Gotta Garden

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What Not To Do: Tulips

So, I really do mean it when I say I've had it with plants/bulbs, etc. that are not as promised. Really, I do. And, I'm better...but not totally cured. Last fall I actually got all my bulbs planted in a mostly timely manner/fashion. That alone was record setting (for me).

When I happened upon these tulips

marked down for clearance, I thought to myself, "why not?" After all, every spring I look around and wish I had planted more tulips. Especially pink tulips. I don't know why, but I really like pink tulips (maybe because I have...ahem...a few daffodils around). The tulips I especially like (big ones!) do not return reliably here. The price of these was less than a bunch of fresh tulips. Good deal, yes?

Okay, flower probably guessed it...Do I have pink tulips???

No, not a single one. Zero. In fact, there's every color BUT pink. (Not's mostly red and yellow...) Would I have bought these if they were correctly labeled as a mix of colors (except pink)? Maybe. But, probably not (I had pink on my mind).

I know, you're probably saying that I only paid a small price for them. True, but I want/expect/demand (ha) that I get what I pay for. At least I intend to. From now on.

Down with vendors/sellers who sell you one thing and provide something totally different. I may have to consider this for the slice blog as I think this problem is epidemic.

If it matters to you (shouldn't it??), make a vow as I am to do your best to only support growers and sellers who provide a true product. It can't be that hard to put the proper label on your bulbs, can it?


Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

That bites. I have been sold wine and roses daylillies to have plain old yellow ditch lillies show up in spring.

kate smudges said...

This is one of those things that irritates me beyond measure. Tulips seem to be hit the hardest. Last spring, I had red tulips appear when I'd planted purple.

I hate when this happens with a perennial and instead of the colour of bloom promised, it turns out to be an entirely different one which looks awful with all the surrounding colours.

I think a slice is in order!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Hi! I've been thinking about your upcoming San Diego trip. My suggestions: Balboa Park for sure, and the San Diego Zoo (right next to the park) because it's botanical collection is more valuable than it's animal collection. You *might* even be able to wrangle a personal tour focusing on the plants if you contact them ahead of time and ballyhoo who you are. The hummingbird enclosure is especially nice. Ask about it, it is tucked away from the usual path. You can hop a bus for a one hour drive around the zoo to get your "must see" bearings.

Balboa Park should take about two hours to stroll through if you skip all the museums. There is a large rose garden across the street from the zoo and a cactus garden too. Plan another hour for that. The conservatory is nice.

Summers Past Farms is an excellent place to visit for a bit; it is about thirty minutes from downtown in Flinn Springs. I think you would enjoy meeting the owners and would find a kindred gardening spirit and enjoy discussing test gardens and new varieties of plants.

If you have an extra day, head up to Huntington Library in San Marino. It is a four hour drive from SD, but is the Crown Jewel of So. California gardens as far as I am concerned. You may see some of it from a recent visit on the blog "Much ado about something" which is linked from my blog.

You may be in San Diego as the periwinkle blue flowering jacaranda trees being blossoming. I sure hope so...ask about them if you don't see any on your own. May is often rather chilly with ocean breezes and fog, so don't think "tropical getaway" when packing. A sweater or sweatshirt is usually enough to keep you comfy when gadding about.

You might want to contact the San Diego chapter of Master Gardeners to see if anyone would like show off their private gardens. Several of the MG of San Diego have had their gardens in national publications. Oh so nice!

Have fun, and feel free to run any ideas past me if you'd like.

Christine said...

I planted two large bags of pastel tulips- and they are all deep purple!!! Oh well. I may have to try again in fall, I really want some pastel ones.

Babs said...

I would agree, it is an epidemic. I mail ordered Rembrandts and got solid red tulips. I bought purple tulips on clearance (I love a good sale)and they turned out pink. Like you said, can it really be that hard to properly package and label bulbs?

Wicked Gardener said...

Wow - I've never heard of bulbs that far off! Are tulips more unpredictable than other plants? Are they like hydrangeas where the color is effected by soil acidity? That would just drive me crazy.

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