Three for Thursday: Amy's Tulips

The Ivory Floradale tulips I planted in memory of my friend Amy are in full and absolutely splendiferous bloom this week.  Those who read my 2009 and 2010 posts will remember that Amy once told me that she dreamed of drifts of white tulips throughout her garden, so that everyone considered them her signature flower.  The past two years I planted the tulips in Amy's front bed where her husband and family could enjoy them.  This year I opted to plant them in my own garden.

However, if you look more closely at the picture above, you'll notice something a little off with the blooms: pinkish-red streaks on the petals of some tulips (which is why I mentally subtitled this post "Beauty Tinged with Disappointment").   Not having grown these before, and having only seen them in bloom on visits to Amy's garden, I have no idea whether this is the usual bloom habit of this variety, or the tulips I received are not in fact Ivory Floradale.  I tend to think the latter because knowing Amy, this is not at all what she envisioned. 

Although the majority of these tulips are pure white, there's a fair number of them that are colored like those two in the picture above.   The red streaks do seem to fade a bit as the tulip ages.  In previous years, I purchased the bulbs at Houston's annual Plant and Bulb Mart: the tulip booth was always Amy's first stop at that event.  I opted not to purchase my bulbs there last fall due to a nearly two hour wait time for checkout.  By the time I got serious about purchasing them online, the only site with Ivory Floradale bulbs still available was Tulip World.  I doubt I will purchase from them again and I do plan to e-mail them about my disappointment with the bulbs I received.

Being one who is alert to messages from the universe, however, I do feel like Amy is speaking to me through these flowers, reminding me gently that her signature blooms don't necessarily belong in my garden.   I have a new plan for this fall, one which I think would please Amy and will bring beauty to a place that she held very dear.  The good folks at Enchanted Forest have agreed to my request that I fund the purchase of 100 Ivory Floradale tulips to be planted in Amy's name and memory under the memorial bur oak her Garden Gang friends planted in 2008.  This time next year the scene above will be enlivened by drifts of white tulips.  I hope that visitors to the Forest will pause to enjoy their beauty and to acknowledge Amy's part in making the world a better  place.


Rose said…
I actually like the pink-tinged tulips, but I know that if you were hoping to see a vision of pure white that you must be disappointed. Amy is probably smiling down at your garden, Cindy. I think the plan for tulips under the bur oak tree will be a wonderful way to memorialize your friend.
Tulip World Staff said…
We really enjoyed reading your article about the tulips you planted in remembrance of your friend and think that memorial gardens are such a good way to remember special people in your life. We also are saddened to hear your disappointment in the Ivory Floradale Tulips you purchased from us. They should have been pure white with no pink or red coloring in them at all,and we are so sorry that some of the blooms came up this way. We assure you this is not typical of our products, and would like to restore you faith in our company. Please email us at so that we may amend this situation with you, as we focus on 100% customer satisfaction. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention, and we look forward to speaking with you soon!


Tulip World Customer Service
Wonderful! I think the idea of the memorial garden under the oak tree is a perfect solution. Three for Thursday post is up!
David said…
I love tulips and have grown them in the past. Such fun flowers.
My 3 for Thursday is up and by a strange turn of fate, happens to be about white flowers!
Happy 3 4 T!
David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston
I planted white tulips this year--just a few planted all together. I couldn't remember why I was so drawn to ordering them, but now I do remember it was because of your post about Amy.
Cindy, MCOK said…
Rose, despite the problem with the colors, I have enjoyed the tulips a lot. I look forward to seeing them bloom under Amy's tree.

Tulip World, thank you for such a prompt and courteous response. I've already e-mailed y'all.

Leslie, thanks for joining in 34T!

David, you too!
Gail said…
They are beautiful...and Amy will be so pleased with your plans for this fall and her favorite drift of white tulips under her special bur oak tree. gail
HolleyGarden said…
What a beautiful memorial! The white tulips are stunning, even with the pink.
I'm so excited for your new memorial! It'll be very special as I'm sure you'll be there a lot next spring!
Cindy, MCOK said…
MT, I'm honored and delighted!

Gail, I think Amy would indeed be pleased.

Holley, I really did enjoy the blooms.

Jean, yes, I'll have to be more regular in my visits!