In a vase on Monday

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This is probably the most luxurious (and expensive) bunch of tulips I’ve ever bought myself. They are bulbs of ‘Carnival de Nice’ bought from Peter Nyssen last autumn and planted in my cut flower garden.

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It’s a fancy tulip that speaks to me of the period of the Dutch tulip boom in the early 17th century. The ‘broken sorts’, like the famed ‘Semper Augustus’, fetched the highest prices. I I think ‘Carnival de Nice’ must be a distant relative and that’s possibly why the flowers in my home make me feel as if I’m enjoying something particularly decadent.

These broken types with the white streaks on a pink or red background were known as ‘Rosen’.

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It’s just as well I wasn’t around then, because I expect I would have gambled all I have and not even ended up with the kitchen table where they are now being admired and mused over every hour.

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I tried to do quite a few things with them. Nested them on a little bed of purple berberis and then arranged them with Thalictrum speciosissimum as foliage.This is what I actually did with the thalictrum and its young flowerbuds – far too nice for the compost heap, so it is joined by red campion (Silene dioica).

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Foliage and incipient flowerbuds of Thalictrum speciosissimum

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Red campion – Silene dioica

In the end I felt that the tulips looked the part on their own in a vaguely Dutch-looking vase (also another vide grenier find last summer).

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And I couldn’t get it out of my head that they would look just right in my old kitchen that dates from almost exactly the same period as the tulip bubble. The kitchen is pretty impossible for photography, but the flowers really do look their best there.

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As a little addendum – here are my valiant anemones from last week, joined by Tulip ‘Flaming Spring Green’ (this flower refusing to ‘flame’, but nonetheless pretty).

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If you leave a comment, I’d love it if you told me what your favourite tulip of the moment is. A voyage into the world of tulipomania!

Now hop on over to Cathy’s Rambling in the Garden and see what other delights the Monday vasers are offering.

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39 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday

    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks Christina – I’m still luxuriating in them. Your reply surprises me! I had you down for a ‘Brown Sugar’ girl! I know the name ‘Mount Tacoma’, but I had to google. It is another peony ‘confection’ isn’t it? Perhaps also a good one to add simply for cut flowers?

      Reply
  1. Cathy

    And you picked red campion too! 🙂 Christina has suggested before that tulips seem to look best on theor own, and I have come to agree with her. As for favourites, there are too many to choose! I have some China Pink tulips opening, with a lovely lily flowered shape, which I know I will enjoy, but I especially love most of the species tulips, like Little Beauty and Persian Pearl. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous tulips with us, however and wherever they were displayed 🙂

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      I did indeed pick the campion! To start with we had so few wild flowers in the garden and I am overjoyed to see them beginning to crowd in. This year was the best ever for lady’s smock. I love China Pink – a 30 year love affair! I’ve always found it very persistent (with Queen of the Night) – but sadly in this particular garden it seems to be petering out – only one flower this year. I did enjoy your ‘Little Beauty’ so much this week, Cathy. Will definitely try to add more of the smaller species types in future.

      Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks Eliza! Gradually the fruit trees in my neighbours garden have become a memory once again (alway sad). Time for a change – it’s like your maple sugar buckets!

      Reply
  2. Alison C

    These tulips are very special and beautifully displayed and photographed. Worth treating yourself, I think and hopefully they’ll come back next year. I was just thinking, it’s just as well the tulip boom is not now or we’d all lose our heads (not literally). It’s so hard to choose a favourite but I might go for Sapporo which is an elegant white lily flower.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks Alison – I have just googled ‘Sapporo’ – very elegant! It is a little like ‘Tres Chic’, tried by me this year for the first time. Except ‘Sapporo’ seems to start with a creamier tinge?

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    Your tulips are simply beautiful Cathy! I love the way you have photographed them. This looks like an original Dutch still life painting. 🙂 My favourite tulip? Impossible to say! Today it is ‘Swan Wings’, but ask me again next week and it will be the next to have opened! 😉

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      I have just looked at your wonderful ‘Swan Wings’ Cathy, and I see exactly what you mean. It is now on ‘the list’! Glad you enjoyed ‘Carnival de Nice’.

      Reply
  4. pbmgarden

    Exceptional tulips Cathy. They are lovingly composed in your kitchen scenes. It’s helpful to experiment with flower pairings–in this case your instincts led you back to a richly evocative statement. Enjoy!

    Reply
  5. smallsunnygarden

    Those are splendid tulips, Cathy! They certainly do have a very rich effect, even from my screen. I can only imagine they would quickly become a favorite if I could grow them… 😉 I did get a few flowers from the little T saxatalis this spring, but even that was a struggle in this climate. T. clusiana var. chrysantha remains my favorite among the species tulips; and as for the border tulips, I loved the pink on white of “Gander’s Rhapsody” (trusting my memory for that unusual name!), which came back fairly well for me.
    I love your meadow-y look with the Thalictrum and Silene too.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks Amy! I grew a little lady tulip (clusiana) called ‘Cynthia’ for the first time this year – it is a little gem and I wish I had planted more. Also fairly late-flowering, which is nice. I don’t know ‘Gander’s Rhapsody’ at all – so have just discovered v. google. Heavenly and definitely another to try!

      Reply
  6. Sam

    Wow – every photo of these tulips looks like a painting! My favourite is ‘Ballerina’, closely followed by ‘Sarah Raven’ and ‘Princes Irene’. I’m fond of those pink/white/green ones, too, but I don’t know the variety.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      I love ‘Ballerina’ too – the first time for me this year. I also planted ‘Princes Irene’ again – an old friend from years ago. I shall immediately google ‘Sarah Raven’ if it’s your second favourite!

      Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks Joanna – apart from the light levels, there’s always so much clutter in the kitchen that I seem to have to completely empty it in order to take a photo!

      Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      I so wish you could grow tulips, Jessica. They are such a joy. I did work in a garden in the Bavarian Alps once and they planted bulbs in wire baskets against the poor little hungry winter mice. Something to try for something special? This tulip is even worthy of going into pots.

      Reply
  7. bittster

    These are beautiful of course, and I hate to admit I’m in love with double tulips today but I think next year I need to plant a few parrots again. It’s almost shameful when you consider how elegant the single tulip is, but doubles and parrots are all I can think about right now.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      I will look at your link to the new Canadian tulip later (probably tomorrow0. Meanwhile – thanks so much for visiting and enjoying – and stay in touch.

      Reply

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