From the beginning planting the Woodland Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris) was a bit of an experiment. Not only had I never seen Tulips in a forest environment before but we have a good population of deer hereabouts. But when I saw the name (literally Tulip of the woods) and read in the Brent and Becky’s catalog that they had naturalized at Mount Vernon … well, I had to give them a go. Out of ten bulbs planted only 5 came up (squirrels?) and offered their buds early in the spring. The first time it looked like they were going to flower, I walked out to find that the about to open flowers had all been snipped off and eaten. My immediate guess was that it was the deer in retaliation for my fencing off the rest of the vegetable garden. But it could have been the rabbits. In any case they left me two buds that were not as far along. Apparently they prefer the full-fledged flower and not the foliage. I waited and watched. This time (so far so good) I’ve been able to enjoy the two remaining flowers.
Apparently they spread by stolons (in the manner of strawberries or bermuda grass) if they like their environment so I can hope that the plants will spread even if they didn’t get their full flowering this year. I think I will plant some in the orchard in the Fall to increase the survival options as I do like the idea of tulips that mulitply.
Speaking multiplying Tulips, the Tulipa tarda planted in the rock garden 2 years ago are multiplying quite nicely. They are a small species tulip with a bright yellow face when the sun is out.
In the same rock garden a new planting this year is the Double Early Tulip ‘Monte Carlo’.
This turned out to an inspired color choice (which I ascribe to blind luck) because it stands right next to the Iris bucharica.
And together they make a happening in the rock garden right now.
The other Tulip happening is under the Crabapples where I planted Tulip ‘Flaming Purissima’ with my elder son two years ago. The result is pure splendor when viewed in the morning light.
And here they are seen as a group.