I am feeling neither perky nor peaceful today. I received some very bad news about a friend of mine, and it has cast its gray pall on my little world. Bad news is such a nasty, insidious thing. First it slaps you hard to shock you, then it insinuates its way into your thoughts, growing and magnifying with each breath, until it permeates everything. I have low resistance to its infectious nature.
Still, a promise is a promise, and at such times gardening can be good and blessed therapy. So let's talk tulips. My favorite tulips. Comforting, optimistic, hopeful tulips.
In the Van Engelen catalog, I generally make my selections from the Single Late, Giant Darwin Hybrid, and Impression Tulip categories. I like their height,their dramatic, large blossoms, the timing of their blooms, and their overall reliability and vigor. My tulip palette trends to the softer,sorbet colors: raspberry, orange, pineapple, lemon, coconut. So I think of my personal tulip mixture as Linda' Sorbet Collection. Here are my favorite varieties. (It differs ever so slightly from year to year, as I always experiment with at least one new type each spring).
* Big Smile
* John Scheepers
* Pink Impression
* Big Chief
* La Courtine
* Cri de Coeur
Each fall I plant anywhere from 600-800 tulips in my front yard with different mixes of the varieties listed above. Any blend of these gives a long, seasonal show, MUCH color, and breath-taking (back up your car and look again) beauty.
If, however, you like to play with bright, primary kindergarten color in your crayola box, try these performers (you will see some overlap with the above list):
* Big Smile
* Red Impression
* King's Orange
* Tulip Parade
* Orange Bowls
* Red and Yellow Appledorn
Of course, when I am at nurseries or garden centers with their own retail bulb temptations, I will buy a few that meet my color criterion, and then add them to
the mix, or my windowboxes, or pots, or whatever.
You cannot be too rich, or too thin, or have too many tulips........that's my motto.
I usually buy 100 of each variety, dump them all into a wheel barrow and mix and tumble them about. When it's time to plant this fall, I'll revisit this tulip talk with planting tips and techniques. Fall, the REAL beginning to the gardening year.
Tulips. The promise of a bulb.
Even on bad days.
And may I ever so meekly ask a favor of you, sweet Reader? If you like my little blog, would you please forward to someone else who might enjoy it.... or who just needs a little cheering up.....or who might want to know you're thinking of them? Sometimes I feel like I'm preachin' to an empty church. Thank you ever so much, Linda.