Tuesday, July 30, 2013

T is for Tulips

T is for Tulips

I received these tulips from my children for Mother's Day last year. Aren't they lovely?!

Tulips are almost synonymous with spring, aren't they? They're spring-blooming, bulbous perennials, which can grow as short as 4 inches, or as tall as 28 inches.

Although tulips are often associated with the Netherlands, commercial cultivation of the flower began in early Persia probably somewhere in the 10th Century. (Wikipedia)

Tulips do best in areas with dry summers and cold winters. The brightly colored, upright flowers may be single or double, and vary in shape from simple cups, bowls, and goblets to more complex forms. They are excellent in beds and borders; many types are good for forcing into bloom indoors, and most are excellent for cut flowers.

Although tulips are a perennial, many gardeners treat them as annuals, to be planted anew each year. The North American climate and soil can't replicate the ancient Anatolian and southern Russian conditions of their birth. Gardeners in our western mountain regions come closest to this climate. (Old Farmer's Almanac)
Here are tips for growing tulips.

I have heard about the Skagit tulip festival, but have never been. Have you? I think it'd be lovely to go. Then there is the Tulip Time Festival, in Holland, Michigan. Maybe some day I can take my youngest two boys to one or the other.

By A. E. Stallings

The tulips make me want to paint,
Something about the way they drop
Their petals on the tabletop
And do not wilt so much as faint,

Something about their burnt-out hearts,
Something about their pallid stems
Wearing decay like diadems,
Parading finishes like starts,

Something about the way they twist
As if to catch the last applause,
And drink the moment through long straws,
And how, tomorrow, they’ll be missed.

The way they’re somehow getting clearer,
The tulips make me want to see—
The tulips make the other me
(The backwards one who’s in the mirror,

The one who can’t tell left from right),
Glance now over the wrong shoulder
To watch them get a little older
And give themselves up to the light.

Source: Poetry (June 2009).

Poetry Foundation

Here is another poem about tulips.

Tulips in Holland.
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm 

What other flowers or plants can you think of which begin with "T"?
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