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May 27, 2008


My mother was around our garden a lot last week as she was house-sitting and said that some of our tulips have gone a jazzy yellow-and-red stripy colour, which is down to some sort of virus/disease in the bulb. Have you heard this? Carol Klein was apparently talking about it. I'm starting to wonder whether that's the reason for the meant-to-be-peach enormous Darwin's coming out slightly orangy but mostly yellow... Hmmm. At least the Queen of the Nights have been coming out well, have lasted 3 weeks, and are still looking fab.

The stripy effect is a virus - it is what happened to those historical dutch tulips that people bought for enormous prices. The breaking of the colour was random (it wasn't appreciated that it was a virus until much later) so you could gamble on whether your tulip would break.
When I was down at Arne Maynards garden earlier in the month he had planted a bed with historic tulips (at £5 a bulb) they were called lizard. They weren't out fully when I was there but were gorgeous purple and white stripes.
I have 2 tulips that have a virus in my garden and bizarrely they come back year after year where the other ones fail to rebloom.
In my experience peach is a very dodgy colour description and ranges from yellow to american tan in colour.

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