It’s Tulip Mania!

Posted on Sep 8, 2012 | 0 comments

Tulip Rembrandt MixNative to Turkey, tulips were in cultivation long before they traveled West with Ambassador Busbecq in the mid-1550’s, and many colors and forms must have been present before German artist Konrad Gesner published his famous illustration in 1559 of a long-stemmed, red-flowered tulip. But this painting was the first glimpse Europeans had ever seen of a tulip, and the reaction was electric.

The painting was made from a tulip variety growing in the Imperial Garden of Vienna. Carolus Clusius was the head of that Garden, a good friend of Busbecq, and a passionate gardener. When he accepted an appointment at Leiden University in Holland, he brought tulips with him.

It is believed that the first tulips flowered in Holland in 1594, in the garden Clusius had planted the year before. An avid tulip breeder, Clusius cultivated an enormous tulip garden and offered his new varieties for sale at outrageous prices. Many local gardeners responded by slipping into Clusius’s gardens and digging up their favorites. By the early 1600s, tulip growing was changing from a gardening passion into a business.

Tulip Mania began in earnest in 1634, fueled by a virus that caused tulip petals to become wildly streaked with bold colors. (Today’s Rembrandt Mix is the closest contemporary tulip to these Dutch classics.) No two flowers looked exactly alike, and everyone wanted them. Florists even developed a special ceramic vase called a tulipiere to hold each stem separately, so that the blooms could be enjoyed individually rather than massed together.

Fortunes were made and lost overnight in tulip speculation. Single bulbs were auctioned for outrageous prices, and ships that sank or cargo that rotted ruined potential investors. Finally the entire enterprise crashed in 1637. Interestingly, this exact phenomenon was repeated in the Turkish market in the early 1700s.

Tulips remain one of the most popular bulbs in the world, with new varieties developed every year.  Treat your garden to the plant that rocked Europe and created a sensation in the economic fortunes of thousands! Until Monday, September 10th, all of these gorgeous flowers are up to 40% off. Choose your favorites, and enjoy your own Tulip Mania!

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Flower Bulbs & Fall Shipping

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 | 2 comments

Tulip Minuet

It's September – temperatures are dropping. The fall planting season is upon us, and Wayside Gardens has plenty of fresh flower bulbs stacked and ready to go. You can smell them walking through the coolers, a crisp, earthy smell. By the middle of this month, we will be shipping to most zones, and these living packages of beautiful botanical potential will be nestled into your garden, waiting for spring.

Flower bulbs really are great – a fun and simple project for novice gardeners, and a wide brush full of bright paint for those veteran garden artists looking to dump huge amounts of quick color into their landscape design.

There are a couple of dazzling new and unique flowers in our bulb line-up this year. Please check out the tulips 'Black Jewel' and 'Doll's Minuet' – I promise, they are like no tulips you've seen before. Another featured favorite this year is Colchicum 'Water Lily' – these large sprawling bloom actually look like floating waterlilies. Make sure to check out the rest of our fall flower bulbs.

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Astilbe 'October Skies'

Use Mulch and Ground Covers

Planting ground-covers and using mulch to fill in your fall beds will make it more difficult for unwanted weeds to establish themselves, helping you to naturally maintain your garden. The ground-cover both smothers potential weeds, blocking out the light,
and helps your current plants by holding in moisture and maintaining a
constant temperature.

You will be working in your garden to remove all of your weeds before planting anything this fall anyway, why not plant something to take up space to help keep them from coming back.

Clean Up the Summers Growth Before Planting for Fall

Removing all of the excess plant material before planting new crops is essential for the success of your fall bulbs, flowers, and vegetables. Annual weeds can be removed with a hoe or by hand. Perennial weeds must be completely dug out to prevent future growth.

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Tulipa 'Doll's Minuet'

Tulips are generally impressive, the varieties available from Wayside Gardens this fall are no exception. These new tulips offer an exciting new perspective on an old garden classic. Breeders have definitely taken a few liberties with the traditional tulip blooms and foliage, often looking more like some impressionist rendering of a tulip than a simple flower.

Tulipa 'Doll's Minuet' is a perfect example of these dynamic tulip varieties. The deep rosy petals twist and dance out of the bud like a slowly growing fire. This is one flower that will have your garden guests doing double-takes.

Another beautiful new tulip, Tulipa 'Black Jewel', has deep maroon, frilled petals with tiny sparkles of gold flecks on their tips. It is a very classy and intriguing flower with long sturdy stems perfect for cut-flower arrangements.

Bulbs will ship in the fall for fall planting. Remember, fall is the best time of the year for planting!

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Does anybody remember way back on Dec. 26 when I shared some pictures of the the amaryllis in our office? Well I just thought I would follow up with a picture now that it has bloomed. It really is pretty. If any of you purchased one of the Wayside Garden's Amaryllis this holiday season and would like to share your blooms with us feel free to email them to me at tandrews@parkseed.com. If you do, I'll post them here for everybody to see. If you don't have any amaryllis pictures, I may also post pictures of your cat, if I think they are funny.

If you missed out, check out other items in the Wayside Gardens Bulb Collection. I'll post pictures of those too, once they bloom–just send them in. Here's our office Amaryllis – well, it's Jamie's amaryllis, but I believe I have the best view of it from my desk.

Office amaryllis

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It's obviously too late to order them for the holidays, but there is plenty dull winter left to brighten up, and a huge blooming fragrant houseplant is just what you need. We've got Amaryllis in green, red, and white–the Jade Serpent is my favorite. With up to 8 huge, lime-green to white blooms in just over a month, it is sure to give you the winter sparkle you're looking for.

It isn't all about the blooms. They grow so fast, you can actually notice the change throughout the day. A coworker who's desk is next to mine has been tracking hers every few hours for the last couple weeks. They are really fun to grow, and the spectacular blooms are really worth the build-up.

You can see here where she was keeping measurements for the the first nine days, from 12/15 until Christmas Eve. But now it's too big for this envelope.
Amaryllis 005

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