And the Beat Goes On

  For seven weeks this garden has been a heartthrob. That’s one huge, sustained wallop of wonderful that you need in your life next year. And the action continues… If you thought for one instant that spring bulbs are fleeting, we want to disprove that falsehood forever. Although the double tulips, camassias, and poeticus daffodils are the drumroll right now, many of the narcissus that opened this act are still performing strong. This show has a long run. And if you want to snitch any of designer Jacqueline van der Kloet’s brilliant ideas for combos or layout—go right ahead. They are up for grabs. In fact, sharing secrets for bulbs is what this garden is all about. Got a pad? Start taking notes!   All Eyes on the House Not only is Narcissus poeticus recurvus one of the last daffodils to open, many would say it’s the most graceful and artistic. Imagine a display with hundreds of eyes (they call them “pheasant’s eyes”) facing different directions on long, lean stems. That’s the scene that greets anyone walking by the Colorblends house in our Bridgeport neighborhood. Talk about floral therapy. And it’s a good argument in favor of planting in large quantities. Although a few pheasant’s eyes in a grouping will be lovely, a thousand is just completely arresting—and psychologically healing. You could stand and admire them by the hour—and people do. It’s like an ever-changing art installation—when galleries aren’t an option.     Double Delights Not all double tulips blossom late, but the fluffy flowers in plum and white-colored blend we call Diamond Touch definitely finish the parade at...

Paradise Sustained

The Colorblends garden proves that tulips can be a long, lingering springtime romance. If you thought that tulips were here today and gone tomorrow, think again. This year is proof that tulips have mileage—they just keep getting better. Last week was breathtaking in the garden, we’ve all agreed. But this week is even more ravishing, if that’s possible. The tulips have swollen into huge goblets of color. More accent tulips have unfolded to join the chorus. The color parade is phenomenal and it shows no signs of pausing in its palpitating production. Take a look at the fireworks—no place on earth could be prouder than this wonderful reborn white elephant of a house in Bridgeport surrounded in a rainbow of colorful skirts. This is nature’s therapy delivered straight to your heart. Suspended Animation Remember Cretaceous with its fulsome flowers about the size of cabbage heads featured last week? Still flowering strong! We’re talking petal-packed blossoms in sunray yellow etched with orange. Overheard in the garden, “This is my favorite—it looks like a Dutch painting.” And Cretaceous is proof that tulips need not be poker straight—the stems in this group have graceful expression. It’s like the dance of the tutus. And as I mentioned last week—this tulip blend greets visitors as they turn the corner into the garden as a radiant ambassador for color. But Cretaceous is just one example of the prolonged pulsation because the Wellspring blend has added dimension and nuances of color and so has Vitamin See and Sorbetto (still a crowd pleaser). Tulip colors transform as they evolve over time, swell, and mature. They even change...

Over the Top Tulips

Now comes the huge payoff. What everyone needs right now is a huge dose of tulips like never before. Not only do we want a big walloping dose, we crave something served up heavy on the wow-factor. Thank heavens, the Colorblends House & Spring Garden is coming to the rescue. At the Colorblends House & Spring Garden, the tulips are in high prime. Amazingly, all the constellations are coming together. The daffodils are still lingering with gusto (more about them later), but the tulips are the crowd pleasers. There’s something about tulips that has sex appeal (or something similar). They turn up the heat, make your heart flutter, and bring you back to every spring throughout your life serenaded by peepers and drizzle. When the tulips perform, they get the standing ovation. And they are spectacular this year. Breathtaking isn’t an overstatement. Can’t make the trip? We’ll bring the blossom brigade to you. Tulips Come on Strong   No question about it Sorbetto is the scene stealer. We’re talking gigundo flowers that look like someone just released a huge batch of birthday balloons. This blend comes in truly festive colors – the catalog describes the spectrum as strawberry, peach, and lemon. Let’s throw in raspberry as well. The darker shades are shaped like oversized goblets on tall strong stems that laugh at the Bridgeport breezes (more like gusts) and keep suspending their oversized flowers strong. Then comes the fizzy yellow part of the brew with frilly petals outlined in a pencil hem of peach. Beautifully balanced—if you need a spring picker upper (and who doesn’t?), this is the overachiever for...

First Intrepid Tulips

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...

Propelling Spring Forward

Whether it’s fast and furious or slow and seductive (depending on the weather), the Colorblends Spring Garden was designed for constant thrills with never a dull moment. Once spring gains momentum, you won’t want to pause for a minute. And that’s what the Colorblends House and Spring Garden is all about. The performance is not just a series of one act plays. Instead, it’s a continuous prolonged surge that pulsates from March until May—and sometimes beyond. It’s not just a sprint. It’s a half acre marathon without rest stops. Yes, it’s magic. But the secrets are solely in the timing—you can easily make this happen at your home no green thumbs needed. And the beauty of bulbs is that once they’ve been jumpstarted in autumn, they are on autopilot. Come spring—just sit back and enjoy. Better still, get out there and wade through the wonder. You need this. You’ve earned this. Going into Orbit Think of spring as a launch. Like all blast-offs it starts at ground level. It makes perfect sense that the festivities begin with the ground crew. The first bulbs to pop are the pipsqueaks. This small but mighty brigade barely break through the chilly soil before they’re getting busy forming buds. In a blink, they are showing color. From that instant on, it’s a steady diet of thrills as the show unfolds. And those thrills soldier on, no matter what the weather has in store. So Jacqueline van der Kloet, the designer behind the Colorblends Garden display, planned for nonstop performances beginning with crocus and moving into mobs of early Cyclamineus narcissus. We’re talking thousands...
The Crocus Are Coming

The Crocus Are Coming

  Spring is unfolding early and like never before at the Colorblends House and Spring Garden. Really, it’s like nature knows we crave a strong dose of comfort and beauty right now, and the garden is pulling all the plugs to fill that need. We know that many of you cannot visit the Colorblends Garden at this time. So we decided to bring the garden to you virtually. Join us on our various social media platforms in the coming weeks for a chronicle of how spring is unfolding in the Colorblends Spring Garden. If you can’t come to our garden—we will bring our garden to you. A Carpet of Crocus And the garden is performing gangbusters. It is palpitating. It pulls in passersby and makes traffic pause. Take your wildest wall-to-wall dream of crocuses-gone-crazy and multiply it by several thousand. But the beauty of this display is: You CAN do this at home. With just a shovel and a few feet of ground between you and the sidewalk, this scene is within your reach. Picture this: Before you even enter the Colorblends Garden, battalions of crocus are blossoming. They scamper over the front lawn in droves, delivering spring before anything else is happening—except maybe the snowdrops. But then, we pushed the envelope and mixed snowdrops into the show. And we added striped squill (puschkinias) as well. The result is literally heart-stopping. Let us tell you how it’s done. Precocious Crocus But before diving into the how-to, let’s get you up to speed. Before the crowd-pleasing carpet ramped up, Crocus tommasinianus broke winter’s spell. At the Colorblends Garden, we tucked...