MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Monday, May 3, 2010

Four Tulip Containers


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Happy as a clam. This expression describes my feelings when I see my potted tulips. The value pack of 60 tulips included 45 Judith Leyster and 15 Queen of the Night.
The brown clay belly pot is the biggest from four of them and hosts 19 bulbs.
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I didn't expect my potted tulips to last long. A short bloom period, after all, is typical for all tulips. I need to say that I am surprised. This first bunch, which is featured in my post First Tulip Container has been blooming already for two weeks. Even heavy rains and April hail didn't damage the blooms.
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The second bunch of pink tulips, 15 of them, was planted later in a big terracota pot.
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I showed this front bed metamorphosis in Front Garden Bed. Spring 2010 . It's obvious that splashes of color make it more attractive now when there are very few blooms from the plants already in the ground.
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The Judith Leyster bulbs, below, were planted later, in the beginning of December and opened later than the others from this group. The Kittycat looked lonely before, staring at the empty driveway. Now, he is a happy fellow who gets additional inspiration from the lovely blooms.
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All 15 Queen of Night bulbs went to one pot.
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Planted the last, they started blooming last. The lightweight pale green container goes well with the blooms' dark color.
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Queen of Night blooms are on the smaller side, but altogether they create a nice bunch.
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Final notes:
Planting time (November and early December) was not a scientifically calculated time for planting bulbs in my area. It just happened that I bought the bulbs in late fall and then dillydallying for several weeks. It was cold and wet at that time, and I literally forced myself to get out there and do the job.

You might want to find the best time to plant tulip bulbs in your garden. This is one of the recommendations at http://perennial-plants.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_grow_tulips_from_bulbs:

"The ideal time for planting tulip bulbs varies by Climate Hardiness Zone. For most zones, bulbs should be planted in September or early October. However, for warmer zones, the following exceptions apply:
Zones 6 and 7 – plant in October or early November
Zones 8 and 9 – plant in November or early December and refrigerate bulbs for at least 6-8 weeks beforehand
Zone 10 – plant in late December or early January and refrigerate bulbs for at least 8-10 weeks beforehand.
Soil should be below 60 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of planting."

Bonemeal was added to the soil.
Pots stood outside through the winter.
Cost of the pack of 60 bulbs was $10. Doesn't it sound good? Four containers of tulips for ten dollars? $2.50 per container... I love the sound of it!
The soil was a mix of whatever was available - some compost, some native sandy soil, some Tagro (local mix made from biowaste). Two of the pots, the light-green and off-white were rummage sale buys, the terracota one was inherited from a neighbor who moved away. The glazed brown belly pot was bought 5 years ago for 30 dollars.

All in all, I am very happy with the tulips in the containers. It'll be interesting to see how they'll behave next year. But, even if they won't grow well or won't come out at all, it was great to have them this season. Treat them as annuals - this is what many of you say about tulips.
Summarizing the advantages of having tulips in pots:

-Easier to plant in not-perfect soil;
-Easy to move to beautify certain areas in the garden;
-Smaller risk to being dug out by creatures as voles, gophers, deers and squirrels (thank you sweet bay, Kate , Curbstone Valley Farm !);
-Easier to hide dying foliage (thank you Grace Peterson , What's Blooming This Week? and Jo !); -No risk to accidentally digging into them during the summer while working with other plants growing nearby (thank you Catherine - A Gardener in Progress!);
-Easier to plant when soil is wet/frozen or when we are just lazy (thank you Liz !),
-Easy to uproot them when we want to divide the bulbs (thank you James Missier !)
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Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

42 comments:

  1. Gorgeous Tatyana! I just love your garden area around your home...tulips do not do well in our area...sigh

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  2. Your tulips are absolutely beautiful, and I never tire of them! I wish they would bloom all year long...but then, I suppose they wouldn't be such a special treat each spring. :) I love your containers, too.

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  3. Танюша, вот это красавцы!!!!! Просто класс!!! Я смотрю и все больше и больше мечтаю и жду когда у меня будет дом с участком земли).... Очень жду фото Королевы ночи) И спасибо за сайт с рекомендациями по взращиванию тюльпанов)

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  4. Hi Tatyana,

    Wonderful pots and photos, they make excellent features!

    Do you have anything planned once the blooms are over? Are there summer bulbs planted underneath such as Lilies?

    My Tulips have been flowering for a couple of weeks too but are now beginning to die... Such a shame, especially as there's nothing to replace them. I'm not so good at this whole planning malarky!

    I hope you have a good week :)

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  5. You've convinced me -- I need to try tulips in containers. They really add a beautiful touch to your garden.

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  6. They are absolutely stunning. Might I also say that Japanese Maple in a couple of the pictures is beautiful, as well.

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  7. Looking so, so good.

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  8. Looking so, so good.

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  9. Hi T..wow..I loved seeing these shots of your garden space! Lovely and Brilliant! thanks for all this awesome info..i have been interested in doing tulips in planters..great info! Yours looks mega-beautiful..and I love your fiddler..how charmig a soul!! This post sparked me..gorgeous! Have a wonderful week!
    Kiki~

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  10. I am a believer! That is definately on my to do list for this fall. Yours are absolutely beautiful!! Carla

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  11. Your tulip pots look so pretty now Tatyana. They sure do add a punch of color to the beds. A steal in price compared to the beauty they brought.
    No wonder that little kitty is fiddling away. ;-) So cute!
    Your acer maple is so gorgeous. I had a few of the Queen of Night tulips but only one scrawny one bloomed this year so I will be jerking them up.

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  12. Lucky tulips to get such tlc! It was worth it though they look great!

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  13. what great value Tatyana and what terrific results. They look so good there in amongst your other plants. I wish I had put some tulips in pots as I am recreating a new bed and moving plants about and I am literally "tiptoeing through the tulips" and wishing I had planted them in pots.

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  14. Beautiful post Tatyana!! The pots do a fabulous job of raising the tulips in the bed so they are prominent amongst the other plants. Thank you for the Thank you, it's very thoughtful of you! :)

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  15. Tulips in containers, what a lovely sight. I wish i could grow them as easily. My favorite is queen of night because of its attractive colors.

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  16. Great to see how well they're doing. Ours (zone 3) are just starting to wake up.

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  17. Thank you for sharing your tulips, we don't have any this year, but I really do want to try some in containers next spring. Gophers and deer be darned!

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  18. Beautiful! Are you going to plant something in the pots when the tulips are done blooming? I've sorta given up on Tulips since they tend to be an annual in my garden. Maybe I should try putting them in pots...

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  19. Tatyana, this is a really good idea, I may do some of my tulip planting in pots next year too. And they look great too!

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  20. Tatyana, This is such a good idea. I will definitely follow your lead on this. -Jean

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  21. Well, you sold me...I am going to have tulip containers next spring. You bought a lot of bulbs for $10. Also, your front bed looks beautiful!

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  22. Love your pots. The tulips look great in them - so full and lush. Clip the flower stalks after they are done blooming, give them another sprinkle of bone meal, and you may be surprised by another year of beauty!

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  23. Very nice Tatyana,
    I keep thinking every year that I should plant some tulips in containers. I think you've made up my mind to just do it this fall. Your tulips are so great. I know the feeling when big rains hit and you think you're gonna loose a lot of blooms. So glad you didn't loose your tulips.
    Really love the bottom container with the fake handles. Love it!
    Have a great one!

    Annelie

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  24. Thanks for all these great tips, Tatyana. I've never planted tulips in pots before, but the point about no squirrels or voles makes me very tempted to try this. I had one whole planting mysteriously disappear this year:)

    Your tulips are gorgeous, and they add such bright spots of color to your beautiful garden. I don't know if you planned it or not, but the cat fiddler looks perfect placed behind the tulips--he looks inspired:)

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  25. They bring a smile to my face too!

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  26. Girl you have out done yourself with these beautiful tulip blooms. I love what you did with them in the containers. I bet they come back next year especially if it gets cold like it is supposed to.

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  27. Everything looks pretty nifty in your garden, Tatyana, and you're miles ahead of us (or me) in growth.

    Unsure what happened with the link you tried to post... even more puzzling, as we're both on Blogspot. I heard things were a little wacky yesterday, when someone attempted to leave a comment on Toronto Gardens, but couldn't. Perhaps it was gremlins? Anyway, thanks for the generous thought.

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  28. You have inspired me! I can't grow tulips where the deer and other critters can reach them, but containers are doable. Even in my warmer zone, I think I can find some spots.

    Wish I had stunning containers like yours...great finds! I am gradually picking up glazed/pottery/concrete planters as I find them on sale. Someday, the fiberglass containers will go away (though I started spray painting them this year and like the results).

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  29. They are lovely. Queen of Night looks as if it isn't finished yet and the blossoms will get darker and bigger.

    Good show. Thanks for showing us this. Maybe my dog will be mature enough by year that I could start some tulips this year and she wouldn't eat them like before.

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  30. Hi Tatyana - wow - your pots are terrific and your succession planting really worked. Can't wait to see the Queen of the Night open - they're one of my favorites.

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  31. This is a great post on tulips with great information. I like the idea of growing the tulips in pots. Yours are beautiful!

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  32. Gorgeous! If I had the room in my fridge to keep the bulbs, I'd do that too.

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  33. Hi Tatyana~~ What a fun post. Your tulips are just luscious! I love the replies you received...many I agree with but didn't think to mention.

    Your gardens are absolutely gorgeous dear.

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  34. Tatyana this is a wonderful post. Such a great idea to plant these pretty tulips in different pots to really make a statement. They look so healthy also the leaves look attractive. Your garden looks good as it has a big variety of colour, shape and size of plants. The Tulip pots add extra beauty. The cat playing the fiddle adds a whimsical note.
    I enjoyed your post very much. I love tulips but they won't grow in my climate. I appreciate seeing different plants in cool climate gardens.

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  35. What a great idea with the tulips! That's why blogs are so wonderful, you can get so many ideas from other gardeners.-- Randy

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  36. Great idea for the tulips! I'll certainly bookmark this!

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  37. A stunning array of tulips, Tatyana, and a creative way to focus on the beauty of each. I do a few pots but most are in my gardens. Sad to say, although they more than pleased me this spring, the very last few are now bowing out.

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  38. Hi Tatyana, you are a true tulipophile! I do appreciate the tulips but I absolutely and totally adore the feline violinist in the first picture! cheers, catmint

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  39. Very, very nice Tatyana! Your cat playing the fiddle made me smile, along with your gorgeous tulips in containers.

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  40. And I dream of tulips... in tropical gardens....

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  41. I wanted to add that your garden looks very beautiful -- all of the different shades and textures of green, the flowering Euphorbia next to the window, the Japanese Maples, and then the inspired addition of potted tulips. I especially love the 5th picture. I could look at that all day.

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  42. Great idea Tatyana, like the pots in borders. The Queen of the night one under the tree caught my eye too. Very nice. Just to say that I’ve added this post to a bit of a tulip photo fest I’ve been running all week. You can see it here. If you’ve any more tulip pics you’d like to share :-D

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