This autumn I’m in love with a few tulip types. Tulips can be like fashion where you plant the best and greatest options of the year. Overtime, you’ll fill your life with hundreds of beautiful flowers come March and May.
My picks this year are: Darwin Burning Hearts, Flaming Parrots, Wildflower Tulips, Queen of Night, Lilac Wonder and Black Parrot. I like all of these tulips this year because they contrast each other with color and texture. Parrot tulips have the incredible serrated edge that adds a real punch of drama from the moment it emerges from the ground to the moment to opens up. I’ve picked these six bulbs because they offer a short to tall-ish tulip. The Wildflowers and Lilac Wonder are short tulips – between 6 to 8inches tall. They give a backdrop of pink, yellow and other solid colors. The others are 12 to 18inches tall. My favorite of all these are the Queen of Night and the Black Parrot because they are nearly black when they bloom! By mixing short and tall tulips, you have the chance to create a naturalized look where design and wilderness blur into each other. The different heights also allow you to create a depth of field in your beds early in the year. All the tulips picked also are an expression of that inner voice, and should expand a sense of yoga in your life.
Tulips are perennial in northern New Jersey unless otherwise noted. Tulips are super easy to get to grow even by a novice. They are native to Eastern Turkey and the foothills of the Himalayas. They like cold and hot weather within the same climate. They really love droughts in the summer (or well-drained areas in places like New Jersey). They need to be in full to part sun. The amount of sun they get really determines how soon in spring they actually bloom. I love planting bulbs among an existing flowerbed with other perennials. Typically, the tulips will blossom well before anything else wakes up and starts to sprout. Right as the tulips begin to fall away, a second phase of plants like bee balm, blazing star and phlox will start to grow. If you have grasses in the bed like Panicum or Pennisetum, they grow tall as the second phase pull back from their peak. You’ll still have some color flowers, but the focal point is the explosions of green blades and seed heads. By that time, it’s turning autumn again…and time to start thinking about planting more bulbs. Yet, the full season flowerbed always begins with a healthy supply of bulb flowers. Like I mentioned, tulips are not the only bulbs, but I do enjoy them more than other with the vast varieties, colors and textures you can’t get with other bulbs.