When The Tulips are Gone

And then, before I knew it, the tulip season was over. Though that's not really true. It was an exceptional year for these glorious flowers. Their performance in my front beds lasted for a good month...despite the exceptionally windy conditions of this spring. Maybe it was the relatively cooler temperatures...

or maybe it was just good spring karma...

but they peaked, along with the azaleas, on Easter Sunday. 

The last gasp of bloom...of the latest blooming varieties...

especially the pure white of the lovely tulip, 'Maureen', seemed to float above

the fluffy chorus of phlox, pansies and ground covers. I was asked often how they always looked so fresh and seemed to age so well over the passing weeks.  The answer:

each day, as I surveyed the garden, I would remove those that were spent...had been blown to bits, fallen over, turned soft and refused to 'stand up and fly right' any longer.

I will pull out the last of them tomorrow...(yes, I pull out and compost/discard the entire collection of tulips each year)...noting

what changes/improvements/modifications I want to make for next year.

 Believe it or not...when their time is past...I am usually ready for them to go.

My color appetite for the front landscape has been sated. As the tulips fade, as the pansies get leggy and the phlox overgrown...I find that they are weening me naturally from their boisterousness and sometimes, overblown, color.

I begin to crave a more restrained, nuanced landscape. More subtlety and restraint and gradations of fewer colors with more texture.

The delicacy of the purple columbine, scattered and nodding throughout the from beds are taking center stage now...coming into their own just when I will appreciate them most. The contrast of their airy delicacy to the tulips' more weighty chalice shape makes for a splendid overlapping transition as the one fades and the other


So I thought we could enjoy these images and gorge on their colors one last time...before I try to answer what three people asked me today as they passed by...

what happens now that the tulips are gone?