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I celebrated the beginning of the glorious, merry month of May by taking a walk around all of my gardens and taking many, many, many pictures. My intent was to bring you a comprehensive tour. That was a week ago. It proved a daunting task!

So, adopting the principle of KISS (Keep it simple, stupid!), I instead bring you details of just three new things in my gardens this year.

Tulipa ‘Flaming Purissima’

This is Tulip ‘Flaming Purissima’. It’s an Emperor (aka Fosteriana) tulip, blooming relatively early in the tulip season. It stands about 17 inches high, including its four inch ovoid flower. The delicate raspberry-pink striations deepen in color as it ages. There is a fair variety of shading within the species, as you can see in the next three pictures.

‘Flaming Purissima’
‘Flaming Purissima’ with ‘Monte Carlo’ in background
Also ‘Flaming Purissima’

‘Flaming Purissima’ features a warm, sunny yellow center. How lovely is this?

Center of Tulip ‘Flaming Purissima’

The cold front that has affected much of the United States this week moved into my area overnight, and the tulips are closed up tightly against the cold today. Doesn’t this poor thing look like it’s shivering?

‘Flaming Purissima’, shuttered against the cold

Blooming along with ‘Flaming Purissima’ is this bowl of sunshine called Tulip ‘Monte Carlo’.

Tulipa ‘Monte Carlo’

‘Monte Carlo’ is a double early tulip that stands ten to twelve inches high, with bowl shaped flowers that are two and a half to three inches in height and up to four inches wide. It’s a bright, stand-out yellow with green veins.

Tulipa ‘Monte Carlo’, just opening

Some of the petals have a small degree of red feathering, and some of the bulbs sent up two flower stalks.

Tulips ‘Monte Carlo’

‘Monte Carlo’ is supposed to have a sweet fragrance, so I stuck my nose down into it and inhaled. There is a very subtle, mild sweet scent, yes, but nothing noteworthy. Perhaps it will be more noticeable on a warmer day–I’ll try to remember to check!

According to the Scheepers website, ‘Monte Carlo’ has been retired and replaced with a similar tulip called ‘Marie Jo’. I did a quick Google search and found nothing else saying this, so if you really want this lovely daffodil, perhaps you can still get it. Here’s one last look:

The many layers of Tulip ‘Monte Carlo’

Finally, here’s the daffodil promised in the title. This is Narcissus ‘Cosmopolitan’, a mid-season bloomer of the Jonquil family.

Narcissus ‘Cosmopolitan’

‘Cosmopolitan’ stands nine to twelve inches tall and bears between three and five flowers two to two and a half inches in width per stem. Two shades of yellow when it opens, it quickly transforms to feature a white perianth and a pale peach cup with a pink rim.

Narcissus ‘Cosmopolitan’ upon opening
Narcissus ‘Cosmopolitan’

I’ve planted several ‘Cosmopolitans’, along with a variety called ‘Kokopelli’, at the edge of the woodchuck rocks in our back yard. (Narcissi are among the few things woodchucks won’t eat!) I’ll write about ‘Kokopelli’ later this spring. Future years will tell how well they naturalize and come back each year. I’ll try to post an update about that next spring.

Narcissi ‘Cosmopolitan’ and ‘Kokopelli’ near the woodchuck rocks


In future posts, I’ll write about some of the other tulips blooming in my little patch, as well as a couple more narcissi. Thanks for visiting!