Category Archives: tulips


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

We’re off….

What a glorious weekend!

Clear skies –  warm sunshine – a little breezy – couldn’t be better.

So…out to the garden I went. 

It’s hard to know where to start at this time of year – there is so much I have been wanting to do.

It used to be that I made a list of what I wanted to accomplish in my garden each weekend.

I let my weekends be an extension of my week – making list – crossing things off – getting “the work” done.

But last year I tried to let go of that.

I would simply walk into my garden and do what I wanted – what spoke to me.

Now…I’m not saying I’m totally cured of the drive to “get it done”, but I’m getting better.

This is fun after all!  Play if you will!

So what spoke to me first were my dreadful looking Belinda’s Dream roses.

I gathered my pruners, lopers, long rose gloves into my wheel barrow and headed out to the

fence to cut away all the dead. 

Well, the wheel barrow was a dream.

 I quickly returned to get the big poly cart that we have from the city. 

They pick them up and compost everything in them. 

So, I put things into these carts that I don’t want to compost at home. 

Thorny things, sticks and weeds for the most part.

I’m proud of this little city on the prairie for composting our yard trash.

Anyway, I cut away all of the dead. 

Winter kill on Belinda’s Dream                                                                                                                                              Belinda after cutting away the dead canes.

You have to be careful when you do this making sure that you are not cutting away anything that is still alive.  

But you can’t be timid, either. 

Getting the dead off plants is a basic tenet of gardening.

Don’t ask the roots and plant to support non-productive grown – it will be, well, non-productive!

The whole weekend reminded me of the radio interview I heard last spring with author Elizabeth Murray.

Elizabeth was the first woman to garden at Giverney – Monet’s home, garden and inspiration for much of his painting.

She was entrusted with cutting back the roses that spring and if I remember correctly it hadn’t been done in a while.

She described the process ending in mountains of dead rose canes.

What courage!

A young woman – a foreigner no less – and we aren’t talking about just anyone’s backyard.

She’s at Monet’s house!

Well, my afternoon wasn’t quite that exciting but I did remove lots of dead wood.

Next I pulled back the winter protection of leaves and manure.

Then came the much awaited drink of Epsom salt water. 

Add about a fistful to a gallon of water and pour it slowly over the crown – that’s the center of the plant.

The good news is that the new growth all seems to be coming from above the graph.

So it looks like I’ll still have pink roses rather than the red I feared.

Sorry Daddy.

It’s also tulip time around here.

So here’s a little photo journey around the neighborhood.

Beginning with the beginning….

Nov. 2010 Megandigging holes                                                                                                                          for this week’s delight!

This would be the week to drop by if you’re in town, Megan.

I’ve also included a picture of a field of canola in full bloom.

Though this is still wheat country more and more farmers are trying canola.

It supplies us with fields of “sunshine” this time of year. 

Quarter sections of land daffodil yellow…..ah spring!

One last word. 

It’s warm today and makes you want to plant annuals.

Try to restrain yourself.

Remember not only does the air have to warm up, but also the soil.

So if you must plant something plant things that love cold – not heat.

Things like more pansies or violas or alyssum.

Wait another week or so for the other annuals.

A little housekeeping.

Some have asked how to subscribe.

There’s a place at the top of this post to subscribe by filling in your email address.

You’ll then receive and email with a link to click on to confirm the subscription.

That should do it.

Also, I’m aware that the captions under the pictures are at best goofy.

I’m trying to figure that out – obviously with little success so far.

Enjoy the week and the wisdom that nature is waiting to give you.



Filed under Gardening, roses, spring, tulips