One of the things I love about gardening is planning.

Thinking ahead.


After all, the soul of gardening is that you always get another chance.

It’s forgiving.

There will be another new season.

Giving me a new beginning.

That’s where the planning comes in.

Late summer’s planning ritual is actually for spring.

Spring Flowering Bulbs!

What kind?

What colors?

Repeat last years?

Do something totally new?

Where to begin?

For me I begin with a review of last year.

And hopefully some notes I took on what worked and what didn’t.

But…not this year – not a single word about last spring can be found.

That leaves my memory – HA!

I do remember thinking I loved the mix of colors last year.

But I wanted the tulips in front to be an earlier blooming variety.

This is the only bed where I pant annuals for consistent summer color.

It’s a small bed so I’m OK with only annuals – otherwise I’m a perennial girl you know.

I want the tulips there to bloom early and be gone by mid April so I can get the annuals going.

Last year I planted a Darwin Hybrid Impression Mix that my friend Mary spotted in the catalog.

Darwin Hybrid Impression Tulip Mix

They have the great huge blooms I’ve love, but they lingered longer than I would like.

So this year I’m switching to a earlier blooming Triumph Tulip Mix for the front only.

I know the blooms will be smaller but I’m going to give it a try.

Since building the garden house I have focused my tulips in the back on the path leading up to it.

Tip toe through the tulips!

For years I planted what I called “the Easter Egg” tulips.

Pink Impression, Golden Impression, Menton, Ivory Floradale and Negrita.

Darwin Hybrids Impression Tulips Golden Apeldoorn, Pink Impression, Negrita, Ivory Floradale

Pink, Yellow, Salmon Pink, White and Purple.

Most of these are Darwin Hybrid Tulips.

More than 2 feet tall with huge blooms and clear solid colors.

But last year I strayed from this pattern.

I planted a mix of bi-colors and solids.

They also had staggered bloom times which meant they bloomed off and on for a month.

So this year I have ordered a few of each of the following tulips:

Pastel Mayflowering Mix, Scheeper’s Sports Mix, Lefeber Hybrid El Nino, Darwin Hybrid Jaap Groot, Ollioules and Pink Impression – in my opinion the best tulip God and Holland created!

I’m also trying a lime green Triumph Tulip called Evergreen.

And I always plant a few Parrot Tulips in another location.

They bloom later and their ruffled petals feel like leather.

Parrot Tulip Blumex - try a few

Different – dramatic – wonderful!

Why so much tulip talk?

They are after all in most places an annual.

They rot easily in beds that get watered all summer.

For me they are the good news.

Though Hellebores, Crocus and Daffodils all proceed them

Their appearance tells me that gardening season is on its way.

And that makes me happy – deep down inside happy.

If I’ve learned anything over these decades it’s to treat yourself to things that make you truly happy.

Family…friends…nature…good conversation…the ocean…tulips.

Next week we’ll cover the rest, but for now…dream tulips!



Filed under Garden House, Gardening, spring, tulips, Uncategorized

2 responses to “PLANNING AHEAD

  1. I can’t say enough about how much i enjoy your writing. It is always a breath of fresh air coming now at the end of an intense day of food writing I feel that I’ve had a glimpse of spring. I will indeed dream tulips. Thank you Gail.

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