I apprecite tulips. I enjoy seeing colourful massed displays, but I'm not overly enamoured of them in my garden, partly because they need to be lifted each year and replanted in Autumn or early Winter.
I admit I purchased my Tulipa kaufmanniana 'Heart's Delight' from Lambley Nursery because the accompanying information stated that they can be left to naturalise. I read that these tulips originated in Turkistan where they grow in the wild and they were introduced in to Europe in 1877 by a Dutch company-of course! I think they are not particularly well-known here in Australia.
I was completely unprepared for the pleasure these small tulips have provided in my early Spring garden. They are only about 15 cm tall at the most but what they lack in size, they more than make up for in impact.
Every evening the petals close up completely, furled protectively around the inner parts, showing their cerise-coloured undersides.
As the sun rises, they begin to uncurl. It's almost possible to see it happening. I feel if I had the patience, and a comfortable seat, I could watch this greeting of the day, as it occurs.
Finally they open fully and display the inside of their creamy petals, butter yellow anthers and scallops of pink.
No wonder that this tulip is called 'Heart's Delight'. It has captured my heart for fully a week.
Do you have a favourite tulip?