May 21, 2013

The Elegance of Tulips

Golden Artist

Perhaps it is because they are a single flower on a single long stem that tulips have such grace, no matter their form. They have a clarity of shape that is very appealing. The slightly ruffled edges of Golden Artist, a viridiflora tulipcall attention to the green stripe running up the petals. It seems perfect in its irregularity.


This tulip is one of my favorites, that I plant every year. Its form is of the classic tulip shape, with rounded petals; when closed like this it has an air of modest beauty. 


 With Ballerina, a lily-flowered tulip, the petals point delicately outward, their red and orange like flames.


 A group of them in a vase, with back lighting illuminating the spread open petals, is arresting.

Queen of Night

A pitcher of dark-colored tulips makes a dramatic statement.

White double

Double tulips have some of the froth and extravagance of peonies; their elegance is more exuberant and less restrained and classic.

Freeman (double), Prinses Irene

They are quite gorgeous, and I can't resist having some each year. Having vases full of tulips in Spring is a wonderful treat.

Red Emperor 

Each fall, I plant a row of several varieties of tulips in the vegetable garden, just for cutting. That way they are protected by the garden fence from the appetite of deer, who love tulips. Years ago, when I first began gardening here, before I understood the ways of deer, I planted some tulips in my flower borders. They lasted a few years; some years they bloomed, some years they were eaten. But then they stopped flowering. They had stopped flowering for probably ten years or so, and then, surprisingly, these red tulips came back last year, along with some pink ones in another border. The deer have left them for me to enjoy, for which I'm thankful.


  1. Altoon - I bless Deborah B for introducing me to your oasis of beauty, inspiration and wisdom here at *Studio and Garden*.
    This post is so heartening for me as we head into winter downunder. Gorgeous! Thank you.
    - miriam louisa

    1. Thank you so much, miriam louisa, for your wonderful comment. I'm pleased you are enjoying my posts. It's strange to think of friends in another part of the world having winter (however mild) while we are moving towards warmth.