Dotting The I’s, Crossing The T’s
A webshop is just like a normal shop, in my experience. You can ‘walk through’ every day, see if everything is still in its rightful place, if it looks and feels clean, and see if everything is easy enough to find. Still, this is more natural when you have a real-life shop: then, it’s much easier to see what’s going on. But that doesn’t mean that a web shop does not need the same treatment. Every time I start my computer to casually walk through our web shop, I run into things I feel could be better, more polished, etc. Sometimes I even find products that don’t have a description yet–no idea how I could have forgotten about that, but apparently, I did. Then, the question I am left with is always: what should come first? Web descriptions, or a weekly news blog? I did want to tell you about the Dahlia gardens this week, but I am not happy that there are some beautiful Tulips out there without any kind of text accompanying them. So in this newsletter, I will try to combine the two.
Every Spring, I run into a couple of amazing new finds during my numerous adventures looking for more bulbs to add to our assortment. This year, I consider my biggest find to be Akebono Red: a red variant of the already existing Akebono. You might know Akebono already, as she is one of the easiest Tulips out there: large and strong, and can do well in any garden. A healthy Tulip if you’ve ever seen one. When I ran into the red version, I knew I’d have to buy it to offer it to you, too. The colour of red Akebono displays is one you seldom encounter in a Tulip: bright and shiny. An enormous addition to our assortment, especially for any beginning gardeners out there. I found Akebono Red at the nursery of Van Klink located at De Stolpen, and I told him right away that I was interested as soon as he had enough of them to be able to sell. Freek, the grower, has done an internship with us during his years at trade school, so it was a kind of full-circle moment for all of us that he was now ready to sell us a variety of his own. If you want a beautiful, red Tulip to light up your garden this Spring, I fully recommend Akebono Red for the job. Next year, she’ll be available in larger numbers.
A nice, soft colour with a beautifully shaped flower: these Tulips almost remind you of Roses, the kind that show up with two, three, or four at the same stem. Behind the scenes, we have been waiting for a worthy follow-up to all-time Tulip legend Angelique for decades. Angelique has been one of the most appreciated garden Tulips out there for years on end, a true classical beauty–the Audrey Hepburn of Tulips. But this newcomer might just give Angelique a break and a well-deserved holiday: Angelique is getting harder to grow in large numbers as many pesticides that have made growing her easy are rightfully being banned and traded for more environmentally friendly options. Luckily, growers have been able to create a sturdier Tulip that doesn’t need these chemical additions in order to thrive, so Angelique may rest easy, probably still being shown at the flower bulb retirement home: The Hortus Bulborum in Limmen. Miriage is ready to take over her throne, and I hope you are also excited to try this new version of an absolute classic.
This is one of those cases that makes me doubt whether some growers are fully paying attention when it comes to food. Either they are not, or they have simply never eaten fish in their life, because to call a Tulip like this Salmon? Really? I think they should maybe order it next time they have sushi or go to a restaurant, just to see the colour of what they receive. I’m never sure why there are no colleagues or friends telling them that they should maybe think of something different: In my opinion, it’s a complete miss to name this Tulip Salmon Lalibela. But however wrong the name, the Tulip is simply fantastic. A gorgeous Tulip that looks like the CEO of your entire garden, the fiery colours just give off that vibe. She has been selected purely based on her extraordinary health, so she will definitely do well in your garden. She brings a dramatic flair and lots of colour wherever you place her. This is a true Darwin hybrid Tulip: large, strong, healthy, colourful. I won’t say that she will come back for years after you’ve planted her, as Tulips are just not like that no matter what others tell you in a sales pitch or how much we want them to, but it is possible to get this variety to come back multiple years if circumstances are ideal and you take optimal care of her. When you plant Salmon Lalibela, you potentially have a Tulip that you will see again in two- or even three years.
Now, I’ll quickly visit the Dahlia gardens in South Holland. I’ll see if I can tell you more about those next week, but you all know how well I do when I try to plan a subject in advance… anyway. First, I’ll go to De Tulperij in Voorhout, they have the largest number of varieties. Almost all growers plant their assortment there in order to be able to see what’s out there and who grows it. It’s also open to the public. If you don’t know about the place yet, just google ‘De Tulperij Voorhout’. Truly a must-see for any Dahlia enthusiast. And, you never know which grower you’ll run into when visiting!
Carlos van der Veek