Delicious variations of Tulip Mix Melony Day

Finally, a nice, long, rainy day. We have been so busy for so long trying to keep up with the weeds and the deadheading and the harvesting and the panting (yes, still!) that gloomy, overcast day- the kind you leave your desk light on all day for- is just what we needed. I have spent the morning compiling my list of bulbs I have ordered so that we can put their images in my annual planting album- more about that later. A little lunchtime blog reading got me thinking I should post.

The greatest percentage of my selections is tulips. We treat our tulips as annuals, preferring to dig them immediately after bloom rather than allowing the foliage to ripen in place. We give the spent bulbs to our fellow employees. The reason we do this is threefold. 1). Tulips look best the first year they are planted 2). I do not label the bulbs; it would be difficult to supplement the existing bulbs either to pump up the planting or replace missing/eaten bulbs and 3). Tulip foliage is ugly and big as it ripens down.

Because I plant new bulbs every fall, I have an opportunity to change up or vary the selection. Some tulips are mainstays, necessary every year to the look of the garden, and of course, the bulb companies introduce, or reintroduce new varieties every year. Here are my top ten (This year- always subject to change)

Salmon Parrot Tulip

I love many of the colors of the exotic Parrot Tulips; Salmon Parrot, with its creams, pinks, and soft salmons, shines in most of my pink based borders

Single Late Tulip Bleu Aimable

Bleu Aimable is a color that works in all my borders, it really pops pinks and provides a striking contrast in hot color combinations. In addition, it is a late bloomer that bridges the late bulb/ early perennial display in the borders

Hot Colored Parrot Tulips

Okay- this is a cheater entry. I just love this combination of Estella Rijnveld, Flaming Parrot, and Rococo. It is a wonderfully flamboyant mix that puts an over-the-top look to the Bus Stop Border

Single Late Tulip Dordogne

Dordogne is another late bloomer I like to incorporate in many of my gardens. It brings warmth to the more pink combinations and melds beautifully with stronger yellows and reds in my hot borders

Peony Tulip Cretaceous

Cretaceous is a Peony Flowered Tulip that behaves like a blend. Some will be mostly yellow, some red, most are a luscious orange that glows and drawns you in from across the parking lot. They are floppy- but with these colors- who cares!

Darwin Tulip Akebono

This peony tulip opens into an multilayered yellow kissed with apricot. Fantastic in my Farmhouse Garden

Peony Tulip Creme Upstar

Creme Upstar Peony Tulip is very similar to Akebono, but softer. It has such a beautiful infusion of cream laced with pink- reminds me of raspberries and Jersey cream

Single Late Tulips Cum Laude, Queen of the Night, and Lily Flowered China Pink

This entry is a combination because I did not have a shot of each separate. China Pink is the quintessential pink tulip for my gardens: clear, blue pink that I repeat in various forms and saturations. The creams and purples I select are chosen to play off pinks that are the backbone of the gardens. Cum Laude and Queen of the Night are the dark purples that I incorporate by the hundreds to set off the pinks.

Oh, the challenge to narrow my choices to my top picks! I order between 50 and 70 different varieties every year but these are some of my must haves.

I placed my bulb orders in July but there is still lots of time to make selections. Some of my favorite sources are here, here, and here. Corinne, Ashlee, Sam, and I are now waiting for the crates and boxes to show up. What would you pick?

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