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Tulips – Spring 2011

This year we have been focusing on making our garden beautiful. I have been overly enthusiastic about the plants I want, and to make things difficult, the garden beds for my roses and bulbs were either not ready (just had palm trees removed), or non-existent…

Tulipa Black Parrot

With a lot of help (if you had noticed, I don’t really have much muscle, so required a LOT of help), the beds were made just in time for me to plant bearded irises, Dutch irises, tulips, daffodils, snowflakes and hyacinths.

Tulipa Attila Graffiti

As our winters don’t get terribly cold in Sydney, Australia, I followed advice and place my bulbs in a fridge for 6-8 weeks (I used a bar fridge which contained no fruit or veg, as these can produce ethylene gas which can hinder growth/flower production). I bought the bulbs on-line (from Broersen Plants [1]) in mid-March and placed them in the fridge after receiving them, then planted in May, and they started to come up in June and were flowering in August (I was expecting them to flower after early September).

Tulipa Antarctica

I must admit they lasted a lot longer than I was expecting in the ground and cut in a vase. Unfortunately some wildlife (possibly cockatoos, rabbits or possums), decided it would be a good idea to try and pull up the flowers to eat out the bulbs (which they succeeded with many snowflakes and freesias), hence my success rate of flowering tulips was not as high as I would have liked.

Tulipa Saigon

I am now waiting for the bulbs to die down. Some of the old tulips have formed seed pod type things, so I will wait and decide what I should do with those if they mature. (I may let them fall to the ground, or may collect them and store them in the fridge next March). I also need to decide whether to dig all the tulips up (after they die back) and protect them somewhere cool to be cooled next year, or whether to cross fingers and hope they get a cold enough winter in the ground… Maybe I will do an experiment and dig up half and leave the other half…

Tulipa Playgirl

Out of the 5 different tulips that I bought – my favourite was the beautiful dark pink – Tulipa Attila Graffiti. (I was expecting my favourites to be Black Parrot and Playgirl, although Attila Graffiti was just too beautiful).

Now I hope you can enjoy the photos of my tulips and they brighten someone else’s day, like they did every night I saw them after coming home from work, and every weekend morning.