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Feb 15

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Tulips and other ornamental bulbs

Tulips were first cultivated in Central Asia more than 500 years ago and brought to Europe in the mid-16th Century.

Tulips require vernalization to flower but they may be “forced” by keeping the bulbs wrapped in dark paper and refrigerated for several months. All of my bulbs are currently sleeping under about 3 feet of snow.

Tulips were a valued commodity once upon a time in Holland. The great tulip bubble, also called “Tulipmania” was a speculative bubble in the markets of a day long past. History informs us that certain varieties of tulips sold for more than 10 times the annual wage of a skilled craftsman!

Some more interesting facts about tulips.

In years past I’ve planted various kinds of bulbs around the front yard, but this September and October, I added 300 bulbs and planted all in a free-flowing pattern beneath the young trees.

Here is the breakdown on varieties;

Mixed colors of large Tulips – 80 of each.

Giant yellow Daffodils – 40

Grape Hyacinths – 80

Mixed colors of Crocus – 40

Anemone in a mix of colors- 60

This current blend of 300 new bulbs should provide an impressive display of colors from late-March through early-June. After June the native orange day lilies will be in full bloom. I also I divided existing sections of these and transplanted several bunches along the roadside in the front yard. Overtime they will fill in to create a lovely display in July.

I had in mind to buy a bunch of iris, but it turns out they are about $8 each bulb! I think I will wait on them. Perhaps if I shop around I can find a better price online.

Bulbs like tulips and such are planted in autumn for flowering in the following spring. I expect to have a lovely display for pictures in spring! Stay tuned.

In the meantime, you may be interested to read this bit of original, but not quite famous poetry about the lovely crocus

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