It is always a momentous occasion when the tulip bulbs planted the previous autumn emerge and flower for the first time. Flamboyantly colored and ruffled, parrot tulips have a regal magnificence that deserves a place inside where their color gradations and markings can be admired. In the fading afternoon light, the painterly stripes of ‘Apricot Parrot’ glow with such warmth that one easily succumbs to its beauty. ~ Eric
Modern pansy hybrids (Viola x wittrockiana) often lack the fragrance of older seed strains, which gardeners in earlier eras enjoyed and picked for tussie-mussie or nosegays. These strains have delicate brush-like markings that appeared obliterated into indistinguishable blobs in modern strains. Some have attractive ruffling that recall the edge of crinoline skirts, giving the flowers a certain graceful femininity. Last spring, I grew some plants from seed, and took the liberty of picking a few to enjoy and smell indoors. Their scent was delicate, like that of a first June rose precociously welcoming summer. ~ Eric
Magnolia Black Tulip
Sometimes one flower of intense color and size, such as Magnolia Black Tulip is all needed for a grand statement in a bud vase. The beauty of a magnolia flower can allow one to admire its sumptuous form close-up when the flowers are usually held high in the tree. ~ Eric
Snowdrops are excellent cut flowers to bring indoors – the warmth of interiors intensifies their honey-like fragrance and one can admire them up close instead of crawling on the ground. Here a simple fluted silver bud vase is an elegant vessel for a few stems of Galanthus nivalis. Some gardeners sometimes carefully lift up clumps for temporary container subjects, replanting them as soon as the flowers are spent. An idea is to mold chicken wire into a container, wrap or stuff bark and mosses to conceal the wire, and ‘plant’ the snowdrops.
An old advertisement shows snowdrops stuffed into a high-heeled purple women’s shoe.