Hello Fellow Gardeners!

One of the most beloved of all spring-blooming bulbs is the tulip. Hardly does another flower evoke the colour and exuberance of the garden to come than this harbinger of the new season.

In this Alert we'd like to introduce you to Historic Tulips. These beautiful heirloom cultivars date to as far back as 400 years with 'Lac Van Rijn''s introduction in 1620! Our other varieties date to 1780 and the early 20th century.

Not only can you grow some unique and beautiful bulbs but you'll also be growing a link back through hundreds of years to the gardens and gardeners of the past.

Enjoy!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

 

 

Lady's Slipper Orchids



Pre-Order Now for October Pick-Up or Shipping.
We have 42 different species and cultivars of hardy Cypripedium lady's slipper orchids available for pre-order now for fall. Fall is the best time to plant and establish these beautiful garden orchids.
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Phoenix Perennials has been designated as a Canada 150 Garden Experience as one of the top garden experiences in the country on the occasion of Canada's 150th birthday.

 

The Beauty and History of Historic Tulips

Tulips were introduced to Europe in the mid to late 1500s. The bold shapes and colours of tulips were unlike any other flowers available in Europe at the time. They quickly caught the attention of botanists, horticulturalists, and, often wealthy, appreciators of plants and beautiful things.

The forms first introduced to Europe would have been botanical species from Turkey and Eurasia that arrived in and around the late 16th century. They soon became de rigeur and a sign of status in households both rich and poor. Botanists and horticulturalists began to hybridize them creating more and more exciting forms. By late 1636 and early 1637 'Tulipmania' was at its peak in Holland. The bulbs were so popular that the most desirable varieties could cost more than a house in Amsterdam at the time!


Tulipa 'Columbine' was introduced in 1929.

The tulip craze lead to a huge speculative market in tulips, one in which ordinary men clammered to participate because of the vast amounts of money being made. They sold their businesses, family houses, farm animals, home furnishings and dowries in order to buy bulbs that they had never seen.

Eventually, supply increased and the price of tulips plummeted. The "Tulip Crash" sent many people into bankruptcy. Others lost all of their savings. All because of the tulip. The Dutch government then introduced special trading restrictions in order to avoid further fits of uncontrollable plant lust on the part of its population.


Tulipa 'Insulinde' was introduced some time before 1915.

The chief stars/culprits of Tulipmania and the focus of so much speculation and desire were the Broken Tulips. These rare forms possesed unique feathers, flares, striping and spots with every flower being different. It was not discovered until the 1920s that these exquisite patterns were due to the presence of tulip breaking virus - a virus that is present today in all regions where tulips are grown - which caused the pigmentation on an otherwise solid-coloured tulip to break into the patterns so desired by collectors. In most cases this virus also caused a bulb to lose vigour over time and to eventually fizzle out.

However, in some historic varieties such as 'Absalon', introduced in 1780, the virus seems to cause the colour breaking but is otherwise benign not causing any other ill effects on the bulb. The other three varieties of Broken Tulips in our offerings --'Insulinde', 'Columbine', and 'The Lizard' -- were introduced in the early 20th century and also show great vigour.


Tulipa 'Absalon' was introduced in 1780.

Information on Broken Tulips and how to grow them is exceedingly hard to find and accounts are confusing as to if these tulips pose a risk to other tulips or to lilies which can also be affected. Our bulbs are grown at the Hortus Bulborum in the Netherlands where more than 4000 different heirloom tulip and other bulbs are grown. If the tulip breaking virus in these varieties was dangerous one would think that they would not be grown in such close proximity with so many other rare cultivars within such a historic and important collection. Also, the growing of virused tulips is illegal in the Netherlands also suggesting that these varieties do not pose a risk.

The virus, should there be any risk, can only be transferred by sap to sap contact between bulbs either through tools or aphids. As long as you're careful with maintaining clean tools and you make sure your Broken Tulips don't get aphids there should be no problems. You'll have beautiful, unique and intriguing tulips in your garden for years to come.

Older tulip varieties tend to have more staying power than recent Dutch hybrids which only seem to remain strong for a few years before needing to be replaced. You should be able to maintain these Historic Tulips for many years to come in your garden but here are some important tips:

1. Grow them in full sun in well-drained soil in the garden or in containers.
2. Give them their space so they are not overrun by perennials or shaded by shrubs.
3. Remove spent flowers after flowering to avoid energy being put into seed production.
4. Fertilize after flowering with bulb food or slow release fertilizer sprinkled on the surface of the soil.
5. Allow the foliage to remain as long as the leaves are green to achieve maximum time for photosynthesis and for restoring the energy in the bulb. Only once the leaves have turned yellow should they be removed.
6. Allow bulbs to rest in the soil over summer undisturbed and with not too much soil moisture. A hot, baking period is fine and often desired by tulips. They will be biding their time underground until they emerge in spring to amaze and delight you once again.

This year at Phoenix we are pleased to offer five varieties of Historic Tulips introduced from 1620 to 1929 including four different Broken Tulips. These have rarely, if ever, been offered in Canada before. They can be ordered now for pick-up or shipping in late Sept/early Oct. We hope you'll be inspired to try some in your garden. Here are this year's bulbs:

Tulipa 'Absalon' - Tulipa 'Absalon' is a true broken tulip introduced in 1780 during the Dutch Golden Age and Tulipmania and preserved at the Hortus Bulborum. Richly coloured with feathers, flames or marbles of burgundy-brown, chocolate, and yellow, their patterning will be recognizable to those familiar with still life painting. It is part of the historical group Bizarre. Large hybrid tulips can be maintained in the garden if given a sunny location with rich soil. Tulipa 'Columbine' - Tulipa 'Columbine' is a true broken tulip introduced in 1929 and preserved at the Hortus Bulborum. Richly coloured with feathers, flames or marbles of purple on lavender with white, their patterning will be recognizable to those familiar with still life painting. Large hybrid tulips can be maintained in the garden if given a sunny location with rich soil.
Tulipa 'Insulinde' - Tulipa 'Insulinde' is a true broken tulip from before 1915 preserved at the Hortus Bulborum. It opens with smooth, pale yellow flowers feathered with rose and transforms into a big ruffled flower richly coloured with feathers, flames or marbles of purple-burgundy on white. It is part of the historical group Bijbloemens. Large hybrid tulips can be maintained in the garden if given a sunny location with rich soil. Tulipa 'Lac Van Rijn' - Tulipa 'Lac Van Rijn' (pronounced Lock von Rhine) is a rare survivor of Tulipmania introduced in 1620 and preserved at the Hortus Bulborum. A single early tulip, it is crown shaped, in warm purple and ivory. Dutch tulips grow best where they do not have to compete with other plants. Large hybrid tulips can be maintained in the garden if given a sunny location with rich soil.
Tulipa 'The Lizard' - Tulipa 'The Lizard' is a true broken tulip introduced in 1903 and preserved at the Hortus Bulborum. Richly coloured with feathers, flames or marbles of deep lilac and rose on a background of yellow and white, their patterning will be recognizable to those familiar with still life painting. It is part of the historical group Bijbloemens. Large hybrid tulips can be maintained in the garden if given a sunny location with rich soil.

These Historic Tulips are available now for pre-ordering for pick-up or shipping in late Sept/early October.

Visit the Rare Bulb Pre-Order on our Phoenix Perennials Mail Order Site to see our full selection of over 200 rare bulbs. Both mail order and local customers should place their orders through our mail order system. Local customers should select the pick up option when checking out. Quantities are limited. Please order early to secure your favourites.

Our selection of rare bulbs will ship or be ready for pick-up in late September or early October, depending on when they arrive from Europe. Some bulbs may arrive later in a second shipment. For local customers, we will email you when it's time to pick up.

For mail order customers we will also email you in advance of shipping. We recommend you place separate orders for plants, bulbs, and Cypripedium as each is ready at different times and we wish to ship when these products are at their freshest. If you place multiple separate orders, put a note to us when you check out about these orders and we will see if we can ship your items together though the default will be to ship separately. If you combine plants, bulbs, and Cypripedium in the same order we will assume you want everything shipped together and will wait until your order is complete, unless there are reasons why we might want to ship ASAP.

Changes from last year:

  • We have made changes that should ensure we receive 90% of our bulbs this year so the majority of your order should be complete. These bulbs are rare for many reasons but mostly because they are slower to bulk up than bulbs that are more commonly available. For this reason, supplies at harvest time can be less than expected and we are usually shorted on some varieties. Please be understanding if we contact you in the fall that some of the bulbs you ordered are not available.
  • We will no longer be processing payment in advance. Payment will be processed just before pick-up or shipping.
  • We have made adjustments to our shipping calculations and packing methods that should decrease shipping costs this year on bulbs.

Ordering: Visit the Rare Bulb Pre-Order on our Phoenix Perennials Mail Order Site for full details. Mail order and local customers should both place your orders through our mail order system. When checking out, local customers should select the pick-up option. Mail order customers should select their preferred shipping method. The minimum order value to place a pre-order for mail order or pick-up is $40. Extra bulbs will be available for sale at Phoenix once pre-orders have been filled. Have fun!

 


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Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in the Lower Mainland.
3380 No. 6 Road, Richmond (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
604-270-4133
www.phoenixperennials.com
Please visit our web page for information on the nursery, driving directions and a map.
We are near the south end of the Knight Street Bridge and very easy to get to from all of the surrounding municipalities and beyond.

Opening Dates and Hours
February 24th to October 29th, 2017
10am-5pm


Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.

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