of the ‘Ice Follies’ (I think) are showing their flowers of white petals with a yellow crown.
Quite a few Crocuses are still blooming – and by the way, it is correct to say either crocuses or croci, I looked it up. Croci sounds like you could be talking about crocodiles, so I’m sticking with Crocuses. These here are Tommies, C. tommasinianus.
The Siberian Squill are creating patches of clear blue in several spots around the garden. This is such an easy bulb, more people should plant it. It will spread like mad, but who cares? By the end of June it disappears without a trace.
To give you an idea of how fast they spread when they’re happy, see all those grassy leaves surrounding the Squill flowers above? Those are all baby Squill, the product of one year’s reproduction. (The other plants with the blue-green leaves are Wild Columbine – Aquilegia canadensis).
I almost forgot to mention the Forsythia, which began to flower a few days ago, though kind of sparsely, it seems to me.
Also in the back garden, the containers are planted with Violas (V. wittrockiana and V. tricolor), Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima). and Stock (Matthiola incana).
All over the garden, there are swelling buds promising even more flowers in the weeks to come.
I’m linking this post up with Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of every month. Follow the link to see more wonderful April blooms.
How are the April flowers in your garden?
Love your tulips and Crocus. They are both strictly annual in my subtropical climate. I would love to see the flowers of lilac, it is syringa i guess.
Yes it is, Syringa vulgaris.
Interesting that your tulips begin only a very short time after mine. But my crocuses have been finished for ages.
This is an extremely early variety of tulips. Most of the varieties are at least a week or two away.
Hi Jason, i haven’t been coming here for quite sometime now. I didn’t know that there are tulips like that, if i will see them on my own i will think they are also crocus. You have lovely colors there now. I thought i am not so fond of tulips because i only know of those rose-like ones, then this one crocus-like i love more!
Tulips are an extremely varied genus, not all are like the big hybrids that are most commonly seen.
The brilliant orange of the tulips is certainly stunning! I really love the comparison between the wild tulip and the cultivar….what a difference 🙂
Yes, the wild tulips are really fascinating. I have some other species that will bloom later in the spring.
The excitement begins… Happy GBBD.
Happy GBBD to you!
Great colors! Did I see new turf too? Wow, you’ve got it going on!
I used the sod from the new parkway bed.
I love the tulip season too! Tulipa turkestanica might be demure, but what a beauty! It’s great to see the buds on lilac etc – so much promise! Happy GBBD to you!
I agree, Tulipa turkestanica is a beauty. I do love species tulips.
There is still a cold wind blowing here, so the tulips haven´t begun yet. I love your early harvest, such a happy colour. Siberian Squill is also a favourite here, a true blue.
I also love the blue of the Siberian Squill.
I don’t have any flowers but I’m not complaining because the snow is almost all gone, and I take that as a win. 🙂 Your plants are beautiful.
Hurrah for the snow being almost gone!
Love that Tulip ‘Early Harvest’. The bright orange is really welcoming. I definitely need to get some squill established.
You’ll love it!
Nothing here yet except the crocus, and a few pink Erica but they are so spindly that I’d need a macro lens (which I don’t have!) in order to get a decent photo of the flowers. 😉
The crocus can be pretty cheerful on their own, though you are probably getting impatient for more.
It’s obvious why you are so happy. Keep smiling.
I intend top!
I am in LOVE with Early Harvest! Tell me, do you have any Big Fat Rabbits? Beautiful! I have planted Siberian Squill – I never notice it until the bright blue blooms appear. This year I’ll be sure to note reproduction, thank you. I love species tulips. That Turkestanica is a nice polite variety. I hear the SPRING in your step!
We do have big fat rabbits. For some reason they don’t have a big appetite for tulips. They are more into phlox and serviceberry bark.
Your tulip display is surely living up to its promise. Will you plant out the potted ones after they have finished their dazzling performance?
Most of the hybrids I throw in the compost, but ‘Early Harvest’ I will transfer to the new bed.
Spring has finally come to you! The orange of your tulips is striking! My Siberian Squill bloomed two months ago. I ordered them on a lark and didn’t research them so was surprised (pleasantly) how tiny they are. I am hoping mine do spread. Many bulbs rot here so we will see if they come back at all. Happy Spring!
I didn’t know they would grow in Houston. From Siberia to Texas – now that’s adaptable!
Happy GBBD! I think I could stare at that Early harvest tulip all day too. Love the color, and it looks so robust. I’ll have to see if I can find a source for this fall.
You can order it from John Scheeper’s.
Those tulips sure are early! I just saw my first daffodil here today along with reticulated iris and striped squill (Puschkinia scilloides, var. libanotica). Striped squill is hard to find but it’s out there, and well worth looking for.
They are one of the earliest tulips, like all the kaufmanniana tulips.
The early tulips are positively glowing! How very beautiful. I do love the blue of the Tommy crocus too, such a vibrant shade! My Forsythia began to look rather thin re blooms so I cut it back hard and now it’s back with a vengeance! xxx
Did you cut it all to the ground or just take out a third of the stems or something else?
Very vibrant colour those tulips! I like hot colours in spring. My serviceberries are nearly over they produce flowers and berries every year but don’t grow that much, any advice with them? Maybe they’re only slow growers?
Mine are less than 15′ tall. They very a lot with conditions. How tall and how old are they? Do they bloom and set fruit?
They’ve been on the ground for 3 or 4 years now. They’re about 1,5 mt tall but rather skinny. Yes they set flowers and berries. They just don’t grow. I think they are now as big as when I planted them
Do you know what species/variety they are?
Amelanchier canadensis, that’s all I got…
1.5 meters is within the normal range for A. canadensis, which can grow pretty short. If the foliage looks healthy and there are flowers and fruit there may be nothing wrong, it’s just the overall conditions. You can always topdress with compost (maybe you have already), otherwise I can’t think of any suggestions.
The blooms have begun and a few of my tulips have surprised me with more flowers, although in unexpected colors. That alyssum must smell wonderful!
The alyssum is great, I really love it.
I love the Siberian squill! I didn’t know they multiplied so easily–good news indeed. And thanks for clarifying the plural of crocus; somehow I could never bring myself to say croci:)
I wondered about the plural of crocus for decades, hooray for google!
I totally forgot about GBBD this month. Oh well. 😉 I need to add some Siberian Squill–I love the idea that they naturalize, but only make an appearance in early spring. I have an area where I’m going to add them. Thanks for the reminder!
Those are very pretty tulips. I am surprised to see so much in bloom in your garden since your area runs pretty similar to mine here in Niagara Falls. This year you are way ahead of us. Finally the crocus hyacinths are in bloom.
I’m relishing the relatively early spring while it lasts.
Spring has certainly arrived in a big way in your garden. All the more welcome after the winter you’ve had. Your orange tulips do feel warm. I’ll add more oranges to my bulb order next year and you’ve convinced me that Siberian Squill needs to live in my garden as well. Hope it’ll be as happy here as it is at your place.
Siberian Squill is pretty undemanding, so I expect it would be happy.
Beautiful colors, such glorious oranges and blues. I don’t believe I have an orange flower in my garden — something to consider, I guess. Your tulips are really lovely!
Thanks! I really like orange flowers.
All gorgeous! I need to plant more of those early tulips – mine are disappearing and I suspect have been eaten…
It can be easier to protect your tulips when you grow them in containers. One problem with tulips as that a lot of critters like to eat them – when they first arrived in northern Europe they were thought to be a kind of onion and eaten with oil and vinegar.
I love those little tulips, it is amazing how quickly they have come up after all that snow.
It is amazing, almost miraculous.
Wow, that orange one sure is striking. and the white one that follows next. As are the crocuses… I think I’d better stop now. they’re so pretty!
It’s the first time I’ve grown the orange one, I’m very happy with it.
Joyous Spring! Here about 4 hours north of you (in my very similar urban garden) I have had crocuses in varying locations for about a month, and what a joy they are. The snowdrops and iris reticulata are all gone now, but now I have squill, like you, and my hyacinths are finally blooming, along with something you might consider – pale yellow primroses! They are stunning and make me very happy. They have been divided successfully and now just keep spreading in my small “woodland” area.
Near the shelter of the house in the front yard I also have the first of the checkered fritalleria beginning to bloom – just darling! The big danger with them is that their leaves look like grass, so every year or so I “weed” some of them before recoiling in horror when I realize what I have done.
Sounds like you have a wonderful selection of early bulbs. By the way, do you have a blog – there is no link.
No, I don’t. Oddly, just before I read your reply I was thinking, “Hmm, maybe I should bite the bullet and do a blog”.
I enjoy your blog tremendously though – your plants, your garden, your neighborhood, and your circumstances are almost eerily parallel to mine, and every time I read what you have written, and the great comments, too, I want to indulge in hours of musings and conversation, on every conceivable gardening topic.
Every smidgeon of gardening minutiae is so riveting to me, and I’m never tired of it.
I love the Thomas Jefferson quotation: “Though I am an old man, I am a young gardener”.
Hello Jason, the orange “Early Harvest” tulips look stunning, especially with the sun shining through the petals. I was looking at the picture of the Forsythia and if that’s in full flower then is it definitely very sparse, you ideally shouldn’t be able to see the stems for all the flower. It might need some TLC. It’s funny that while you’re watching the tulips flower, I’m watching the clematis and rose buds form!
I was thinking of giving the Forsythia a top dressing of composted manure.
I am delighted to see your tulips beginning Jason…so much blooming. Most of my crocus are done as the weather has been unusually warm here.
Our crocus are done also. Glad you are having warmer weather.
Wonderful circles — patio, table and pots — just lovely!
Thank you – I hadn’t even thought of all the circles!
Love all your spring bulbs. So far, I still only have one lonely crocus in bloom. But, hey, there’s still snow on the ground in my garden, so I go out and look at that crocus at least twice a day!
That one crocus is the herald of battalions of future flowers!
Brrr. Still looks cold in Chicago. I bet the slower spring and cool weather is great for your tulips though. Lucky.
Yes, it has been. A hot spring is murder on tulips.