Friday, May 11, 2012

The Great Purple Tulip Experiment

'Blue Parrot'
Day 113
The Daily DuBrule

The last of my purple tulips have opened this week. Two weeks of rain have melted the flower petals from all the other varieties. All of them bloomed earlier than expected. I learned a lot from my experiment.

Last fall I brought home ten each of ten varieties of purple tulips. I picked early, mid, and late bloomers, singles and doubles, and all shades of purple. I labeled each variety with a permanent metal marker. As they opened, I took photos and noted their exact bloom time and how long they lasted as well as what shade of purple they really were since the tags on the boxes and the photos in the catalogs can be pretty deceptive.

The last to bloom is 'Blue Parrot'. This tulip is really a pretty shade of lavender purple. Parrot tulips are ruffled and really unusual looking. Although this experiment is taking place at home in Middletown, I also saw purple parrots opening at Natureworks yesterday so I am correct in assuming that they are late bloomers pretty across the board. 
'Negrita' is just finishing as 'Blue Parrot' is opening

The winner of the deepest purple and longest lasting purple tulip of the ten I planted was 'Negrita' hands down. This is a fabulous bulb and I will certainly order lots of them and plant them in all of the gardens I tend. 
Most of my purple tulips were planted in a raised bed with garlic!

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