Unripe Tulips

These last few days have been like the big climb on a rollercoaster, where it goes really really slowly, slower, slower…almost stops…you can see the whole theme park below you…

You know any second now, it’s all going to happen, and your breath is going to be taken away, and you will feel the most overwhelming head-rush and will be plunged headlong into TULIPS!!!

Well, we’re on the crest, the brink…

But not quite.

So whilst I’m twiddling my thumbs, we really must appreciate the beauty of UNRIPE TULIPS!

This is ‘Ballerina’, doing her warm-ups.  Look at the purple tights!  The shot-silk of her balero, her fingers just stretching out of the sleeves to reveal a hint of orange!

Tulipa ‘Ballerina’ in bud

The species tulips, Tulipa sylvestris are looking on from the wings.

Tulipa sylvestris

In the green room, knocking back a quick drink are ‘Brown Sugar’ and ‘Westpoint’.  ‘Brown Sugar’ is getting a little bit flushed.  ‘Westpoint’ is positively green: that’s stage-fright.

‘Negrita’ is crossing her arms, tight-lipped, not saying a word:

Tulipa ‘Negrita’

‘Showcase’ are getting raucous in the dressing room.  They have a full face of make-up and are just teasing their hair into place:

The orchestra are tuning.  Here’s the Euphorbia palustris, fit to burst:

Whilst ‘Fireglow’ has started to spin!

The peonies in the audience are standing up to get a better view:

‘Couleur Cardinal’ is wearing his best robes, but they are looking just a little bit musty from being in the attic so long.  He likes to call it a “smoky plum sheen”.


There’s ‘Temple of Beauty’, incognito, with her band of ‘Little Beauty’ children, and the Grande Dame, ‘Chato’, in all her finery.

Are you ready?

Which are the first tulips in your garden?  Which do you most look forward to?

My aim on this site is to share the sense of wonder I get from gardening and being outdoors.

If you would like to join the joy, click on the ‘Follow’ button at the end of this post. You will receive an email each time I post a little pop of wonder.

40 Comments Add yours

  1. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, can’t wait to see them all out, Ali. I think Negrita is disapproving: I’m sure she has her lips pursed!

    1. Ali says:

      She does look cross, doesn’t she. Of course she’s seen it all before.

  2. Lora Hughes says:

    So many beautiful faces, so many varied expressions. Can’t wait for the curtain to go up & the dance to begin! Gorgeous photos.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Lora! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

  3. These are all beautiful. My plain red tulips are in full bloom but the remainder are slowly unfurling. I will be showcasing them soon.

    1. Ali says:

      I look forward to that. I can’t get enough tulips!

  4. Sharon says:

    Great post and lovely tulips. I like the way you’ve given each tulip a personality😄

    1. Ali says:

      I can’t really help it with this bunch of divas!

  5. Gorgeous photos of very beautiful Tulips. Ours are in various stages of unripe, ripe and over ripe! I love that way of describing them. 🙂

    1. Ali says:

      I wonder if ours are all going to come at once now! It has been about 20 degrees in the garden and they are opening very quickly!

  6. fredgardener says:

    Fantastic pictures Ali ! You make me want to see them open now….

    1. Ali says:

      Oh, you will, Fred! I’ve just put a couple on Twitter and Instagram! Sitting here sipping my ‘Sat cap’ soaking in the sun, gazing at the tulips as they open!

  7. pommepal says:

    A truly delightful post Ali, the dress rehearsal is under way and opening night is in the wings. I applaud them all and your so discriptive writing

    1. Ali says:

      Ah, thank you, you are v kind!

  8. Jodi says:

    So much beauty!!

  9. Marcelo says:

    Ali, Tulips are gorgeous flowers and yours look stunning! Unfortunately I can’t grow them in my garden because I live in a subtropical region in Argentina and our winter is not cold enough. Greetings!

    1. Ali says:

      Hi Marcelo, thank you for visiting! Glad you can enjoy tulips from afar!

  10. These are so gorgeous! I cannot wait to see them in full bloom!

    1. Ali says:

      I will oblige, Lisa!

  11. Nicky says:

    Beautiful pics. I’m not a real tulip fan but now I can’t wait to see your tulips burst forth!

  12. bcparkison says:

    Well phoo…I don’t have any and now I really need some.

  13. Cortney says:

    What a lovely reminder that the joy is in the whole process, not just the full bloom!

    1. Ali says:

      That’s exactly it, Cortney!

  14. Jane Lurie says:

    So much beauty and hope in these buds. Terrific work, Ali.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Jane!

  15. Heyjude says:

    Oh, Ali, your writing makes me smile and your photos make me drool. Not a good look I know! I was photographing my tulips today, all tightly wrapped up, some with a tantalising hint of what is to come, except the Orange Emperor that I bunged into the raised beds in 2016 when I ran out of pots. And one white one that I know turns pinker the older she gets. Also from the year before. I’m chuffed to see the older tulips doing their bit as I spent a lot of money on bulbs that autumn!

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    Fun and clever presentation, Ali! My tulips have only just broke ground – I think the T. turkestanica will be the first to bloom.

  17. pommepal says:

    Me again… knowing your passion for tulips I thought you might like to come over here to Australia to see these 2 tulip extravagances’ https://pommepal.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/fabulous-fabulous-floriade/

    1. Ali says:

      Wow. Beautiful! I remember hearing about that when I lived in Sydney.

      1. pommepal says:

        How long were you in Sydney?

      2. Ali says:

        Three years and a half years from mid 2006 to end of 2009.

  18. Cathy says:

    A wonderful way to look at the buds Ali! 🙂 You have reminded me I must get my peony stakes in before it’s too late – mine are growing by the minute!

    1. Ali says:

      Once they’re out of the ground, they’re really quick, aren’t they?

  19. I love how you personified the flowers. My favorite in this post is Negrita.

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, I did rather delight in her!

  20. Rupali says:

    A wonderful gallery. They all look so fresh.

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