Friday, May 16, 2008

Tulip 'Yellow Present'

It's not often that a tulip would turn my head and even rarer that I would be so impressed by its beauty as to pick up the phone before I even pulled into the parking lot to call a friend who works at the botanical garden to find out what it was. But that's exactly what happened. I'm not a tulip snob--really, I'm not. It's just that they don't always grow terribly well down here in the south and so often our spring seasons get so warm, so fast that they just don't last that long and the flowers just aren't as robust and beautiful as they are further north.

A few weeks ago, though, I pulled in the front gate at Cheekwood (our botanical garden here in Nashville, and was completely smitten by the beauty of the tulip display in front of the restaurant at the entrance to the property. Before I even pulled into the parking lot, I was on the phone leaving a message for one of my friends who works there to inquire as to its name. "'Yellow Present' from Brent and Becky's Bulbs," ( the return message said a little later in the day. A present, indeed!

I'm partial to yellow anyway, so there was already a warm spot in my heart for it. But it wasn't just the fact that it was yellow, it was the shade of yellow--a warm, but soft sulfur-yellow upon opening that faded to the softest shade of blonde. The form was outstanding, too, with a large, goblet-shaped bloom held aloft at the end of a generous stem perfect for display in the garden as well as the vase. Rest assured, this will be one tulip that finds its way into my garden next spring and probably for many springs to come!

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