Monday, April 9, 2012
Tulips, surprising and otherwise
One of the nice things about a spring that starts a month early with unseasonal heat and then cools down to normal again is that for once we get to spend time with our late season bloomers. Tulips are hanging on longer, as are the late daffodils that usually show up for three days and then die of heat exhaustion. You can see a couple of them in the background of this photo.
In the foreground... surprise! Or rather, 'Surprise,' which is a tulip I bought I swear ten years ago because it had the name of Jack Aubrey's ship (oh dear, am hopeless) and planted out front by the mailbox in eight inches of mostly clay, and it is still pumping out a few blooms each year. Do not believe anyone who tells you tulips are not perennial. (They are, technically and botanically, a sort of annual that reproduces itself underground, for which there is a word, and they make for interesting metaphors, which is basically how I see the world.) As I have said before, the secret to perennial tulips is to plant ones that clash violently with something else that blooms nearby at the same time. In the case of 'Surprise,' this was the magnolia with the purple-pink flowers a few feet behind. In the 2012 spring oddity, however, the magnolia is leafed-out and pretty much done blooming, so the tulips don't contrast so horribly.
Didn't post sooner because I was away in South Carolina for a few days. Photographic evidence coming up.