About Tulips

Frilled Parrot Tulip.

Although we had a little allotment for a while in my childhood, we never had Tulips there. The main flowers were Dahlias which are as well very colourful. Around Easter, Tulips were available and sought after as cut Flowers. Then you had to wait for another year to see some again. We are speaking of Cherbourg in the 1980's that is, on the Market Place: La Place du Chateau. Mainly the Tulips were the standard Red ones.

Van Eyck Tulips under the rain.JPG

Red Van Eijk blossoming in my Garden, (2022). They were supposed to be dark Orange those ones but they didn't. They did turn out more red than I did expect. However they showed up and I will have more next year.

Going to Holland (Netherland) with my Father on a two weeks school holiday, I witnessed the beauty of fields full of colourful Tulips blossoming: magnificent. There are two things which acttract me to a Tulip, its shape and its colour. The only thing which annoys me the most is its life time as a blossoming Flower: It doesn't last long then we have to wait for another year before having another glimpse of a 'Déjeuner de Soleil'.


My Black Tulip and my Orange ones flowering together.

My colour scheme regarding Tulips is rather simple: Dark to black ones contrasted by flamboyant orange to red Tulips. However over the years, the capacity to grow them to flourish at the same time is rather scattered. Despite me trying it does elude me. All I can say for myself is that I am definitely not an expert on the matter.

I must confess that since watching the 1964 movie 'the Black Tulip' performed with main actor Alain Delon, I did romanticise in my young mind then (around the 80's) the concept of a Tulip which was as black as night. I also read the Alexandre Dumas Novel named 'La Tulipe Noire', which I enjoyed but was a different story altogether. At roughly a very similar time it came to my knowledge that a real Black Tulip never existed.


Black Parrot Tulips from my Garden.

Somehow and for some reasons which I will qualify as almost the pursuit of a Dream, an Idea, romantic or not, has been a pineacle of the non obtainable for many. It works a little like a myth. Anyhow in 18/Feb/1986 Geert visiting his Greenhouse one last time around the midnight hours, found the closest that there was to be of a Black Tulip. It still had purple hues. However the knowledge of that find, breakthrough, made me smile endlessly because sometimes in the future it was possible to bestow a Black Tulip in one's garden and this is what I did, years later, in my suburbian London Garden, having Black Tulips or near Black ones.


  An Orange Tulip with Black Tulips. The colour combination works well together.

Tulips have been expensive for years, studied for years, collected for centuries, and I must say if I bestowed an original book about Tulips I would cherish it very much so indeed. The Botanical Drawings done back in the days were pieces of art in themselves.