Tulip Time

tulips 002

My home town has a tulip festival the second week in May. That’s Holland, Michigan and these are blooming in my Tennessee backyard. I mainly write about edibles, but I like these naturalized tulips. Any ornamental I grow needs to thrive on neglect. My time, care, and compost goes to the stuff I eat. Seven or eight years ago, I planted tulips in this spot. About four years ago, I decided to move the tulips to a different place in the yard. I dug the bulbs after the foliage had dried and took all the good sized bulbs to the new spot.

The little bulbs I left behind have done well. They have all returned to the yellow or red that all tulips go back to no matter what color the of the original purchase. That the tulips have done well on my rocky clay hillside surprises me. Evidently the clay has some nutrients. The bulbs may benefit from some lime leaching from the broken concrete retaining wall that was once a neighbor’s driveway. It isn’t much like the flat black earth of a Dutch tulip farm. And since they do well, I can at least dig them every few years to separate clumps and give them space.

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