Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Shirley Tulips

Tulip 'Shirley' bloomed just ahead of Tulip 'Moulin Rouge' which extends the season. Photos are in sequence showing the progression of bloom.

Muscari armeniacum planted with the tulips bloomed ahead of everybody else,
but lasted to the end. Sometimes Muscari reblooms.

Shirley opens a pale cream. A thin line of purple appears.

Shirley and Muscari

As the flower matures, the lines of purple broaden.

Toward the end of bloom, the purple blush spreads.

Moulin Rouge just coming into bloom behind Shirley.

Shirley was chilled in a dedicated refrigerator for 10 weeks.
I planted bulbs at the end of December which is usual for the Coastal South
if one is brave enough to plant tulips in the face of possible early heat..

Weather was perfect for bulbs. I did not have to water and there was
winter chill all through early winter.

A look down the throats of a line of Shirley.

 A bag of trumpet daffodils I bought at a big box store are coming into bud, late for here because I did not chill them. Poppy seeds I scattered after the bulb bed was planted are not noticeable in photos but are coming along to hide maturing bulb foliage.

Had I not won these bulbs, there would have been no tulips here this year because I had decided Tulips were too much trouble and subject to pitfalls like voles and tulip fire disease. These turned out so well, I may plant some dark purples (my favorite) next season.

When reading about Tulips, Single Late are always mentioned as being most suitable for the Deep South. My experience is that Triumph tulips perform equally well, if not better, in my garden.

These tulips were given to me by Longfield Gardens as a result of my entering a giveaway on Facebook. Writing about them on my blog was not a condition of my receiving them.


  1. 'Shirley' is such a beautiful tulip! But then I love just about every kind of tulip there is and plant more and more of them each year. The main problem I have with tulips is that they don't live as long as most other spring bulbs, so I've started planting more Darwin hybrids which seem to live longer. I didn't know Muscari would re-bloom--these little purple beauties are so sweet.

  2. I'm quite envious of all your lovely tulips! Tulips were my favorite bulb, but I had to give them up years ago because of our rabbit problema. I had to turn to tulips, whichI love, but I miss all the colors of tulips.

  3. So pretty. I've previously argued with my husband that the ability to grow tulips (and herbaceous peonies) is sufficient reason to consider moving out of southern California. He hasn't accepted that argument as yet...

  4. Your tulips are gorgeous, Jean! Interesting that they recommend Single Late varieties as best for the Deep South. I've always heard that early season bloomers are best for such climates. I may have to test this next year!

  5. Beautiful Shirley tulips! They are so early in your country. In our tulipland, the Netherlands, we expect first flowering tulips the coming weeks.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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