Sometimes, variety is a nuisance rather than a spice

One Saturday last autumn I read the weekly column of a Danish gardening guru as every Saturday. I like his language a lot and read it to enjoy just that as I’m not the keenest of gardeners. That particular week he wrote of tulips: So many of the modern, mor or less artsy varieties have weak bulbs that wither and rot away in the ground after few years of bloom. For just that reason he didn’t like tulips.

Then again he still did. He liked the old varieties known as “Appeldoorn” which are healthy and come back steadily year after year. And since his local garden centre had their tulip bulbs on sale due to end of season he bought a bucketfull of those healthy bulbs. The final note was one telling every reader to do likewise.

Now I have neither money or space for that many tulips and instead took a more silly approach: I selected the whitest ones and the darkest ones, bought only 30 odd and laid them down as checkered as I could. With this current result :

tulipaner set forfra

tulipaner set fra siden

It worked much less fantastically than I hoped for. Because in the process of crossing and getting as many varieties as possible, blooming time and stem lengths began to diversify as well. Which brings me back to this week’s headline: It’s a nuisance.

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