Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good tulip, bad tulip

Right, that's quite enough cheerfulness, time to start complaining again.

My tulips are lovely, and I feel a little mealy-mouthed saying anything but delighted things about them, but they are not as they should be.

As usual I popped a slew of extra tulips in last autumn to back up what might or might not have survived the winter: I have pretty good tulip-overwintering soil, being sandy and free-draining, but you never can tell.

However the tulips I put in were not, you might say, the tulips they purport to be.

For example:

Tulipa 'Apeldoorn'

Good tulip:

Bad tulip:

Tulipa 'White Triumphator'

Good tulip:

(with thanks to Crocus for the pic)

Bad tulip:

And even worse tulip:

Tulipa 'West Point'

Good tulip:

(Crocus again)

Bad tulip:

The 'Queen of Night' are looking like they ought to at the moment, but there is an ominous streaking to my 'Orange Cassini' buds. And the 'Ballerina' and 'Spring Green' aren't open yet so I shall be interested to see what we end up with there.

It's not that I'm complaining exactly: I still have a spectacular display of rather lovely tulips (except the split 'Triumphator' - I really do detest those). But they ain't what I ordered.

To their credit the bulb company have apologised profusely and I shall be enjoying a free supply of 450 tulip bulbs this autumn. But I do have to wonder what happened.

Did they think most people wouldn't know their 'West Point' from their 'President Kennedy' and don't care anyway ('it's yellow, innit?')

Or is there some wierd virus mutation thing going on here? Is the purity of tulip bulbs becoming muddied by the endless hybridising and the multiple-million bulb turnovers of the big Dutch companies?

Answers on a postcard, please...


NewShoot said...

I reckon Tulipophiles would go for that skinny White Triumphator. You should propagate it and make a fortune restarting the 'Tulip Bubble'

Arabella Sock said...

Hmmm... my Triumphators look like your first bad tulip picture. Not really all that white and rather uninspiring looking. I'm going to stick with 'Shirley' next year and I always have QON because it is just gorgeous.

VP said...

I seem to remember a lot of this happening last year with various bloggers.

Have a look at my 'bad tulip' on Tuesday. It has transformed itself into a thing of loveliness.

And my 50 red lily form tulips are currently flowering their socks off - as yellow lily form tulips.

Something is going very wrong in the packing houses of The Netherlands methinks

Su Harris said...

Just to let you know there are a couple of awards for you on my blog, I hope you will accept them, but you are under no obligation. I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blog.

The Constant Gardener said...

NewShoot - you think so? Well I'm all for making a mint out of them since I've got to look at them. I've got a variegated pink aquilegia in my garden I keep meaning to flog to Thompson & Morgan, too. It's truly hideous but I can't bear to pull it up as I'm sure it's worth a fortune.

Arabella - totally agree with you about QON - used to be sniffy about it cos it was so trendy but my, it is swoony.

VP - I thought your dud tulip was gorgeous too. Sometimes the mistakes can turn out just as good as (if not better than) what they were supposed to be. I'm not exactly complaining about my duff tulips but just wondering what happened...

Su - thank you :D I shall stew up my seven random things and post shortly!

shirl said...

Hi there… love this! VP sent me your way. My eyes have been opened to the tulip in this past week. So many fantastic shapes of flowers. Just to say that I’ve added this post to a bit of a tulip photo fest I’ve been running all week. You can see it here. If you’ve any more tulip pics you’d like to share :-D

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