Though they started out this year with all odds against them, many of the tulips did make a good stand at providing an abbreviated late spring show. Dashes of bright color, amongst all the damaged daffodils and other victims of the recent freezes, they carried on in spite of it all ... I'm afraid these represent most of the better examples that managed to bloom this year ... our regular masses of yellow and red were pretty much decimated ... first by the cold and then by the recent heavy rains. And as the regular perennials start to make their presences known, it seems that the tulips were resigned to cede the show much more quickly this year, though through no fault of their own.
These two are from Darwin mixes that we have planted over the years ... the orange one has been around for at least five years and the yellow one (very close to an Olympic flame type) was planted two years ago during the big bulb planting fest. I'll refrain from my usual Darwins sermon ... just remember they're the best for naturalizing!
Finally (photo courtesy of Fernymoss), we've got a nice little stand of Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) along the walk ... also planted two years ago ... when I planted these, I alternated clumps of snow crocus (long since gone this year) with Muscari, as well as Scilla hispanica (Wood Hyacinth) all along the walk. Obviously I was really going for the blue, and as you'll see soon (when they bloom), the Scilla really carry on the show once the Muscari have packed it up for the season.
All three species of bulbs are great naturalizers, and my intent was that eventually the whole edge along the walk would be populated richly every early spring ... from a procession of crocus ... to Muscari and on to the Scilla providing at least two month's worth of changing blue hues. Of course, this year, everything is at least two weeks behind and these Muscari should have long since departed the scene ... but at least they weren't up very far when the freeze hit so they managed to bloom relatively unimpeded this year. And that's a good thing, since they've long been one of my favorite spring bulbs ... Related to neither grapes nor hyacinths, whatever we call them, they clearly deserve their place in anyone's garden ... especially along with tulips who they complement so well.