As you know by now, tulips are my favorite flower. I love to shop for them, plan my next season garden and then love to see them in the spring.
When they are finished blooming I pull them up. Yes, I pull up and discard each and every one of them, and I have done this for years. There are several reasons I do this:
1) They are never, ever as strong the following year. Half of any planted won’t come up again and if they do they will be shorter and weaker.
2) If left in the ground, you need to let the leaves turn yellow and die off naturally. I don’t like that look! And, more than that, I want to have my garden soil minus any hidden bulbs so I can be free to dig and plant.
3) I get to plan and enjoy a totally new color mix each spring! This is very important to me (and to my neighbors…)

Let’s start with a look at my inner courtyard selection, starring the
Jan Reus tulips.

These tulips are a deep, deep red; in some lights they are almost black, while in other light they appear a true red. This was the first time I had tried them and well….while I liked them, I was not in love with them.

Jan Reus Tulips 1_wm


Jan Reus Tulips 2_wm

 I combined them with the Wildhof White which may be my favorite white so far!


 I love to photograph them after their “prime.”


Here, mixed with the blue pansies, they look stunning.


Now we will walk into my front courtyard. This area consists, on one side, of a long bed anchored by a white picket fence which runs the length of this courtyard, about thirty feet long.

Here I planted two shades of apricot:
Dordogne Apricot and Apricot Beauty

Apricot Tulip Collage_wm

The Dordogne, in particular, was spectacular! Gorgeous, gorgeous and I will most definitely be planting it again for next spring.


At the very beginning of the “season”, and looking stunning with the iberis. And let’s not forget the bunny we brought from our old house!



Looking in, through the front gate.

And last, my larger front garden. This faces the bed above, separated by a brick path. But this garden is much deeper as it is about 8 feet from front to back. So this is the real show place as you see it through the front gate on the way to the front door or the back terrace.

Here I kind of went crazy with the Tulip Passionale! I think I planted 50 bulbs. I mixed in the white, and then some Leen Van Der Mark. I wanted to see how a red/white tulip would be, surrounded by the deep magenta.

Front Garden Collage_wm





And that is IT for tulips this year! It was a good year, despite my having doubts early in the season. We did have an unusually cold winter which probably helped. But my tulips were strong and healthy.
Now, is there a winner? Well, for me, the Dordogne won on all counts. I will definitely be ordering many more for next spring…but will think long and hard about which color(s) to use with it.

As you can see from the links above, I use several growers for my orders. The ones I recommend, from years of trial and error, are listed here, in no particular order.

John Scheepers
Van Engelen
Terra Ceia Farms
Actually, I have a soft spot for Terra Ceia as they are not far from me in North Carolina, and I love their story…

I have a fun post coming up on Monday. ‘Til then, have a nice weekend!