Why do I like a mixed vase of tulips?

by AnneWareham on March 17, 2013

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I hate the look of a mixed hanging basket or jumble of annuals, even a jumble of tulips..

Bodnant tulips copyright Anne Wareham, Veddw

Tulips at Bodnant

So why did I buy a mixed bunch of tulips?

Tulips 3 copyright Anne Wareham

I’m not sure. Maybe the colours just work together?

Or at least better than the Bodnant ones? Bright yellow and pale lilac….hmmm. In my bunch the colours have similar weight.

Anyway, they came out like this:

Tulips 2 copyright Anne Wareham


And I’m enjoying them!

Tulips copyright Anne Wareham


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Rebecca Smith March 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Hi Anne – they look fat and healthy and the colours ‘tone’ well together. Sometimes I find that mixed bunches look like a jumble of Easter eggs and are too pale or pastel. Enjoy them!

AnneWareham March 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Thanks, Rebecca – you’re ight. It’s about balance and weight, isn’t it?

John March 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Some years ago, I looked at a hole in the lawn that’s filled with massed bedding in the summer and decided it should be filled with something in the spring. So I planted 500 tulips. First year it looked good. The tulips were planted deep and were overplanted for the summer. Next spring the tulips looked naff. So I bought another 500 and dug the old things out and replanted. Lovely display but the following year, naff again. Then a tulip salesman told me to pop in 100 each year to top up the display. Tried it. Naff. Tulips are coming up at the moment. I’ll see how they perform. Then I’ll dig the lot up and forget it.

I’d grow a mass of daffodils but the last time I did they got nicked overnight on 28 February and I (really) need my beauty sleep!

Tulips are indeed over-rated. But they do look nice in a vase.

As long as you ignore any colour balance and go for a riot.

(BTW Touching on another of your favourite plants, this year, out of 100 snowdrops, one, YES ONE, produced a deformed flower. Lovely foliage from the rest though.)

AnneWareham March 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

What made the display go from good to naff ??

Jane Nadel-Klein March 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Looking out at the white/brown/grey hill outside my window (another snowfall last night), I found the tulips’ colors to be like a bath of sunlight. If I were looking at them in a Connecticut August, when I long for cool air and cool tones, I might see them differently.

AnneWareham March 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Now there’s another consideration…

Loes Reeve April 4, 2013 at 8:23 am

Being Dutch, gardening in North Essex, I love my tulips, however I have given up. Deer like my garden too, Muncjac, Badgers, I try to con them out of it, but they always find them, and since it is their garden too, as far as I am concerned, I stopped growing tulips..
But reading your book at the moment Anne, and absolutely loving it, just love the way you just do your own thing and stuff the rest of the ( Gardening World ), ( very Dutch ), maybe next year I will grow them in my little Greenhouse, regards Loes Reeve

AnneWareham April 4, 2013 at 8:41 am

I am glad you are enjoying the book (and yes, I understand the Dutch are much more forthright than the British – I was born out of place..). Last year I decided not to grow tulips at all, but spend the money on buying them at florists, no doubt from your countrymen.But I couldn’t get the most exciting ones so I’m back to pots full.

We too are plagued with deer – ruining our wood and currently eating our erythoniums. Bit miserable, especially to have trees destroyed. Saw a local crime report that they were being poached (the deer) and I’m afraid I rejoiced..XXX

Loes Reeve April 5, 2013 at 7:12 am

They can shoot the deer, as far as I am concerned, we fenced off our orchard, and caged in our vegetables. However, they don’t go into my flower garden much, as it is almost walled in. There is one animal that only likes the black ones. I will put them in pots next year. Sounds like a good idea.

AnneWareham April 5, 2013 at 8:20 am

Yep – pity we can’t have the whole garden and wood fenced.. Poach away, I say..