In a vase on Monday … finally

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I now, officially, have ‘spring back’ – I’m sure I share this stiffness with many other gardeners in the Northern Hemisphere. But the garden looks a bit better, so it’s worth it.

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I wouldn’t swop the thrilling experience of this time of year for (most) other euphoric experiences. The sheer joy of going down to the garden, early in the morning, and seeing the tulips rising up out of all that fresh foliage (which will be looking decidedly browned off in another two months) …

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Today I was inspired by Tulip ‘Angelique’. It’s a peony-flowered tulip that I’ve wanted to grow for years – this morning I saw that it’s known as ‘America’s favourite’ – comments from American blogging friends? Finally a few were planted in the cut flower garden last autumn, near last year’s ‘Carnival de Nice’.

These tulips, in my humble opinion, are only for the vase – although I’m prepared to be converted! I’m afraid I may have overdone the Rembrandt/Fantin-Latour effect a little in the pictures, but I hope you can see what inspired me so much.

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They are teamed with the ‘Carnival de Nice’, which you may remember from an IOVM vase last year. I’ve been so pleased at how the Nice tulips have come back to give pleasure again. When a tulip looks as choice as this, you imagine that it’s now … and then never again (unless you buy some more).

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They are on our little supper terrace, where I take refuge from the heat in between cracking down below in the garden. I used a vase brought back from Spain by a dear friend …


… and became rather mesmerised by how strong and well-formed the handle on the vase looks in this light.

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The little teacup is one of the last remaining bits of china from my Canadian grandmother – the crack that I observed in its side is more seriously leaky than I imagined – thank goodness the saucer holds all the water dripping through! It has a tulip pattern, which seemed appropriate when I broke off one perfect flower of ‘Angelique’.

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I’m hoping to do a post a little later in the week about some nice tulips and daffodils that are flowering (or have recently finished) here – and since the weather is a little cooler, might also catch up with the ironing and our tax returns this week as well. (Although, it has to be said, cooler weather is more pleasant to garden in, so I’ll be torn!)

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Tell me some of your favourite tulips I could add to my ever increasing shopping list?

So nice to be back with Cathy for her nice Monday meme at Rambling in the Garden. The other vases produced by the IAVOM folk are likely to be a little less ‘dark’ and more spring-like than my own. Go on over and see!

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26 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday … finally

  1. janesmudgeegarden

    The close-up of the tulip in the little teacup is mesmerising Cathy in a group of gorgeous photos. I love all the little grooves in the petals which wouldn’t be noticeable in a more distant shot. I also enjoyed seeing all your trees in leaf and/or blossom. Everything looks so green.

  2. Linda B. from Each Little World

    That larger view of your landscape is as luscious as your bouquet. And the Fantin-Latour reference is perfect. As for “America’s favorite Tulip”? Maybe or maybe just marketing. I am growing mostly orange and brownish tulips (Orange Princess being a favorite). My favorite double is a white one: ‘Schoonoord.’ They don’t return reliably in my garden so I tend to just plant a few each year and almost think of them as annuals.

    1. Cathy Post author

      The garden does look luscious right now – sigh, spring is too short!!! Don’t know either Orange Princess or Shoonoord (weird Dutch name!) But have just googled and they both look like they should go on the list (especially ‘Orange Princess’

  3. Cathy

    Your Angelique are gorgeous, Cathy and look much btter in your vase than when I used to grow them in those 5 pots outside the kitchen windows. Mine were quite short stemmed and never looked right in situ – your stems look much longer so perhaps they jsut didn’t like pots. Mind you, I like your raspberry ripple ‘Carnival de Nice’ ones even more. Love your tulip cup and saucer – such a good prop for IAVOM, and with memories attached too.

    1. Cathy Post author

      They so seem to have quite long stems, Cathy. I have to admit that it’s still ‘Carnival de Nice’ that steals my heart too! More next year?

  4. Cathy

    Your photos are lovely – the teacup was the perfect finishing touch and really does make Angelique look like she stepped out of a Dutch painting! 🙂

  5. Alison C

    The fat tulips are a joy, I have some Angelique too though not cut yet. I once had a tub full of them outside my front door and they lasted for weeks and did look very good. A vase overflowing with them is probably their best look!

    1. Cathy Post author

      Oh – I like that, ‘fat tulips’! Yes they are a joy – just like peonies! Good enough to eat (and double Brompton stocks – ditto!). Might try the Angelique in a tub myself!

  6. Kris P

    I love that ‘Carnival’ tulip! I’ve tried growing ‘Angelique’ at least 3 times but tulips of any kind are a very poor investment here. Not only do they not come back, few seldom even bloom in the first round after 6-8 weeks chilling in a fridge – inevitably, our Santa Ana winds arrive to wither the buds in place. Still, every 4-5 years, I break down and try planting some. (I can’t help myself.)
    The only tulips that have ever provided even a halfway decent show here are the species tulips and even they return only for 2-3 years in steadily decreasing numbers.

    1. Cathy Post author

      It is hard to be without a flower you love, Kris. But we all have something like that – just won’t take our conditions. Mine is probably woodland plants – my first gardening love. I have planted so many Fritillaria meleagris here in a shady spot. But only 3 flowers this year. About 2 years ago I had a lot of tulip fire (wet spring, I think) and I thought it was the end of that too … but they totter on fairly happily, thank goodness!

  7. Eliza Waters

    Your garden is looking lush and green, Cathy, a lovely sight for you it must be! ‘Angelique’ are a florist favorite here (for many years) and I can assume many gardeners plant them as well. Perhaps they are our favorite? They pair well with ‘Queen of the Night.’ I have a soft spot for parrot and viridiflora tulips. Unfortunately, between our moist climate and voles, not many return year after year. I am in love with ‘Carnival de Nice’ –it is gorgeous!

    1. Cathy Post author

      Ah … maybe that’s what they mean then. I can imagine the combination with the Queen is lovely – must try! I have a lot of voles – so far they have not developed a taste for my tulips, thank goodness!

  8. tonytomeo

    Those really do look like peonies, and the others look just like they do in the catalogues! I do not grow tulips, but it is nice to see how they do for others. I will try them someday, probably some plain white ones. I know that they look like eggs on sticks, but I that is probably what I would grow, maybe with some light apple blossom pink ones too.

      1. tonytomeo

        If I do it, I will certainly brag about it; just like the snowdrops that bloomed in my garden when I did not even know that they were there.

  9. Chloris

    Spring back, knees every part of my body is complaining about the long hours spent in the garden. I love your selection of tulips in the jug. Peony flowered tulips look so opulent and next year I might copy your idea of combining Angelique with Carnival de Nice. Sumptuous! They really do look like a Dutch Master.

  10. Anna

    Oh your cup and saucer must be most precious to you Cathy. What a lovely family heirloom. ‘Angelique’ was one of the first tulips I ever grew along with ‘Mount Tacoma’. You might like the latter which is also a peony type tulip with fabulous frothy creamy white flowers.


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