Every year I try to plant a few T. acuminata (these from Brent and Beckys) in the front yard. They’re expensive as tulips go—about 4-5 bucks a bulb—and are considered heirloom. Most of the bulb experts seem to think they are an older hybrid, not a wild tulip, but their exact origins are a bit murky. Anna Pavord is a fan; she writes about them as being “spidery and mad.” Brent and Beckys thinks they date to 1813; Old House Gardens sees them as a survivor of the c. 1700s thin-petal tulip craze.
And not only are they expensive, they’re fussy. I put 5 in every year, but for whatever reason, they often fail to emerge. It’s a very exciting event when they do. This year’s are quite tall—I would say about 30”.
Spring does not exist without tulips as far as I’m concerned. Indeed, when winter transitions directly into summer, as it did this year, I need tulips to help me pretend that spring happened.