Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stamp of the day: Tulips

It might seem strange to choose tulips, a spring flower, for a stamp of the day in autumn. I have a good reason for that, it´s planting time if you want spring flowers.

Tulips originate from slopes of the great Asian mountains. Small, exquisite flowers. Nothing like the ones we grow as cultivars.
I have some concern regarding the tulip growing environmental impact, since swedes love tulips. We buy them as bulbs in autumn for our flower borders and we buy them as cut flowers in stores all the spring months. The environmental impact is possibly pretty large, since the bulbs are grown in large fields in Holland with lots of fertilizing and then shipped here. Or grown in heated greenhouses and shipped here by truck. To get the right bloom, the bulbs are also store in temperated climate during summer. Chilling and heating takes energy. These bulbs are always bigger than the ones you can grow yourself in your garden.

But there are alternatives, if you like. Old tulips that where grown for perennial behavior still exist. I have tried to choose these rather than the large blooming "annual" bulbs.
There are several kinds you can choose from. The botanical species such as Tulipa tarda and Tulipa clusiana among others. Old Darwin tulips like Couleur Cardinal from 1845, this is my favorite. All the Apeldoorn tulips, good perennials. This year I am planting Carnaval the Nice, Marilyn and Verona, which has a scent of lemon!

Deers love the taste of tulips too, so I prepare my tulips with a mix of oil and tabasco sauce. And I fence them.

1 comment:

LS said...

Nice tulips! I think there is a chapter in Botany of Desire about tulips and how crazy people have been about them through the centuries. Here in NJ there is no use planting any because the deers ear them all.