The Memory of Tulips

robinia pseudoacacia

Just as every spring brings forth, again,  the wonder of the emerging plants, every spring also brings a new observation about the gardens and our environment. The strange part is that these things have been there all along, yet somehow I never REALLY noticed them. For example, a few years ago, when the Black Locust  (Robinia pseudoacacia) bloomed, I saw it everywhere, for what felt like the first time. Of course I had  seen them before, these splendid old trees with huge drooping panicles of fragrant white flowers…. but there they were! so beautiful!

species tulip

This year, one of plants that has caught my attention are the little species tulips in the border near the rain garden. Species tulips are the tiny flowers native to the mountains of Central Asia, which are the parents of our familiar modern hybrids. I clearly remember all the large red hybrid tulips, especially for their great contrast with the yellow daffs and the euphorbia. But where did these delicate little pink tulips come from? I honestly don’t remember them, and yet, they must have been there.  Is it just failing memory?  (Oh no!) I prefer to think of it as a gentle nudge, to see things with fresh eyes, and to really see what is around me. Every “new ” plant I become aware of  contributes to  my knowledge and experience of the garden, and the more aware I am, the more I delight in being among the plants.

species tulip

species tulip


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