White and green parrot tulips are very versatile and can be used to to create formal, casual, country or high design looks. For a classic holiday touch, pair white and green parrot tulips with dusty miller. The small touch of dove grey will break up the green and white and also introduce a rich texture.
True bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers all have one thing in common: They each need a dormant or rest period following their time of active growth and bloom. Some bulbs need a summer dormancy (tulip); others rest in winter (canna). You can grow any type of bulb in your garden as long as you provide the right dormant period. That’s why northern zone gardeners dig tender bulbs, such as calla lily or canna—to give them a winter dormancy. Understanding how true bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers grow helps you to give these bulb beauties the TLC they need to thrive and blossom, year after year.
Pansies and spring bulbs like tulips make excellent planting partners. Tuck bulbs into soil in fall, then add winter-hardy pansies. In spring, watch the magic unfold. This pansy is Panola XP True Blue Pansy, a multiflora type that stands up to winter chill without missing a blooming beat. To help pansies survive when temps drop below 20 F for several hours, cover plants with a frost blanket or a 2- to 4-inch-thick loose mulch like pine straw (gently rake it off when air temps rise). Healthy pansies can typically withstand single digits for short spells without extra protection.
While pastel toned tulips are often associated with spring, red tulips are a perfect fit for the holidays. Once cut and placed in vessels, tulips can last up to ten days. Change the water every day or two and also cut the ends of the stems at an angle to ensure the tulips receive proper hydration. For a touch of texture, mix juniper sprigs in with the tulips.
Colorblends' Tulip Blend Rainbow Coalition presents one of those color displays that only tulips can pull off. Orange opens first, then red joins in, and purple closes ranks. In the end, the three bloom together for as long as a fortnight. Colorblends is a Connecticut-based flower bulb wholesaler that sells direct to landscape professionals and home gardeners coast-to-coast. See Colorblends.com or call 1-888-847-8637.
Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) is a native tree known for its towering size (70 to 100 feet) and yellow, tulip-like blooms that open in summer. ‘Little Volunteer’ brings that stately beauty down to a size that fits modern gardens. Leaves offer an unusual shape and shimmer in the wind. Look for gold fall color and cup-like fruits made of seeds. It’s a medium-fast grower, reaching a size of 12 feet tall by 6 feet wide in 4 years (starting with a 3- to 5-foot sapling). The strong pyramidal shape looks elegant in winter, especially when wet snows stick to branches. This is one tree you won’t regret planting. Size: to 20 feet tall by 9 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
For best results, plant tulip bulbs, pointed ends up, about 6-8 weeks before the first hard frost in your area. Larger bulbs should be planted deeper (usually 8-10” deep) than smaller ones (usually 5-6” deep). Because tulips need a certain amount of cold weather to flower, they may not come back after the first year or two. If you live in a mild climate, ask your local county extension service agent if you should buy pre-chilled tulip bulbs, or chill them yourself, in your refrigerator, before you plant.