Thursday, April 15, 2010

Critical mass approaches


Maybe 10 years from now I’ll finally be satisfied that I’ve planted enough species tulips to make a decent show, but they’re getting there. It does take a lot of these dainty flowers to create any kind of presence. It’s all very well to take macro shots of them, but I’d like them to have more drama to the naked eye. Not to complain: like almost everyone else that is posting today for GBBD, I have more flowers than I would expect for this time of year: bulbs, early perennials, and shrubs alike.


And it seems to be universal: on a drive today, I saw many trees in bloom, including magnolias and cherries (though it seems early for them), as well as forsythia blazing everywhere. I went on an abbreviated wildflower hunt through a local preserve, but didn’t see much other than some mayapples, ferns and shrubs just beginning to leaf out.


It finally occurred to me that I could get the same drama from big hybrid daffodils that I do from hybrid tulips later in the season, so after having rejected them for years, last fall I planted 25 Eudora doubles to join the (what I assume to be) Ice Follies that have been hanging on in the garden since before I moved here. Clearly, daffs will perennialize easily even in my conditions, so it’s about time I gave in to that. Though the Eudoras are likely fussier. It is interesting how they mature from yellow to apricot.



There is also interesting color variation in the hellebores this year. Where once I thought I had two white varieties in the back, this year one clump is distinctly light mauve.


And I’d love to know for sure what these red species types are; I’ve had them for a while and the ordering information is long gone. But that’s what species tulips are for—to have them so long you forget what they are.

10 comments:

Heather's Garden said...

The pear and magnolia blossoms have already peaked here in CT. It's the strangest, earliest spring (and allergy season) that I can ever remember. But I'm hoping that Mother Nature is making up for last year's terrible summer. At this rate I'll be in Buffalo when my first tomato ripens.

Darla said...

I want more drama to the naked eye with daffs and crocus next spring. I love the peachy color!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It is intersting how our tastes change over the years. It is good to let go and plant something different even if you didn't think you would like to.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Jump on the big daffodil bandwagon. I've been a big fan of them for years, mostly because they're critter proof. 'Eudora' is mighty fancy, I wonder if it's named for Eudora Welty?

garden girl said...

Dafs were the only bulbs I had here for some time. Unfortunately the foliage had been cut back too early before I came here. They've been divided and moved, and finally started blooming a bit more this year. I'm glad now that I didn't compost them. I was close to giving up on them.

Last year after SF, I had to add some alliums. Scilla came here from a client's garden, and this spring I dug some snowdrops from my daughter's new garden. It's not the ideal time to plant them, but they're easier to find than they would be when dormant in the fall. Now that the garden is finally mostly planted, I'm on a roll with bulbs.

CommonWeeder said...

You are still a little ahead of me, but your promotion of species tulips has hit critical mass with me. I'm already thinking of my fall order. I'm going to add some alliums, too, but that is a different project.

Layanee said...

I am now a fan of the Tazettas because of you. They look great in the garden also and are so fragrant a bouquet is a must.

Sylvana said...

I absolutely adore tulips! And pretty much all the spring bulbs. I am trying to fill in every last bare inch of my garden with them so I get the Big Bang in the spring.

I had the same idea about daffodils that you did. I have a list already started for this fall. You Eudoras are sweet. And I love the color peach.

tatwood said...

The red tulip looks like Tulipa praestans 'Fusilier.' If the leaves were narrower, I'd guess Tulipa linifolia - one of my favorite species tulips.

EAL said...

Tatwood, I think you are right.