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Garvan Gardens Tulip Extravaganza

Public and botanical gardens are wonderful places to visit to see lots of color especially in spring when tulip displays are in bloom.  The woodland garden, Garvan Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas has an outstanding spring tulip display with well over 90,000 flowers.

Kristin Warner, Horticulturist, Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs AR:  Today is the part of the Tulip Extravaganza here at Garvan Gardens and we have worked very hard planting 90,000 tulips through the months of December and January and they are just now starting to bloom.

When you come to Garvan Gardens, you're going to be able to experience an array of colors, shapes, sizes and they will bloom starting in early March and they're going to bloom through late April. So, you will see early season tulips as well as your mid and late season tulips.

Maureen Tulips Today at Garvan Gardens, if you were to visit, you would see tulips that are blooming for the mid to late season. Some examples of these would be Angelique, which is a Peony tulip, which has more of a double bloom, similar to the double tulips. You would also see some Lily type tulips such as ‘Pretty Woman’ or ‘Poker Fanfare’. Most of you will be familiar with the Triumph tulip, which is the most common shape of a tulip. It's the very traditional flower, almost egg-shaped. Some examples of that are ‘Mrs. John Scheepers’, which is blooming right now. It's a very beautiful yellow single flower. Another type of tulip also is the Darwin tulip, which is very similar to the Triumph tulip. Some examples are the ‘Golden Parade’ and the ‘Apeldoorn’, which is a beautiful orange tulip.

The biggest issue you will have with planting tulips is that they are not a perennial bulb in our Southern climate. Our summers are just too hot, they usually will rot and the ones that you will get to survive through the winter will not blend properly the next year. You might have 60% to 80% of your bulbs bloom next year if you do leave them in the ground.

Another big problem with tulips is that the deer love to eat them. If you want to have a beautiful tulip garden each year, you should probably replant your bulbs.

Tulipa clusiana Lady JaneWe have had the best luck with the hybrids, Darwin hybrids. However, you can also purchase a species tulip. These are a little bit smaller blooms, but they will come back for you each and every year. Two examples of species tulips that would come back for you every year are ‘Lilac Wonder’ and ‘Lady Jane’. Both of these are unimproved tulips, so like I said their blooms are a little bit smaller, but they're very beautiful and they will come back for you every year.

Here at Garvan Gardens, this year we have 63 varieties of tulips and we encourage you to come through and look at each and every one of them. Make a list of the ones that you particularly like. The bulbs are readily available in the fall at your local nurseries.

Tulips are a very easy plant to grow in your garden. There are so many different colors and varieties to choose from that you can pick the colors that fit your landscape the best and go out and buy them in the fall and plant them in your garden and in the springtime you'll have a spectacular show.