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Do not open until spring

The weather has been just gorgeous here, sunny and close to 70 for the past couple of days. I spent yesterday afternoon outside, and finally got my new tulips planted.

I visited a flower market in Amsterdam, and was astounded by the variety and abundance. Truly, I was astounded by the plants everywhere, from parks to urban windowboxes. But oh, the tulips!


I wandered through, looking at the photos. “I want that one, and that one, and ooooh pretty!” But I was positive that it would be highly embarrassing if not worse for a USDA employee to be caught smuggling tulip bulbs through customs, so I brought back nothing but notes.

Breck’s is happy to import Dutch tulip bulbs for me – all I have to do is pay for them, with no complicated paperwork or customs inspections for me to think about. I bought them on the October day that we got 7 inches of snow, so I might have gotten a little carried away: “Think of spring! Think of spring! Don’t think about snow in October!”

So, come spring, my front flowerbed will look like this:



And the side bed will feature an assortment of these:




Nick’s mother’s mailbox will be surrounded with brightly-colored blooms, and my mother’s house will have some new spring flowers. My brother Nate and his wife Laura bought a new house this summer with a lot of land, so they certainly needed Dutch tulip bulbs of their own.

I will report back with real photographs in the spring.

5 Comments on “Do not open until spring”

  1. #1 cyndy
    on Nov 9th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    OH! Really nice color in that second photo!

    I have some old Red Emperor’s that have bloomed year after year after year..They are always sure to cheer me in the spring …I love the way they look just before they open.

    Thanks for the link to Brecks ( and oh my..those black ones!)

  2. #2 Phiala
    on Nov 9th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    The black tulips are called ‘Queen of Night’, and apparently they’re very popular in the Netherlands. I hadn’t seen them before, but those are the bulbs that convinced me I had to order some when I got back.

  3. #3 Ruth
    on Nov 10th, 2009 at 8:10 am

    I never knew anything about tulips till I recently read (OK–listened to via audiobook) “The Botany of Desire,” by Michael Pollan. Fascinating history & genetics. May all your bulbs bloom next spring!

  4. #4 Marjorie
    on Nov 11th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I’m sure they’ll be lovely.

    I have some wooden tulips which I bought when I went to Amsterdam 0 the bloom in blue glass bottles on my kitchen windowsill, all year round.

  5. #5 Laura
    on Nov 13th, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Oh, lovely tulips!

    Very smart of you to not attempt to foil Customs. They have special dogs to sniff out contraband vegetables, tulip bulbs, and the like.

    I’m pretty sure there are tulip bulbs in the duty-free shop in the airport, but I’m also pretty sure the selection is not extensive.

    Those black blooms are beautiful. (Alliterative fix.)