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This uniquely colored, brown-inflected tulip has “a real ‘old-timey’ look to its garnet and primrose flowers,” as J. Horace McFarland wrote in 1938. Its shape is wonderfully old-fashioned, too, with lancet-pointed petals that curl back gracefully as they open in the sun. One of the so-called Cottage tulips, it was re-discovered by the Rev. Joseph Jacobs “in an old garden in Hanmer in 1905.” Cottage/Single Late, 18-22”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. See our other brown tulips. Chart and care.
The great Gertrude Jekyll planted this very rare, sunset-colored tulip in her iconic early 20th-century perennial borders. A multiple award-winner, it remained popular well into the 1940s when the de Jager catalog praised it as “a beautiful orange-scarlet tinged old rose, sweet-scented, a grand tulip.” Cottage/Single Late, 18-20”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart and care.
We sell tons of this old tulip every year, even though doubles have been woefully out of fashion for decades now – a testament to its great beauty. It’s a frothy extravaganza of white and pink (not peach), like a lacy, Victorian valentine. If you’ve never grown double tulips, this is the one to start with – and what are you waiting for? Double Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. See our other unusually fragrant tulips. Chart and care.
“Dark polished mahogany,” is how Peter Henderson described this tall, late tulip in 1929, but it always reminds us of dark sweet cherries. Despite its dramatic looks, ‘Philippe’ had vanished from American gardens until we reintroduced it in 1998. The great ‘Black Parrot’ is its ruffled sport (mutation). Single Late/Darwin, 20-24”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
Tall and shimmering, this exceedingly rare Dutch Breeder has petals of the softest lavender brightening at the edges to silver and pearl. Once part of the enormous collection of Vincent van der Vinne whose family had been growing tulips since the 1730s, it’s named for the beloved husband of Queen Victoria. Dutch Breeder/Single Late, 22-24”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart and care.
This is the tulip that launched Old House Gardens way back in 1993. When the last US catalog dropped it, I knew I had to do something. It was just too wonderful to let go extinct. It’s one of history’s most fragrant tulips (violets? orange blossoms?), with a scent that will draw you across the garden on a sunny day. It’s also so vigorous that it’s been returning for well over a decade here with no special care. Scarlet maturing to almost-orange, Single Early, 12”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), grown exclusively for us in Holland. Chart and care.
In 1995 this elegant beauty was featured in a Garden Design article about a tiny new source devoted to heirloom bulbs, and suddenly we weren’t so tiny anymore. Well-described in the 1931 Scheepers catalog as “rose-pink with topaz lights and hints of fuchsia shadowing,” it was lost to us in 2002 when the last Dutch farmer quit growing it, but thanks to the Hortus we’re once again able to offer it to you. Single Late/Darwin, 18-22”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC). Chart and care.
Irene’s warm, strong fragrance and unusual coloring – melon-orange flamed with subtle bronze-purple – make it one of the most distinctive tulips of the 1900s. It’s a favorite at Holland’s glorious Keukenhof gardens and easy to force indoors where you can enjoy its heavenly scent up close. Triumph, 14”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. See our other unusually fragrant tulips. Chart, care, and learn more.
When we posted this photo of ‘Rococo’ on Facebook and asked if we should offer it, the response was an overwhelming “YES!” A sport of the great ‘Couleur Cardinal’, it’s “one of the craziest” of the “mad, magnificent” parrots, says bulb-maven Anna Pavord, with sumptuous, writhing petals of red highlighted with purple, yellow, and green. Shorter and earlier than most parrots, 14-16”, mid-season, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
Imagine a perfect white peony or a double white waterlily unfolding in the morning sun. That’s ‘Schoonoord’ (say SKOH-nord), lush and radiant. In 1935 Louise Beebe Wilder praised it for perennial borders, saying its “prestige as the best... has never been questioned. It is an old variety but invaluable.” And that’s still true! Double Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.