My Bed of Tulips

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

OK - here's how it starts... October 18, 2008 I planted 1000 yellow Darwin tulips (Mrs. John Scheepers) by hand, one bulb at a time. I topped it off with ground pine mulch.

I'll add to this thread as the seasons progress.

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Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Excited to see them in bloom! I remember your amazing display of orange tulips, I'm sure this will be equally stunning.

Did you post any pics of your summer display?



This message was edited Nov 9, 2008 11:16 AM

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Here is the bed where the yellow tulips are planted. I had red begonias (not very successful - I don't think I gave them enough TLC) and a red banana tree (now slumbering in my basement - goes back out next spring after the tulips are gone).

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Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Here is the bed where the orange bouquet tulips were located. I just put in impatiens for the summer.

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Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Both plantings are gorgeous! The banana is very effective and dramatic there. Love the colors of the impatiens with the burgundy leaves of the maples too.

Nantucket, MA(Zone 7a)

I'll be watching. So nice to see such tidy beds. I try, but not hard enough. Patti

Kannapolis, NC

Leawood: What gorgeous gardens! Wow! Wish mine looked so good.

McLean, VA(Zone 6b)

Your pictures are beautiful. Tell me more about your banana tree: do you keep your banana tree in a pot when it is in the yard? How tall is it, and how long have you had it? It is definitely an eyecatcher!

This message was edited Nov 17, 2008 10:41 AM

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

This was the first year for the red banana - I have grown the green tree variety for 15 years, starting with one that was given to me by a friend. Each year they put out 'pups', so over the years, I've grown dozens of trees - each spring I give several away to friends who comment on them.

In pots, they do not get as large as they do in the ground, so all of mine go directly into the earth (actually, I dig a large hole, line it with decomposed horse manure, put in the tree and fill the remainder of the hole with manure). They normally get 9-12 feet tall.

This was the first year for the red variety, which I purchased at a nursery (it was kinda pricey). It doesn't seem to reproduce the same way (nor did it produce any bananas - my green trees have given me bananas, which never get a chance to mature, due to our short growing season). Here is a photo of one of the stalks of bananas from this season.

I dig them up in the fall, wash all the dirt off the roots and cut off all the leaves, then lay them in a cool, dark corner of my basement for the winter. Come spring, I drag them out, plant the dried stalk in the ground and the season starts all over.

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Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

The ravages of winter... the "True English" boxwood border I planted last spring has lost several plants over the winter. I should have known that if I strayed from my dependable "Winter Gem" variety I'd have problems - I have "Winter Gem" as hedges and upright plants in several locations around my yard and have never lost a plant. It looks to me like I will need to replace about a third of this hedge, which is a bite. I tried this variety for a 'change' - I wanted a different look and texture - contrary to it's tag, it evidently isn't hardy in zone 5.

Today is balmy and warm - 70 DEGREES! TOO WARM for Feb. 7 in Kansas City. Fortunately, the tulips are smarter than some of the other plants. They won't be fooled into emerging too soon.

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Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

What a difference a day makes! After three unseasonably warm days, we had heavy rains overnight and look what appeared! The tulips seem to have grown two inches overnight!

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Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Congrats! Your Tulips are going to be a show stopper!!!

Kannapolis, NC

Wish I could be in KS for the show when they bloom!

west Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Well done Lea!--I'm not familiar with the shrub you are using as an edging there, but might the others not grow and kinda fill in those few spaces? Or do they stay really small?

please do show us pics when they bloom!
Debbie

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Thanks to all! I'll post progress pix and the garden is open to all who would visit while these are in bloom (probably late April or early May).

Debbie, the boxwood hedge is a slow-growing variety that probably won't spread enough to fill in. I think this was just one of those bad plant choices I'll have to take out and replace with something that is better suited to our climate.

Trenton, MI(Zone 5b)

LeawoodGardener, I'm very impressed with your garden designs! I'm afraid I'm a cottage gardener, but I sure can appreciate your structured gardens (for lack of a better name).

Oh, I love your kitchen counter and color of your cabinets!

Saugerties, NY(Zone 5a)

I cant wait to see them in bloom. What a great job you have done.
Christine

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Nice gardens, Leawood - so neat and clean looking! I wish i could do that ^_^ Looking forward to seeing everything bloom!

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Thanks, all!

Here's the latest - photo taken 3-18-09. My boxwood looks worse every day, but the tulips are growing!

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Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Ohhh! That's going to be a breath taking!

Kannapolis, NC

Wow! That's going to be so lovely. Please post photos.

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

Wow, I can already imagine how stunning this is going to look. I'll definitely be watching the progress!

Angie

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

A nice rain on Monday brought the tulips out even more. This is how they looked on Thursday, March 26. Today (March 28) we're getting a cold rain (No complaints! The forecast was for 10" of snow!) which should be even better for them. I've check several nurseries and so far, no 1 gallon boxwoods to replace the dead in this hedge.

Sorry the photo is 'on edge' - I cannot figure out why a photo that is upright on my screen is on its side when I upload it to DG.

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Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Leawood,

If you have Windows Vista you can rotate the picture while viewing it in Windows Photo Gallery and when you close/move on to the next picture it will automatically save it in its rotated form.

I sometimes use Picasa as well, but unfortunately I have found that outside the Windows Photo gallery even if you view it as rotated so that the image is upright it still is "saved" in its original form (I am assuming you took the photo sideways to get a "prtrait" format? In that case you'll need to save it as a new file while it is rotated.

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Thanks, Steve. I'm on a MAC. The photo is upright when I view it in my files, and I've even tried rotating it so it's on it's side in my file (thinking DG would turn it when it uploads), but it STILL shows up on it's side. The one thing I haven't done is crop the photo so it's a square - in most cases I have taken it in portrait format because that's what I want to show. I work in an office with a graphic designer - I'll try and get him to give me some pointers so my photos don't end up on their sides.

Kannapolis, NC

Still looking good, Leawood!

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Here's the image from Thursday, 'righted' in PhotoShop.

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Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

And here's how it looked last night, as our cold rain turned into snow. Burrrr.

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Nantucket, MA(Zone 7a)

So pretty. I hope you don't have "Picky" neighbors or people passing by that want to snip a few. I will watching. Patti

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Each year I lose a few to kids (I hope they are picking to give to Mom), and the 'hood is FULL of elderly walkers, dog-walkers, kid-walkers and joggers who give me greetings of cheer as I work and praise for making their view a little nicer.

Saugerties, NY(Zone 5a)

I agree, a vey pretty picture, all that green against the snow. A couple weeks from now its going to be a sea of yellow & green. I too hope not to many people take them on you. I know I'd be really angry at anyone that didnt ask first. As a kid I was taught to never take a neighbors flowers.
Christine

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

That brings to mind a funny story. I was married and working to put both my wife and myself through college. We rented a, tiny apartment, owned by the University, in a complex for married students and their children. I planted a dozen tulips by the door when we moved in that fall. One sunny, Sunday morning the next spring, while I was at work, my wife said she could hear a little child's voice singing. Then she heard the distinctive 'snap' of a tulip stem. She ran to the door just to see a little kid race off with a handful of tulips, saying, "Mommie! I picked some flowers for you!". It's hard to complain about that.

Over the years I've lost bulbs to rodents, had whole sections of a bed of tulips broken down by two cats fighting, had mailmen trample through beds to take a shortcut through my yard and endured storms that broke tall stems or froze tender buds. I guess it all goes with being a gardener.

Saugerties, NY(Zone 5a)

I guess thats why we always grow more than we need :>) just for the loss factor :>(
Christine

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Here's how the bed of tulips looked this morning. The sun is warm today, hopefully they will shed the snow by evening.

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Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Leawood, what are those three cute little trees/shrubs you planted in the middle of your bed? The dome shaped ones.

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Those are capitata Japanese yews, Steve - I planted then 3 years ago when I established the bed.

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

The tulips made it through the snow, no problems. In fact, I think the moisture from the snow, followed by a couple of days of cool sunshine, made them grow a couple of inches!

Here's what they looked like April 2 (Thursday).

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Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

I yanked out 45 dead Boxwood from the hedge and took them in for replacement (for once in my life I saved a receipt!). I replaced the "True English" plants with "Wintergem" , a reliable plant I have used in hedges all over my yard (and never lost a single plant!).

I was going to plant them Saturday, but the forecast is for snow and temps in the LOW 20's Sunday and Monday, so I'm holding them where I can cover them overnight. They look like they have new growth and I don't want the tips to freeze.

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North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

I just love your tulip bed and can not wait to see the pictures in bloom. I like that front section of your yard, it looks very much like a lovely park from the angle of the pictures.

What do you do after the tulips are done flowering? Do they stay in and come back up next year?

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Leawood, glad you saved your receipt! That's going to look so amazing. Is that gold Lysimachia as a groundcover in front of the Boxwoods? That will compliment the tulips beautifully!

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