Down and Dirty: The truth about Tulips and Indiana’s Little Holland
I’m writing this blog on May 9, 2019 because by the time I’m ready to plant this year’s tulip order I won’t have time to explain it all. That or I could have blacked out most of the scary details. The truth is the 2019 tulip order began in April when I had to take pictures of all the tulips as they bloomed and make notes about which tulips did well and which didn’t. I also have to gather a detailed record of my own mistakes. I never know why I do i t- but I do it every year and not just once but numerous times. I have a habit of planting short tulips behind tall plants. So there’s always several hundred pretty bloomers hidden behind peonies or iris’s that only catch my eye.
Once I have my photos and big list of things not to do again – I sit down with my wholesale magazines and begin to check websites. I have to get my order organized by color, size, bloom time and which bed and location in that bed. I’m always confused and have yet to find a way to keep 15-18 thousand tulips organized. This year I tried organizing by type of tulip rather than time of bloom or bed to plant. It still took four weeks. So here I am in May and am just about ready to write out my order. The first large order is for 16,500 bulbs – after that they will average less than 1000 bulbs per order. I wanted to stay less than 15 thousand this year but sadly, I can’t resist.
No matter what, I have to have my order by the end of June. Believe it or not, tulip time has a deadline and that deadline is July. If I don’t order before then, Indiana’s Little Holland will have very few tulips. On the other hand, I think the staff would be pleased to know that they would not be digging gopher holes and trenches in the garden for most of October. We are all stooped over, squatting down in the dirt for three solid weeks; if it rains we get grumpy. We look like we are laying eggs by the thousands.
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Each year the staff and I select new varieties to try out. This year we will plant 37 varieties in our first round of 16,500 tulips. They come direct from Holland - a company that we love called ADR. Give us a call, because shortly after 12 thousand get put in the ground the staff start to revolt and it’s not long before we begin sharing our bulb bounty with our many guests. If you have a favorite color, we will have it. If you like a particular type of tulip, we will have it. We give our extras but if you want mass quantities (for fund raising or community gardens) give us a call and you can piggy back on our great prices.
When to plant? Check out great information on the almanac by visiting here - https://www.almanac.com/plant/tulips
Check out our garden at Lanthier Winery throughout the year to see all the different color and types of flowers throughout, and if you know of or would like to see something in our garden please reach out to us and let us know.