Good morning, my fine feathered friends!

The title is an homage to one of my favourite children’s books, Quentin Blake’s Cockatoos.

Each morning Professor Dupont, a dapper chap, jumps out of bed, takes a shower, cleans his teeth, gets dressed, ties his tie, adjusts his spectacles and goes downstairs.  He goes into his conservatory and there are all his cockatoos.  He throws wide his arms and says:

“Good morning, my fine feathered friends!”

Which is exactly what I want to say when I visit my tulips each morning.

I devote this post to the most marvellous parrots that I have seen this tulip time.  I will let them do the squawking.  So that you don’t get parroted out, I have chucked a couple of fringed and peony-flowered tulips in too.

These tulips were photographed at Sarah Raven’s Open Garden on Saturday.  You can see more of this by clicking here.

First ‘Victoria’s Secret’:

Tulipa ‘Victoria’s Secret’

‘What a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive’. (Walter Scott)

Next a fringed tulip, not a parrot at all, but still rather marvellous.  I saw the pinky peachy lilac ‘Louvre’ at Dixter.  Here is ‘Louvre Orange’:

Tulipa ‘Louvre Orange’ (fringed tulip)

I know I have already photographed ‘Antraciet’ a lot, but I feel I haven’t quite had my fill.  Here she is looking cherrylicious:

Tulipa ‘Antraciet’ (double late tulip).

Back to the parrots.  And what a parrot!  ‘Apricot Parrot’.

Tulipa ‘Apricot Parrot’

Next, ‘Slawa’, which is also on the list for next year.  I love the feathering on the outside of the petals.


Next, ‘Cerise Parrot’:

Tulipa ‘Cerise Parrot’

And finally one which may set some teeth on edge.  When I have seen online photos of Tulipa ‘Blumex’ it has resembled a horrific but compelling bruise. It was not so gruesome in the flesh.

Tulipa ‘Blumex’

Parrot tulips always seem to evoke a strong reaction.  They are the Marmite tulips: you love them or hate them.  Can you guess which camp I’m in?  How about you?

My aim on this site is that spread a little love and happiness. Life is stressful enough. This is a little space of indulgence for you to enjoy the beauty in our world.

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37 Comments Add yours

  1. janesmudgeegarden says:

    In my case it’s Vegemite (which I love) but I’m not sure about the tulips. They seem a bit over-the-top to me. Except ‘Slawa’- or is that the way it’s photographed? It seems much less of a show-off and therefore more desirable. I don’t know how I feel about tulips yet, but I’ve bought a few bulbs to plant and I’ll be letting people know in our Spring!

    1. Ali says:

      You’re right: ‘Slawa’ is a single. I just chucked it in because I loved it so much, and the marking on the petal looked like a feather. A much less hectic shape!

  2. pommepal says:

    I’m with you Jane, definitely vegemite. I love to look at tulips but when I tried to grow them in NZ (wouldn’t have a show here at all) they do not last very long. I prefer flowers that stay open for longer. But you certainly have some beauties

    1. Ali says:

      It’s interesting that they don’t cope with heat. I assumed that as they originate from Turkey they would, but I guess those are the original species: these ones have been bred for bigger blooms, and so are more prone to drying out and shrivelling up in heat.

      1. pommepal says:

        I once read that in this climate you have to put the bulbs in the fridge to chill them before planting. So maybe it is our warmer winters they do not like

      2. Ali says:

        Yes, I remember people telling me that about daffodils too, and finding it funny. How about peonies? They need a period of cold too, and I don’t remember seeing them in Australia.

  3. Gorgeous selection of tulips. Makes me wish I had planted more (and different varieties) last fall!

    1. Ali says:

      I do that every year. I think you would never feel you have planted enough – that garden swallows them up. My solution is to plant lots of different varieties in pots or concentrated areas.

  4. Heyjude says:

    I haven’t grown parrots for years, and they were much less flamboyant then, until this one, when I planted Avignon. It is looking good, but I suspect the head is too heavy for my windy location. Yesterday I went out to inspect the troops and several tulips (mostly Brown Sugar) had broken off just below their necks. Snapped! Just like that! Decapitated! Beheaded! Call it what you will. I was bereft, scooping up the poor flowers and putting them in a rose vase, the only thing that could keep their tiny stalks upright. Sigh… maybe next year I will plant more dwarf bulbs as they seem to be survivors.

    1. Ali says:

      Oh no! I feel your pain! Yes, species tulips might be the answer. Possibly interplanting with something to prop them up too?

      1. Heyjude says:

        I have stuck some twiggy supports in the pots, but several people have suggested it could be squirrels! I have only ever seen one here, but who knows.

      2. Ali says:

        There’s no end to the naughtiness of grey squirrels!

  5. These are all adorable Ali. I would soo love to visit Perch Hill.

    1. Ali says:

      It is a treat. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. X

  6. bcparkison says:

    Well Sarah Raven know her stuff. Beautiful!

    1. Ali says:

      She does. She has an eye for a good tulip.

  7. Cathy says:

    Love them! (And Marmite too!) 😉

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Mohinder!

  8. Definitely will have to find my way to the nursery this fall to add some tulips to the garden! 😊

    1. Ali says:

      Glad they got your vote. I think we’re about even with numbers of people who love them and those who hate them!

    1. Ali says:

      Thanks Rupali!

    1. Ali says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed them.

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    Definitely in the LOVE camp!

    1. Ali says:

      Fab. You chose the right side!

  10. Emma Cownie says:

    Beautiful! Such lucious flowers. I am not used to these frilly tulips. My father used to grow some lovely tulips on his allotment, sadly he’s had to give it up because the digging is too much for him these days.

    1. Ali says:

      Ah, that’s sad. I love nosing around near allotments to see what people are growing.

      1. Emma Cownie says:

        My father used to grow a lot of wonderful flowers and fruit but the digging got too much. He still has a garden to grow things in, though!

  11. That books sounds delightful, and these pictures were a wonderful way to start my day. Thank you, Ali!

    1. Ali says:

      It is a fab book. The illustrations have all the joyful energy of yours, Shelly.

  12. Chloris says:

    All quite sumptuous. I am particularly fond of the frilly ones.

    1. Ali says:

      Apart from irises I can’t think of another flower that is quite so frou-frou.

  13. I’m a great fan of Cockatoos – so nice to see the reference – and lovely tulips there too

    1. Ali says:

      Ah, thank you!

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