In a Vase, on Monday – Tulips

I was wondering around the garden the other morning, before it got too hot, with a tin of water and secateurs in hand of course, thinking I’d bring some more daffodils inside, but I started to notice the tulips. Tulips are generally in their prime mid-May over here; indeed, Canada’s capital, Ottawa, even has a tulip festival this time of year. Starting in 1953, at the suggestion of renowned photographer Malak Karsh, the festival:

“…was established to celebrate the historic Royal gift of tulips from the Dutch to Canadians immediately following the Second World War as a symbol of international friendship. The Festival preserves the memorable role of the Canadian troops in the liberation of the Netherlands and Europe, as well as commemorates the birth of Dutch Princess Margriet in Ottawa during World War II—the only royal personage ever born in Canada.”

If you happen to be in Canada this week, the festival run until May 23. The 300,000 tulips are really spectacular. In my garden, the two or three dozen are somewhat less spectacular, but as I wandered about I was able to notice the intricacies of each one, be it colour or shape. I love them all but mostly they either quickly become chipmunk food or last just a season or two. I think this fall, instead of trying to plant masses of one or two varieties I’ll seek out a half dozen of many different varieties, and scatter (ie plant deeply) them throughout the garden, so that my morning wanderings next spring will be even more interesting.

Here’s my vase of tulips today, one photo taken early in the morning before they’ve fully opened and the other a bit later. Be sure to check out Rambling in the Garden, where Cathy will no doubt have links to other tulip filled vases today.


  1. I say mixed colors win the day. As pretty as the single-color bouquets in the stores are, this vaseful outshines them — at least, for me. I will say that I might have added a second (or even a third) yellow tulip, to balance things out a bit. The yellow is so stunning it’s like the kid in the classroom wildly waving toward its teacher and yelling, “ME! Pick me!”

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  2. They are lovely when they open up in the sun, but your photo of them closed up shows just how pretty the shapes are. You have a nice mix Chris, and I like the idea of planting just a few of lots of different sorts. I say every year I won’t plant as many bulbs this autumn, and then I start looking at the websites and catalogues…. 😉

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