When it comes to tulips, I've avoided them for the most part. Not having that much sun or that much of a penchant for bright colors. But then I bought an orange linen shirt. Could orange tulips be far behind?
I planted this group of 'General de Wet' tulips (below) between two red barberries and two clumps of 'Black Parrot' tulips to tone them down a bit. Alas, I didn't write down the date they opened but it's easily been a couple of weeks that I've been enjoying their blooms — the benefit of a rather cool spring.
The spot that gets the most sun and could handle a dose of bright color is "my 'island garden." This is the full sun garden located in the center of the street in front of my house. Once the trees and shrubs leaf out I can't really see it, so I can go crazy there and not worry about color clashes with the main garden.
I was rather worried about what would happen this spring after the winter "traffic island tragedy" when a truck ran over the snow-covered bed and flattened the sign. Imagine my surprise — and dismay — when the city sent someone out to reposition the sign in January. They dug up the mostly frozen bed and stuck the sign in place with concrete. I feared for the plants but look what spring brought:
Prinses Irene: "melon orange flamed with bronze purple" from Old House Gardens (above).
Orange Princess: The double form of Prinses Irene (above and below) from Brent and Becky's Bulbs.
Sensual Touch: In bud and bloom in the following four pictures. Brent and Becky said "this 55 mph wonder packs a lot of bang for your buck." No kidding! It's a stunner and is lasting nicely as a cut flower indoors with orange Epimediums.
The island garden viewed from the street edge of my front garden with Narcissus poeticus 'Pheasant Eye' basking in the early evening sun (below).
It's always exciting when a garden idea works out just as you envisioned it. My island is the blaze of color I'd hoped to create with the tulips I planted last fall. They're almost stopping traffic with their fiery hues — nicely set off by the bright yellow traffic paint.
Princess Irene is in the center behind the fan of iris leaves; Orange Prinses is behind Irene and to the right while Sensual Touch is in two clumps on the left. Still to come at the back of the island is a clump of Orange Favorite.