Monday, May 7, 2012

Tulips are a big DUD this year

Last year I made this Monsella tulip centerpiece for my dining room table.

This year I have only one teeny tiny Monsella tulip:
It's about the size of quarter...very sad little bloom. I don't think I will be having any tulip bouquets this year as the few tulip blooms I have look similar to this one.

Just three years ago, I had oodles of these multi-flowered tulips.  This year not one of them returned.

Four years ago, I spent a wonderful Saturday morning  chasing butterflies in my bathrobe in this tulip-laden garden:

The butterflies were so drunk on my lovely tulip nectar that they landed right on my hand!
In my garden tulips just don't do well after the first year. I am so sad to say that the tulips (like my high enery level, tiny waistline & nice {albeit artificial} fingernails) are gone for good.  After spending hundreds of dollars planting hundreds of tulips, I have given up trying to maintain tulip gardens like these.

The only blooms that look halfway decent right now are these primroses, grape hyacinths and blue forget-me-nots in my Arbor gardens.
 On the opposite side of the path, I also have a nice little patch of creeping phlox:
There is some ajuga about to bloom in back of the phlox.   I am afraid this is about as good as it's going to get this spring.  So sad!


  1. What a shame. I've read though that Tulips only last so many years and start dying out, so you may want to research that to see whether you need to replace the bulbs or not. Of course it could have just been this extremely weird year also. Have a nice week.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Not sad at all. . . . The ajuga and creeping phlox and muscari are lovely! The tulips --- pffft. I can't get them to come back or do anything interesting in the first year for that matter. Tulips are for buying at the store or admiring when you go to Holland. I say, move on!

  3. Well, you still have some beautiful blooms there. I think tulips do give up after a few years......

  4. My tulips didn't come up either. Last year they were gorgeous...this year not even a leaf. You wouldn't even know that I planted them.

  5. Hi Zoey, A common problem with tulips - I have it too. Last year I bought some bulbs (from Breck's) that are supposed to be long-lived tulips. Since they have a guarantee, I figured I had nothing to lose trying them. Larry from WI, an excellent gardener, uses Darwin tulips and plants them deeply and has had some come up for over 20 years. This year, I buy Darwin tulips, and also continue to monitor the long-lived tulips from Breck's and see how they do. You have some lovely photos from years past, and it'd be great if you could enjoy them again. That said, you have lots of other pretty flowers in your gardens.

  6. My tulips were awful this year. I don't know what the heck happened to them. The ones that did come up got hit with a freeze and that did them in. Your garden in previous years was beautiful. Kind of sad, isn't it? xo Diana

  7. Hi Zoey, it's me again---I came acrosee this and thought you might be interested--it's from the Garden Guru and he is writing about "species" tulips-thought this might help.....

  8. I know nothing of tulips other than they are a spectacular sight in mass! Your older photos of them are gorgeous. I hope you can figure out what happened. I think your gardens look good right now. I too am a fingernail nut. I don't know that I will ever willing give up my acrylics! Your nails are/were gorgeous..

  9. Too bad, what seems to be the problem? Perfect match of color with your nails and the tulip!

  10. Your phlox and primroses are lovely Zoey. I know what you mean about the tulips losing their blooms after a couple of years. If they are not the perennial type they do not bloom long. Most of the prettiest tulips are the ones that do not bloom long though so I have to stick some into pots. LOL! What blooms you did get are lovely though.

  11. Hi Zoey,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your tulips. I have gone through the same thing. One year I planted a ton of them in all shades of purple. They looked great for two years and then started to dwindle. I don't know if the chipmunks or squirrels may be getting to the bulbs or what. I read where you should plant them in a wire cage, but if you are doing a lot of them that is just too much. I figure if it doesn't work out to move on to other plants. You have some beautiful pictures to remember them by.

  12. That is sad and I can relate. Once in a while, especially if I'm digging in the back of the house garden, a tulip will pop up the next year that the previous owner had. You know they dig them up every year at Longwood Gardens? Yes! To put in summer blooms. If you could have one special garden (I read a triangle shaped one is good) you could have tulips just in there to dig up. But that's a lot of work too. Wow, I have had no luck with Primose or Creeping Phlox. Pretty!

  13. For some reason Daffodils do better for me. Go figure.

  14. The butterfly picture is stunning! Not to worry, your garden is lovely without the tulips. I agree with the above poster. Tulips are for buying in pots and nourishing the compost bin thereafter! (Zone 8 speaking though)


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