When my daughter was 3 years old, we made a our first trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in La Conner, Wash. That trip really opened a whole new world to me. I had no clue there were so many tulip varieties available, and ever since that trip, I’ve tried to plant a few new varieties each spring.
My all time favorite tulip variety is the Parrot Tulip. Their frayed edges make me swoon and every fall when I pass by the big tulip displays at the store, I just have to grab a few bulbs to add to my collection. Some years I do mass plantings, and some years I take it easy and just fill a few pots. This year I’m taking it easy. We just moved into our new home a few weeks ago, and my “to do” list is about a mile long. Although I’d love to dig up the walkways and go crazy (I planted over 3,000 bulbs at our last home, and had to leave them all behind), I just don’t have the time right now. So I decided to plant about a half dozen 6″ – 18″ pots with pink, purple and white bulbs this year so I can have a splash of color next spring. Next fall though, look out world, because I’ll be digging up my yard and turning my backyard into a mini tulip field.
If you’ve never planted tulip bulbs before, it’s a piece of cake. Things You’ll Need
- Containers with good drainage
- Potting soil
If you read the back of any bag of tulip bulbs it’ll tell you to plant the bulbs about 6 inches deep and about 4 to 6 inches apart. But I’m a rebel and someone who likes to get a bang for her buck, so when it comes to planting bulbs in containers, I say stuff those suckers in there. If you plant your bulbs 2 inches apart, they’ll be fine, just make sure if you are planting your bulbs in pots that measure at least 6 inches in diameter so the roots have plenty of wiggle room. It’s not like the tulip police are going to show up in your garden and take your pots away if you are off by a few centimeters. I promise.
After my my container tulips die back next spring I’ll simply transplant the bulbs to my (hopefully) new flower garden and get to enjoy them again and again.
Spring will be here before you know it. Now is the time to plant. Go crazy! Be brave; over-plant. You can thank me later. Now get out there and get planting! ~Mavis All photos courtesy of Mavis Butterfield