Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Some Modest Tulips

The show of tulips was underwhelming this year. It made me lose hope in tulips, really. Perhaps I just need to dig out the old ones and install some new ones this fall, with a good helping of bulb fertilizer thrown in. Most (non-naturalizing) tulips get smaller and more pathetic after three years, so maybe now is their time to go. It was especially disappointing after not one single daffodil appeared this spring. Oh well. I've had a narcissus skip two years and appear the third, so I won't lose hope on the daffodils.

I like the tiny blue forget-me-nots which have self-seeded themselves around the bases of the tulips. I planted those in the fall of 2008 and am happy that they produced some future generations (they are biennial). In the absence of tulips, what else could provide me with great spring colors? Maybe more Aquilegia? Mine aren't blooming yet, but I think they will soon.

Here's a very hardy clematis, as its survival over this past winter proves:
Clematis macropetala -- a spring bloomer:

My friend Barbara gave me some of her Cypripedium parviflorum (Yellow lady's slipper) orchid this spring. She had "liberated" it from a ditch outside of town where machinery was bulldozing the native landscape to make way for new power lines a few years ago. I am enjoying the yellow flowers, though I am not quite happy with this photo. I have become a bit more of a photography critic now that I am learning the finer points with my new Nikon SLR. I wish I had a greater depth of field in this shot.

However, the no-see-ums were chewing away at my head and hands and the need for escape took priority over photographic perfection at one point. There was no way I was going to fiddle around getting the tripod positioned and all that stuff. I'd have been chewed up and carried away. I hate the bugs. Can you tell?


Kyna said...

I'm sorry that your tulips aren't coming back so well. I have resigned myself to the fact that I have to replant them every year in my climate. They're so pretty though, I can't give up on them, even if it gets a bit expensive.

Clayton said...

Tulips are very strange. There has been a group living in front of our house in the extreme heat for over 30 years and I finally dug them out last fall and transplanted to another spot. So this spring there are still about 4 that came again after I had tilled through the area several times. I am sure it has to do with the breeding and genes gt thinner for some traits. Is Barbara the lady with the greenhouse on the south side of town? I noticed the Lady slippers at her gate and got that story from her when we looked at her trees and shrubs. A new seedling blooms.

Verdant Wilds said...

I just started planting tulips. Sorry about yours. The rest of your garden looks delightful!

The Garden Ms. S said...

I am falling in love with forget-me-nots this year. Our back lane is full of 'volunteers' and they are so pretty and long lasting. I think I will have to add some myself to the parade. :)

Northern Shade said...

The forget me nots make a nice underplanting for your tulips.I planted some tulips last fall in a part shade location, so I'm not sure if they will come back next year. I liked the look so much, though, that I'll probably plant more there this fall.

Your rescued Cypripedium parviflorum are doing well.

Rosey said...

I am like you...I take what I can get. I get happy over the small successes.
Your tulips are beautiful!

Chookie said...

Tulips seem to need to be planted by the square metre, don't they? Daffodils have more presence, somehow. Not that either will grow here as well as they do for you: we have to keep them in the fridge to chill them properly, then treat them as annuals, which is rather expensive. I'd rather have something more rewarding.

Love your underplanting of forget-me-nots! They go so well with the tulip foliage.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful lady slippers...even if the shot wasn't quite what you wanted! I've got some just like it in our yard as well. As for tulips - don't get me started! Some actually came up and bloomed quite beautifully, but since then the neighbourhood gophers have dug up and eaten virtually all the bulbs...guess I'll be putting in new ones for next year:(
Hopefully we'll make it up North mid-summer...can't wait to see how things are looking in person! Nancy