For me, the full beauty of a tulip is only expressed once it is cut and placed in a vase. They are pretty enough in the garden, but it's only when arranged in a group, or placed singly in the perfect complement of a vase and location, that their elegance can be seen. I cut many different flowers and bring them in the house all spring and summer, but other flowers are also beautiful in their natural setting: a large shrub covered with lilacs is more thrilling than a bunch in a vase; as much as I love cut peonies, they are just as complexly seductive on their plants. Because I feel this way, each fall I plant several kinds of tulips in a row in the vegetable garden, just for cutting.
Even the interiors of the flowers have clear and dramatic forms; the central pistil with its three part cap, and the flowing towers of stamens surrounding it. This is an unknown tulip, mislabeled, so I can't tell you its name.
A delicate violet edge on a creamy white petal gives a subtle effect.
The outward curving petals of this lily-flowered variety give the flowers a delicate grace.
A favorite tulip of mine, Angelique mimics my favorite flower, the peony. It has a frothy loveliness, each petal subtly different in color and shape.
When Laura Fygi was just cut and brought indoors, the flowers were closed in a form like a rounded cone, each flower showing red, and yellow at its edges.
And then....one of the joys of watching tulips is seeing how their forms change, from a closed cone to an open cup, the stems curving up and down, becoming more fluid as they age.
Menton is another beloved tulip; it is a tall, large, gracious tulip of classic form.
Its color is a warm pink that shades to a lighter and warmer hue at its edges. It is a queen in its bearing.
There is even beauty in the flower as it dies, the petals gracefully dancing their way out of life.