I have a great deal of fun every September, perusing the John Scheepers website and choosing tulips for my tiny tulip patch. Last fall two very fancy tulips caught my eye.

Tulip ‘Margarita’
Tulip ‘Blue Spectacle’

‘Margarita’ is a Double Early tulip that started blooming around May 10 in my Northeastern Pennsylvania garden. To my mind, that is late for an early tulip, but we had very odd weather, including two snowstorms, in April and early May. The blooms lasted about ten days before the petals started to brown and fall. It grew taller by the day, sixteen to eighteen inches high upon opening, and ultimately soaring to an average of twenty-four inches. Its frilly, bowl shaped blooms extended five inches across.

Tulip ‘Margarita’ in bud
Tulip ‘Margarita’, just opening
Tulip ‘Margarita’, at her peak

‘Margarita’ sports layers upon layers of bright magenta petals and a yellow center with yellow anthers and stigma. She produces a lot of pollen!

Tulip ‘Margarita’ from above

Just as ‘Margarita’ started to wind down, Tulip ‘Blue Spectacle’ got going. ‘Blue Spectacle’ is a Peony Flowering, Double Late tulip. The first few opened on May 19, and they seem to be at their peak today, May 24. ‘Blue Spectacle’ is slightly shorter than ‘Margarita’, topping out around twenty-one inches, with similar sized five inch wide blossoms.

Tulip ‘Blue Spectacle’, popping out of its bud
Tulip ‘Blue Spectacle’, opening up
Tulip ‘Blue Spectacle’ at peak bloom

‘Blue Spectacle’ features violet-blue petals, with just a touch of blue feathering at the edges of its white base. It fades to near lavender as it ages.

Center of Tulip ‘Blue Spectacle’

‘Blue Spectacle’ is pretty paired with the simpler Triumph tulip ‘Dreaming Maid.’

‘Dreaming Maid’ with ‘Blue Spectacle’

I am truly besotted by both ‘Margarita’ and ‘Blue Spectacle’! Here’s a final view of each. If you could choose only one, which would it be?

Tulip ‘Margarita’
Tulips ‘Dreaming Maid’ and ‘Blue Spectacle’