My Favourite Window

September 30, 2012

Tulip Time

What has happened to the tulips here?
I suspect they have been wrenched and unsettled like so many other creatures in this quake ravaged province. It seems quite believable that bulbs, naturalised in the ground, could be stressed and disrupted by constant seismic activity. Last spring - the daffodil blades came through but were very shy with their flowers; they seem to be back to normal this spring. But a prize group of red tulips that has moved about with me for nearly twenty years, surviving naturalisation and re-planting, has sent up one single specimen this year. The photograph, taken in another part of the garden, shows a very stunted 'Apeldoorn' tulip. This could be a result of competition with a cabbage tree rather than earthquake stress.

In Wellington a fortnight ago, I glutted on the annual display of tulips in the Botanic Garden . . .

Varieties are chosen to provide display throughout Spring. The dwarf 'Pinocchio' tulips below were already going over, though they still looked striking, and the interplanting of forget-me-nots will continue to colour the bed until the whole area is replanted sometime in November.

'Daydream' tulips, inter-planted with matching calendulas, were full of sunshine but just beginning to flop,

while some varieties still held their promise furled tight.

This subtle mixture of pink toned flowers was my favourite planting.

But this Van Eeden mixture was my lesson for the day.

Close up it was just a motley collection of colours and types - the sort that hold no appeal for me at all, when presented in packs of five, or even ten, on department store racks.  

From a distance though, and en masse, this was fabulous with the tall pink variety floating in the light while the shorter varieties gave depth and texture to the vision.

Imagine, I think to myself, planting great swathes of my own special tulip mixture across the open reaches of the Secret Garden, utilising the contours of the land and defining the copses.

And then the Nor' Westers would come, hot-breathed, just at bud burst...
Oh you spoilsport, Lady Mondegreen. I will just have to make do with little sheltered groups of supermarket five packs that don't even come with proper names.

Cabbage tree, ti kauka, Torquay palm Cordyline australis
Tulip spp
Forget-me-nots  Myosotis hortensis vars.
Calendula, pot marigold  Calendula officinalis vars.


Cindy@NorthofWiarton said...

Spring is in your air, while here we have thoughts of Winter preparations.

Cro Magnon said...

Autumn Crocus and Purple Asters over here. The Chestnuts are dropping, and the Pool is being closed down until next Spring. Enjoy your Tulips; our time will come!

libby said...

You are right LM, that mixed group is really something to behold.

rusty duck said...

It looks like I too will have to admire tulips from afar. I planted a few, already flowering in pots, shortly after we moved in. Between them the squirrels and mice had the lot.

Last week I planted 3 clumps of erythronium bulbs, as an investment for next year. Already there are signs of mice burrowing all around them..

Looks like it's back to shrubs :-(

Susan Heather said...

That mixed planting is wonderful.

Spring must be on its way although I think a cold snap was once again forecast for you down there.

Jeneane said...

Cindy@NW: Yes the opposite seasons. This blogging business makes me so much more aware of the two hemispheres' changes.

Cro Magnon: Crocus and asters - a softening time, but closing the pool just sounds terribly mournful.

libby: I bet you have room for a few pots of tulips in your patch.

rusty duck: Mice. I can't help wondering if they have contributed to my loss, but they've never been a problem before. How sad if you lose your Erythroniums.

Susan Heather: Thank you Susan, your weather must be well ahead of mine.