Tulip Season Begins

Today I am a happy man, for the tulip season has begun in earnest in our garden. What, you say, tulip season in the middle of April?

Tulip 'Early Harvest' in the Left Bank Border.
Tulip ‘Early Harvest’ in the Left Bank Border.

Yes, indeed. First, Tulipa kaufmanniana ‘Early Harvest’ has come into its own, blooming in both beds and containers. The no neck phase was just a period of awkward adolescence. The stems are short, but they definitely exist.

Tulip 'Early Harvest' in container.
Tulip ‘Early Harvest’ in container.

Forget about necks, though – ‘Early Harvest’ has the most glorious color: a glowing orange mixed with red that warms up the chilliest April day.

Tulip 'Early Harvest' close up.
Tulip ‘Early Harvest’ close up.

I could stare at this tulip all day long.

Tulipa turkestanica in the upper left with 'Early Harvest'.
Tulipa turkestanica in the upper left with ‘Early Harvest’.

Keeping ‘Early Harvest’ company is the relatively demure but still beautiful species tulip Tulipa turkestanica.

Tulipa turkestanica
Tulipa turkestanica

Here’s a closeup of T. turkestanica, which is slowly naturalizing in the Left Bank Border.

First of the
These are the first of the Narcissi to start blooming after ‘Tete a Tete’ – I believe they are ‘Ice Follies’.

Compared to the two early rising tulips, the Narcissi are practically luggards. Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ has a few blooms, and the very first of the ‘Ice Follies’ (I think) are showing their flowers of white petals with a yellow crown.

Tommy Crocuses.
Tommy Crocuses.

Quite a few Crocuses are still blooming – and by the way, it is correct to say either crocuses or croci, I looked it up. Croci sounds like you could be talking about crocodiles, so I’m sticking with Crocuses. These here are Tommies, C. tommasinianus.

Siberian Squill
Siberian Squill

The Siberian Squill are creating patches of clear blue in several spots around the garden. This is such an easy bulb, more people should plant it. It will spread like mad, but who cares? By the end of June it disappears without a trace.

Siberian Squill flowers, baby squill, and Wild Columbine.
Siberian Squill flowers, baby squill, and Wild Columbine.

To give you an idea of how fast they spread when they’re happy, see all those grassy leaves surrounding the Squill flowers above? Those are all baby Squill, the product of one year’s reproduction. (The other plants with the blue-green leaves are Wild Columbine – Aquilegia canadensis).

Forsythia in the back garden by the arbor.
Forsythia in the back garden by the arbor.

I almost forgot to mention the Forsythia, which began to flower a few days ago, though kind of sparsely, it seems to me.

Patio in the back garden with flowering containers.
Patio in the back garden with flowering containers.

2015-04-11 15.07.22

Also in the back garden, the containers are planted with Violas (V. wittrockiana and V. tricolor), Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima). and Stock (Matthiola incana).

Serviceberry flower buds.
Serviceberry flower buds.
Lilac buds opening.
Lilac buds opening.

All over the garden, there are swelling buds promising even more flowers in the weeks to come.

I’m linking this post up with Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of every month. Follow the link to see more wonderful April blooms.

How are the April flowers in your garden?

73 Comments on “Tulip Season Begins”

  1. Hi Jason, i haven’t been coming here for quite sometime now. I didn’t know that there are tulips like that, if i will see them on my own i will think they are also crocus. You have lovely colors there now. I thought i am not so fond of tulips because i only know of those rose-like ones, then this one crocus-like i love more!

  2. I am in LOVE with Early Harvest! Tell me, do you have any Big Fat Rabbits? Beautiful! I have planted Siberian Squill – I never notice it until the bright blue blooms appear. This year I’ll be sure to note reproduction, thank you. I love species tulips. That Turkestanica is a nice polite variety. I hear the SPRING in your step!

  3. Spring has finally come to you! The orange of your tulips is striking! My Siberian Squill bloomed two months ago. I ordered them on a lark and didn’t research them so was surprised (pleasantly) how tiny they are. I am hoping mine do spread. Many bulbs rot here so we will see if they come back at all. Happy Spring!

  4. The early tulips are positively glowing! How very beautiful. I do love the blue of the Tommy crocus too, such a vibrant shade! My Forsythia began to look rather thin re blooms so I cut it back hard and now it’s back with a vengeance! xxx

  5. Very vibrant colour those tulips! I like hot colours in spring. My serviceberries are nearly over they produce flowers and berries every year but don’t grow that much, any advice with them? Maybe they’re only slow growers?

  6. Those are very pretty tulips. I am surprised to see so much in bloom in your garden since your area runs pretty similar to mine here in Niagara Falls. This year you are way ahead of us. Finally the crocus hyacinths are in bloom.

  7. Spring has certainly arrived in a big way in your garden. All the more welcome after the winter you’ve had. Your orange tulips do feel warm. I’ll add more oranges to my bulb order next year and you’ve convinced me that Siberian Squill needs to live in my garden as well. Hope it’ll be as happy here as it is at your place.

    • It can be easier to protect your tulips when you grow them in containers. One problem with tulips as that a lot of critters like to eat them – when they first arrived in northern Europe they were thought to be a kind of onion and eaten with oil and vinegar.

  8. Joyous Spring! Here about 4 hours north of you (in my very similar urban garden) I have had crocuses in varying locations for about a month, and what a joy they are. The snowdrops and iris reticulata are all gone now, but now I have squill, like you, and my hyacinths are finally blooming, along with something you might consider – pale yellow primroses! They are stunning and make me very happy. They have been divided successfully and now just keep spreading in my small “woodland” area.
    Near the shelter of the house in the front yard I also have the first of the checkered fritalleria beginning to bloom – just darling! The big danger with them is that their leaves look like grass, so every year or so I “weed” some of them before recoiling in horror when I realize what I have done.

      • No, I don’t. Oddly, just before I read your reply I was thinking, “Hmm, maybe I should bite the bullet and do a blog”.
        I enjoy your blog tremendously though – your plants, your garden, your neighborhood, and your circumstances are almost eerily parallel to mine, and every time I read what you have written, and the great comments, too, I want to indulge in hours of musings and conversation, on every conceivable gardening topic.
        Every smidgeon of gardening minutiae is so riveting to me, and I’m never tired of it.
        I love the Thomas Jefferson quotation: “Though I am an old man, I am a young gardener”.

  9. Hello Jason, the orange “Early Harvest” tulips look stunning, especially with the sun shining through the petals. I was looking at the picture of the Forsythia and if that’s in full flower then is it definitely very sparse, you ideally shouldn’t be able to see the stems for all the flower. It might need some TLC. It’s funny that while you’re watching the tulips flower, I’m watching the clematis and rose buds form!

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