gabriola garden

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Glorious Tulips Last Only a Short Time

Sara's tulips grew extra large and tall this year, largely due to the tender loving care afforded them by my wife. She has nurtured the soil in her favorite garden beds for years, using kitchen-scraps compost, composted horse manure, rich topsoil, and most important of all, Humic Acid and Iguana Juice, great 100% organic products from Advanced Nutrients.

You can tell the difference, when you look at the same kind of tulips growing in the gardens of our neighbors. They're much shorter and their bowls aren't as full and robust as Sara's. I cherish this time of year, because I am well aware that just like those magnificent pink cherry blossoms a block away, blooms like tulips only last a relatively short time.

Tulips were prized possessions at one time in Europe. A single tulip of the right coloring was worth much more than its weight in gold. A man had to work for months to pay the prices they were asking. Then some blight or other took hold and tulips fell out of favor. Well, they're still very much in favor in our homestead.

As the attached photos clearly attest, the glorious tulips in Sara's garden are extra special this year. I can hardly wait for Spring a year from now to have them pop out of the soil once more and grace us with their presence.

Sara helped me construct a box for a new vegetable garden in a sunnier spot than before, and she planted seeds with the help of the kids. We have peas, carrots, arugula, leaf lettuce, spinach, and some herbs growing, as well as some well developed tomato plants which we haven't put outside yet, since the radio said something about the chance of frost tonight. We hope this doesn't happen for the sake of our seedlings!

But temperatures are due to rise over the weekend and then we'll be yearning for the cool days of early Spring! "You don't know what you've got, 'til it's gone!"

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posted by Tim at 11:49 AM


  • I've always loved tulips as well.

    The blight you mentioned may refer to the tulip mosaic virus, which is responsible for the multi-color tulips we see (it blocks the bulb's ability to produce color in the flower uniformly). It doesn't really hurt the tulips, but it does make the bulbs a little less hardy so they're harder to propagate.

    The other possible blight was the bubonic plague which of course didn't hurt the tulips themselves but is theorized to have played a role in the burst of tulip mania.

    I'm planning to experiment with indoor hydroponic tulips, employing the refrigerator to force them to bloom 2-3 times a year. Using premium fertilizers (Advanced Nutrients) I think I should be able to propagate them much more rapidly that way and fill up my flower beds faster. And of course, have tulips year-round!

    By Blogger Thomas, at 10:36 AM  

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