Thursday, March 29, 2007
I have never grown species tulips before. I have grown perhaps 100 different varieties of garden tulips but this is the first year that I have fallen prey to the charms of the species.
Part of the remit of our business is to grow things that you just can't get anywhere else. I could go to any flower wholesaler this lunchtime and come back with trays of Muscari armenium (grape hyacinth), Narcissi tete a tete and white, pink and blue hyacinth. So could any florist.
But you can't go anywhere, bar perhaps a specialist nursery, and get pots of flowering species tulips. They are the complete opposite of the lowest common denominator plant.
The tulips in the photograph are Tulipa turkestana about 6 inches tall with up to 7 flowers on a stem. They are not one of the parents of garden tulips as breeders have so far failed to get them to hybridise with other varieties (think of the flowers you could get if you could get an elegant multi headed version of Queen of the Night) but rather grow in the wild on stony slopes in the Mediterranean and central Asia.
I sold almost all my flowers last week but have saved a few for myself and have planted them into an old enamel nursery mug to enjoy in the dining room.
Yesterday Di Overton at Designer's Block did a lovely post about us. She is an even more avid blogger than I am and is putting together a really great archive of inspirational pictures and contacts.