'Black Parrot' tulip

Tulips: Flamboyant and Fun

Tulips are flowers to make you smile. They come in all sorts of rich colours and extraordinary shapes, like the parrot tulip above. And they just call out to me to photograph them.

The tulip in the top photograph is ‘Black Parrot’, but, as you can see, it’s not really black at all. It’s more of a deep maroon shade – like a very dark wine.  Here, newly picked and under the powerful studio lights, the reddish tones stand out. But the colour looks more purplish in the less intense light of my kitchen, especially as the flower ages.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this tulip flower will develop as it opens out fully. New shapes will be created by the unfurling petals, giving the opportunity to take a variety of different photographs.

The tulip below is very different to the first one. It’s a viridiflora – named for the green markings on the petals. The vibrant colours and sheen of the petals make me think of  silk. The twisting shapes of the petals even suggest that the fabric is swaying in a breeze.

This year I’ve had several different tulips in the garden and they have done well in our warm spring weather. (There are more that are just starting to open.)

I haven’t grown many before, but now I feel encouraged to make a point of trying some new tulips every year. Then we’ll have the enjoyment of them in the borders and I’ll have plenty of lovely subjects to photograph.

Now I’m just waiting for the ‘Blue Parrot’ tulips to open – exciting!

Viridiflora tulip 'Doll's Minuet'
The petals of a viridiflora tulip look like a rich, silky fabric.

23 thoughts on “Tulips: Flamboyant and Fun

    1. I didn’t try growing them while we lived in Scotland because we had heavy clay soil that could get very wet. Here, though, the soil is well-drained and it’s very sunny, so the tulips seem happy. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Indira! I’ve been looking forward to photographing these tulips since I planted the bulbs last year. πŸ™‚

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  1. I had no idea tulips could ‘do that’! They’re a bit fancy for me, but if I didn’t have the classic shape so firmly planted in my mind, it might be easier to look at it and think, “Tulip!” The colors are gorgeous, I’ll say that, and your photos really show them off.

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    1. I’m learning a lot about tulips myself – hadn’t really grown many before. But I could get addicted to them… πŸ™‚

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  2. I love the Blue Parrot. I haven’t seen too many frilly ones. My Mom loved tulips and was always searching for the illusive “black” tulip. She had one called a Black Prince. It was always so interesting to see all the different varieties.

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    1. I’ve had ‘Queen of Night’ in the garden for a few years. It’s pretty much the same dark maroon colour as the Black Parrot, but a much more usual tulip shape. I think I’m going to have fun experimenting with different varieties over the next few years… πŸ™‚

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  3. Beautiful tulip images! We did not get many tulips in the stores this year – guess they are having problems shipping them to us. I try to buy one or two just to photograph but have never seen one like the Black Tulip. I am looking forward to seeing your Blue Tulip pix too!

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    1. I was lucky enough to be able to visit a bulb specialist last autumn and treated the garden to a few new flowers. It’s the first time in years that I’ve planted tulips because plants were always being moved around and bulbs tend to get lost if you do that. I’m looking forward to seeing the blue ones open… πŸ™‚

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  4. We tried a parrot tulip once and didn’t have good luck but we don’t have good luck with tulips generally. Our soil is very clayey being at the basin of what was once Glacial Lake Hitchcock.
    Your Black Parrot is gorgeous and even more so with your excellent high key capture.

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    1. Thanks Steve! I think that tulips really don’t like a heavy/clay soil. I found it really hard to grow them in Scotland but much easier here where the soil is lighter. (So I see more tulips in my future.)

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  5. I’m not keen on parrots, but your photo is stunning. Maybe the single coloured ones are better than the multi coloured ones. Your second one looks like Doll’s Minuet, one I found very difficult to capture the colour accurately. I should really think about bringing flowers indoors to photograph.

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    1. Thanks Jude! I agree, the second one does look like photos I’ve seen of Doll’s Minuet, though I’m pretty sure that’s not what they were labelled as! I haven’t grown many tulips before but I think I may just get hooked on them because they’re so good to photograph. πŸ™‚

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