The Tulips are Coming! And not a moment too soon. Take time out from angst and virtually tiptoe through the tulips with us.
Secretly, we’ve all been waiting for the tulips. Yes, the crocus helped us cope with the first painful sheltering in place issues and daffodils were the clowns that tried their darnedest to cheer us up. But the tulips are the main act that we were all waiting for—whether we knew it or not.
The Big Picture
In our catalog, Colorblends rolls out breathtaking snapshots of bulb combinations that are eye candy for everyone facing a long winter followed by a slow spring. But the Colorblends Spring Garden is the full story. That’s where we show off the progression where all the chapters bleed together into a riveting novel with a continuous plot. Now is the moment when the narcissus are still prime but the tulips are slowly stepping into the limelight. Yes, it’s about blocks of color, but it’s also about merging.
Weather or Not
In the bulb business, we love a chilly spring. We’re talking about coat weather with cold nights and mild days. The right weather prolongs the show for optimum performance on all levels, and that’s exactly the formula we’re enjoying this spring. Although a frosty night might make everything dramatically bend over and look frighteningly bleak, a few hours later, no evidence of the death-like scene remains. Everything is back on track like the zap never happened.
Similarly, a dusting of snow is no problem for the bulbs. As long as we don’t get something like a heavy blanket of snow weighing the stems down, we’re fine. In fact, a sugar coating just makes the bulbs seem like more of a miracle.
Daffodils with a Difference
We all know and love those school bus yellow daffodils that duel with the forsythias to catch our eye. They say “Spring,” and they say it strong. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for narcissus. What we’re seeing now are daffodils joining the chorus to expand the color spectrum beyond yellow and white. If you think daffs and don’t go to salmon in your mind’s eye, you need to take another look. Despite its name, ‘Pink Charm’ actually has apricot trumpets, but it’s as close to pink as narcissus come. And then there’s the swan-like beauty of pure white ‘Thalia’ with a hint of chartreuse in each nodding bloom and the open-faced, wide-eyed impact of ‘Actaea’ with its tiny cup surrounded in an aura of white petals. In addition, we planted circles of standout daffodils in the front lawn, like ‘Tahiti’ with its dense nests of petals. They prolong the song. A good daffodil has plenty of thick substance in the petals—a trait that means they last long and strong.
Coming and Going
A well-designed garden is a continuum. And that’s where the Colorblends Spring Garden is really a teaching tool. The perfect example is happening now when the ocean of Narcissus ‘Jetfire’ is joined by Tulip ‘Amazon’ freckling throughout. We think this sort of combination is the wave of the future. By interplanting, you get a natural presentation that projects a meadow-like expression. If you think of tulips and go only to blocks of color, you’ll want to see this new concept. The result is pure Impressionism and can be achieved by simply throwing in some tulips while planting narcissus. Talk about easy does it.
Of course, we haven’t forgotten containers as spaces for creativity. Here’s a knockout idea we urge you to copy: We combined the pink Tulipa bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ with Narcissus ‘Yellow Ocean’ in a container and it’s going strong. ‘Bakeri Lilac Wonder’s yellow eye plays off the dainty yellow daffs to present the perfect pairing.
When the Tulips Come Marching In
So, on to the tulips! And even before they fully unfold, tulip buds are wands of color. Colorblends has made a science of creating combos that swing into action early as well as blends that perform late with everything in between well represented. Now is when the earliest tulips color up. To introduce the season, we staged a combo of early greigii tulips that we call iimagination strategically located at the bottom of the steps to the Colorblends House. In addition, we also roll out ribbons of various tulips that change annually to strut our blends. Pinkster leads the pack and is in full regalia right now with mellow pinks, pale yellow and cream to ease you into the season softly. More vibrant, the first flares of Dawn to Dusk are beginning to sing with deep-throated purple blossoms showing their shades against creamy white and yellow. These are just the forerunners for a brigade that will rush around the house soon.
Meanwhile, other bulbs are seeing their moment in the sun. Windflowers (Anemone blanda) are flecked through the main garden as an understory surprise while Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’ steps in to dangle its snowdrop-like white blossoms above. The front lawn is dappled with trout lilies (Erythronium ‘Pagoda’) nodding their exotic yellow flowers to spark interest and behind the berm, Fritillaria meleagris (Snake’s Head) provides intrigue for a “What is that weird flower?” moment. And that ocean of grape hyacinths behind the house are now fully happening to show you how much strength little statements can make when they stand united. We know the feeling about united strength.