Tulip Report for Late April: Meh
It’s been a good year for Crabapples and Daffodils, but less than stellar when it comes to Tulips. Which is disappointing, because I look forward keenly to Tulip season every spring.
I already told you how ‘Early Harvest’ got mutilated by the ravaging rabbits.
In addition, some of the container tulips got whacked by the weather whiplash (how do you like that alliteration?) we experienced from February into April. The Early Single Tulips were lured into breaking dormancy so early that the pots were still covered by a thick layer of leaves and topped with chicken wire. The new leaves languished without sunshine.
Then , immediately after I uncovered the pots, we got hit by a hard freeze. ‘Keizerskroon’, the earliest of the Early Singles, suffered the most harm. I planted 20 ‘Keizerskroon’ bulbs but got only about six flowers.
On the other hand, the Species Tulips never seem to let the weather bother them. T. praestans, both ‘Fusilier’ and ‘Unicum’ with its variegated foliage, produced their bright red blooms as per usual. The Species Tulips are all planted in the beds and borders. Their smaller bulbs make them easier to mix with perennials.
T. dasystemon is really becoming one of my favorite Species Tulips. It creates slowly growing patches of bright white and yellow flowers with grassy leaves. I’ve come to prefer it to T. turkestanica, which seems too eager to close its flowers in cold and cloudy weather.
Here’s some more T. dasystemon with ‘Flair’ growing in the Parkway Bed.
I think judy’s favorite Species Tulip is T. clusiana. This species actually looks more interesting when the flowers are closed. It’s interior is a deep golden yellow, but without any hint of red.
‘Couleur Cardinal’ is blooming nicely, though about one third of the bulbs planted are still missing in action. They may yet show themselves.
‘Princess Irene’ makes its appearance after ‘Couleur Cardinal’. As of this weekend its flowers were still opening.
Another pot full of ‘Princess Irene’.
In the foreground here are a couple of varieties I’m trying for the first time. The yellow with light dashes of red is ‘Suncatcher’. The raspberry purple one is ‘Pittsburgh’.
Another couple of ‘Pittsburgh’, these a bit further along.
It’s too early to declare this year’s Tulip season a disappointment. The later-blooming varieties (not to mention tardy members of the early risers) may yet come through with a resounding finale. I’ll do a follow-up report in a week or two.
Has this been a good Tulip year in your garden?