Terrific Tulips

I have always liked tulips, but never imagined I would grow many in my garden. Yet somehow I now have quite a few. The different ones I have planted over the years – and add to each autumn – have slowly transformed my spring garden into a burst of colour, from March through to May. Replanting is essential though, as I always lose some to mice, drought or some other factor.

This is the bed at the top of my rockery, which seems to have developed an orange theme… I replanted an orange rose and an orange Echinacea there last autumn, which clearly flower much later but seem to have inspired the new additions…


On the right is Tulipa ‘Prinses Irene’: a single, elegant and fairly tall tulip with light purplish streaks…


And the frilly partner is called Orange Princess… a bit over the top, and not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it for being so cheery and a bit of fun! The colours are almost identical to Prinses Irene, so they go very nicely together, especially with the purply Heucheras in between.


Another new one for me this year is Tulipa Greenstar, a lily-flowering tulip that is mostly white with green stripes. I think I like this shape of tulip best and am very pleased I lightened up the colour mix.


At the same time I planted one called Spring Green, but I think I was sent the yellow version Yellow Spring Green instead. It is certainly not ivory, as described, but also not a strong yellow. Still, rather nice.


Here are a few of the others still flowering at the moment, or just going over…

Finally, some old favourites: Purple Dream


… and Eye Catcher…


There are many without names, but that doesn’t distract from their beauty!

Do you grow tulips? What’s your favourite this year?


53 thoughts on “Terrific Tulips

  1. You have some most attractive tulips there Cathy with ‘Purple Dream’ being the one that catches my eye most. I don’t grow many tulips mainly because I can’t abide the leaves 🙂 I have a few ‘Spring Green’ as well as the dwindling remnants of a Sara Raven ‘Venetian’ collection. My favourite of all time is ‘Mount Tacoma’.

    • The squirrels rarely come so near the house but the voles and mice occasionally eat, disturb or dig up some… We don’t have chipmunks though.

  2. Your tulips are lovely Cathy, I like the first orange and red combination very much. I have the orange tulip Ballerina but really like your Orange Princess, my favourite this year is Monte Carlo, thats another early double and its been flowering for weeks now and only just starting to fade.

  3. Beautiful gardens, Cathy. I like to see bulbs interplanted with perennials. For some reason that doesn’t happen to much over here. Bulbs are always on their own for the most part. I love the sun filtering through the Purple Dream tulips – looks like stained glass.

    • The advantage is that the perennials then hide the ugly leaves later on. Maybe the separate planting is where people lift their bulbs for winter, which I could never manage to do here.

      • Most tulips are treated as annuals here as they peter out over time. I only buy the perennial types, but the rodents still manage to get most of them. They have to be planted in wire cages to prevent damage, which might be my next move. Argh!

        • Oh dear, good luck Eliza! I only lose a few each year, but my Mum also has problems with squirrels and plants hers in pots with wire meshing over the top. It seems to work!

  4. What a lovely collection of tulips, Cathy! In my Midwest garden, I have a sweet combination of pinks and yellows. The tulips add a pastel touch to the blossom-covered trees! Wishing you happy days in the garden! ♡

  5. Yes, they’ve ben good this year haven’t they? I usually buy a load from the discount stores in autumn and they are absolutely brilliant! I prefer the single colour ones to the fussy parrot types and multi coloured. The little turkestanica ones are brilliant too and never fail. Lovely photos, Cathy!

  6. I love your Orange Princes, that’s definitely one for the list for the autumn order! My favourites this year have been Double Dazzle, the purple version of Orange Princess and the ever elegant Ballerina, always have a special love for ‘Brown Sugar’ – I’d better stop now or I’ll just list all those I have!

  7. What a beautiful display of gorgeous tulips – and in my favourite “warm” shades as well. I’ve jotted down both the Prinses Irene and the Orange Princess tulips to order from my nursery this autumn. You can’t have too many tulips, I’ve discovered 🙂

    I’m relatively new to gardening in a cold climate. While I’ve lived here for 15 years now, until a couple of years ago our spring, summer and autumn was taken up with sailing and boat life. But now we are “land lubbers” and have bought a tiny “kolonilott” with a garden, that was very much a blank canvas and I’ve been trying to learn about what grows in Northern Europe and create a floral oasis. I’m from a part of Australia whose climate is similar to southern Spain, so it’s been a steep learning curve. But blogs such as your own have been really inspiring. Snap on being vegetarian as well – I’ve loved trying your recipes!

    Anyway, to answer your question – the tulips I’ve planted and that I’ve been really happy with are ‘Early Harvest’, ‘Showwinner’ and ‘Johann Strauss’ which are all just about finished blooming along with the little botanical turkestanica. Those that are about to open up are ‘Orange Emperor’ and ‘Yellow Flight’. And in one section, I’ve deviated from the yellow, orange, red theme and planted a bed with shades of pink and blue – the tulips are ‘Margarita’, ‘Peach Blossom ‘ and ‘Clusiana Lady Jane’ which is interspersed with Balkan anemone ‘Blue Shades’ and a pretty two-toned broad leafed grape hyacinth ‘Muscari latifolium’. I’ve already had some enquires from passers by about those plants, so when they are in full bloom I must snap some photos (and maybe start blogging again…)

    • Nice to meet you Marie! I have heard of a couple of those tulips, but like the sound of the Muscari. It would be great if you could blog about your new garden, and share some photos! I have found blogging about my garden is such a useful record for future reference too. It must be a challenge so far north, but like me I suppose you just look at what other people near you grow or what your nearest nursery recommends, although I still get sold plants that are supposedly hardy in our zone, but then don’t make it through a hard winter. Lovely to hear you enjoy my recipes too!

      • Thanks for the link Marie. Very pretty two-toned flowers. I imagine bulbs all do pretty well in your climate. My garden started off with cuttings and pass-alongs from neighbours, and those first plants are the backbone of it now – peonies, centranthus, irises, lavender… and a thug too, which my neighbour has since apologized for: Physalis alkengi. Don’t ever plant it, unless in a pot! LOL!

    • Until Tuesday we had such lovely sunny weather but so very dry too. Since then It has been showery though – well-needed moisture for the garden and wildlife, so I’m not complaining!

    • The Muscari is really lovely. It’s taller than the usual grape hyacinth and is a plant that people stop and notice. I like to have something a little different in the garden. Here is a closer look at mine.

      I agree that photos and blogging are invaluable as a record to refer to in the future. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s early days yet and that we started two years ago with nothing. Last year we took photos and did a lot of work in the garden, but I wasn’t inspired to write. I should start again.

      People in my area have been incredibly generous with their advice, nursery recommendations and also sharing cuttings. I ask questions and do research, observe what seems to thrive here, what looks good in the sort of aspect we face etc. I think they are a bit fascinated by my “exotic” background and my child-like enthusiasm for plants that they’ve known all their lives but which I’ve only previously read about but never seen.

  8. Those tulips are gorgeous! I love the shots of the orange ones and how they have been planted so naturally. Great technique! I also really like Tuliipa Green Star, I’ll have to remember that one!

    • The natural planting is a case of fitting them in between perennials, LOL! Yes, Green Star is really growing on me, and I might add some more in another area in autumn…. we’ll see, as there are so many lovely ones to choose from!

  9. I like that Tulipa GreenStar. I’ve never seen that kind of Tulip!

    I ALWAYS like ALL the flowers you post … this one just caught my eye, in particular.


  10. Orange is not my favourite colour but your tulips look really good mixed in with the other colours and greenery. This year I am going to try to be more adventurous with colour. My own favourite tulip is a white and green one, I don’t know the name as my husband plants them rather randomly. Amelia

  11. Too soon to tell which is my favorite this year – too many new ones that have not yet bloomed! So far, I would say I am most enthused about ‘Early Harvest’. Can’t wait to see ‘Princess Irene’, which I planted for the first time last fall.

  12. What gorgeous tulips Cathy, such sumptuous colours. I grow Prinses Irene and Orange Princess but I had not thought of putting them together. How lovely. I adore the Viridiflora ones too. Oh they are all fabulous, one can never have enough of them.

    • The nursery I ordered my bulbs from suggested this combination, so I’m glad I took their advice! You’re right, they are all lovely!

  13. Those are exactly the rich colors I love to see once the weather starts warming up and I love the green streaked ones. I really regret not adding them last fall!
    I hope you can post a picture of your parrot tulips in bloom, I see the buds coming along and they look so promising 🙂
    -oh and I love tulips, I don’t think there can be too many.

    • The green striped ones are growing on me day by day… they stay open even when it is raining or cloudy, unlike a lot of others that close up. I do need some bright coloured ones too though! Yes, I’ll try and get some photos of the parrots. 🙂

    • And it will get better when the irises, roses and Veronica start flowering, and then the peonies and lilies…. Have a lovely flowery Sunday Alys!

  14. I didn’t realize what an extensive assortment of tulips you grow. They must bring a smile each time you glance their way. I like all of the ones you’ve shown but Spring Green has a nice subtlety that is striking.

  15. you do have a ton of tulips. How do you not accidentally disturb the bulbs with all the rest of your gardening? I try to limit where i put mine because then i seem to always accidentally dig them up sometime in the summer. I love your combination. I am so boring with my choices.

    • You are right, it is tricky with the bulbs and I try not to disturb them, but the odd accident occurs and the just get replanted! My mixture is, I must admit, partly due to my poor memory of where I planted what, and the new bulbs just get added wherever they fit between the perennials! 😉

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