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After a full week of the dreariest weather imaginable, Mother Nature gave us mothers the greatest gift of all today–a mostly sunny, temperate day!  It was perfect for photographing my tulips.DSC_4249

Because of the many “critters” who inhabit my yard, I grow my tulips within the confines of the vegetable garden fence.  Even that is not fail-safe; last year voles tunneled under and ate every bulb!  This year, though, I am blessed with a beautiful display.

Emperor Tulip “Sweetheart” was the first to open, during the third week of April.  The stems were short and the pale lemon-yellow flowers small at first:DSC_4021 (2)

Over the next two weeks, though, they grew taller, to an average of 19 inches, and the blossoms grew large,  up to five inches from base to upper edge.  The colors deepened, showing greater contrast between the yellow base and the white feathered edges.DSC_4258



Very shortly after ‘Sweetheart’, both ‘Poco Loco’ and ‘Apricot Impression’ opened.  Here is Tulip ‘Poco Loco’:DSC_4195

This is also an Emperor tulip which I chose to bloom concurrently with ‘Sweetheart’.  It was formerly known as ‘Apricot Giant’.  I think the name change was wise, since the blossoms are more pink than apricot in color, and the plant tops out at just 16 inches (definitely not giant!) in my garden.  I love how the deeper pink feathers out into the more delicate shade at the edges!  They’re my current favorite:DSC_4234


Tulip ‘Apricot Impression’ features a complex combination of pink, apricot, red, and orange tones:DSC_4189

Impression tulips generally bloom in mid-season, beginning in late April or early May.  ‘Apricot Impression’ averages 20 inches in height in my garden, and boasts large flowers.  It seems to darken as it ages, and the inside of its petals are a deeper orange-red than the outsides.  It features purplish-black anthers that protrude from a bumble-bee black and yellow base and surround a yellow stigma:DSC_4264


These cultivars seem to play well together.  I arranged them in for optimal viewing from my kitchen window.  DSC_4254


I’m eagerly waiting for three more varieties to open.  One is nearly there–‘Sunset Miami’, a fringed tulip described by Scheepers as “a flamboyant sizzler” with “iridescent pink-magenta flowers.”   It looks intriguing:DSC_4186

Two others remain tightly budded.  One is ‘Dreaming Maid’, a soft-purple Triumph tulip that should be in bloom now to complement the yellow and pink varieties:DSC_4293. . . and the other is ‘Golden Artist’, a late flowering yellow cultivar that features green feathering:DSC_4294


Choosing several different varieties of tulips ensures that I will have a tulip display that lasts most of the spring!


Tulip ‘Apricot Impression’