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Tulip Festival Istanbul

Tulip Festival Istanbul

Did you know that Turkish tulips are the oldest in the world? That explains the amazing tulip festival in Istanbul that’s on show now.

Every early April Istanbul showcases more than 16 million tulips blooming not only in famous places like Sultanahmet square, Gulhane park, Topkapi palace or Emirgan park but also on many home balconies.

Sultan SuleymanAlthough made famous by Dutch, tulips originate from Central Asia and reached Holland from Turkey via Austria in the 16th century. The word tulip originates from the Turkish word tulbend that translates to turban. Just look at the turban worn by 16th century Sultan Suleyman, and the resemblance between a tulip and his turban is striking.

Today the Turkish tulip tradition lingers on, apart from having it’s name in places and hotels, even the Istanbul Film Festival gives out their Golden Tulip Award.

Gardening in October

dahlia bulbsOctober is actually still quite an active month when it comes to gardening, so it’s quite a nuisance that I am having back pain. Never mind, putting on more cream makes me feel as hot as in summer. Anyway, I feel better than yesterday, so that’s a good sign I find.

Meanwhile October is a month of getting bulbs and roots out of the soil so they don’t freeze and putting new bulbs into the soil so they can get their period of cold before they start blooming again. yes, you get that right: thanks to the cold of winter you will be able to have tulips in spring!

Add to that : you cannot leave your land uncovered, so keep on throwing lots of seeds on your land in October. Since seedlings won’t grow big in autumn nor winter, you better add an excess amount of seeds so the little sprouts will still manage to cover the soil. Better late than never! Saves you a lot of work in spring and keeps your soil in good condition.

Picture of white tulips

picture of white tulips

Picture of white Tulips in Holland

White spring bulb flowers garden

If you love to create an impression of snow in your spring garden, you could try to only plant white spring bulbs. Below I listed some white tulip varieties according to their blooming period.

Other varieties of white spring you might consider in your snow garden could be:

  • white flower varieties of daffodils
  • white flower varieties of lilies
  • white flower varieties of irises
  • Ivory Bell fritillaries and
  • White Star Ipheions

More white tulips

Personally I like to plant one hell red tulip amongst a big bunch of white tulips. But this has only a nice contrasting effect if your tulips are blooming at the same time, so use the list below as a guidance of when your white tulips could be flowering. Be aware it’s only a guidance, as nature can be unpredictable 🙂

Early Spring White Tulips

  • Purissima Jumbo White Tulips

Mid-Spring White Tulips

  • Ice Princess White Tulips
  • Mt. Tacoma White Tulips

Late Spring White Tulips

  • Skagit Valley White Tulips
  • Super Bowl White Tulips

Best time to plant tulips

best time to plant tulips

The best time to plant tulips is during late fall before the first frost arrives. Important is that the bulbs don’t freeze nor get burned because of being planted way too early and not deep enough in a hot climate. So all depends on your climate. Do ask your local flower shop for advice and read the florist’s recommendations before planting their tulip hybrids.


Obviously, when the soil freezes, you made it yourself way too hard to still plant tulips…


When to plant tulip bulbs


when to plant tulip bulbs

Plant tulips whenever you can get your hands on tulip bulbs and you have time to spare. Make sure during summertime to give them lots of water, and if you plant them in the wintertime make sure they stay in raised beds so they don’t get too wet nor too cold.


Other than that, we do recommend to plant your tulip bulbs during fall, October and November (thanks to global warming) works fine for our tulip bulbs.


How far, deep and wide do you plant tulip bulbs? You plant them like you want them 🙂 You can even plant one of top of the other, something we do for the fun of it: just dig a hole and fill it with a layer or 2 of early, mid and
late tulip bulb varieties. As such you will have 1 huge blooming cluster of tulips all spring through.


Placing tulip bulbs 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) apart gives a sparse look. Plant your tulip bulbs 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) deep: the deepest when you expect a lot of summer sun or a lot of winter frost. Give the bulbs enough space between each other so they have the best chance of surviving. And make their life easier by planting the tulip bulbs so the flower part is facing already towards the sun.


best time to plant tulips


The best time to plant tulips in the Keukenhof tulip gardens in Lisse near Amsterdam, starts in October.

Dividing Tulip Bulbs

dividing tulip bulbs

Enjoy more flowers following this florist tip for dividing tulip bulbs.


The picture above shows two tulip bulbs. The tulip bulb on the left is the sort of bulb you would expect to buy and plant in the fall. The tulip bulb on the right shows what happens after blooming in the spring. Tulip bulbs can only grow to a certain size ater which they will split.


Without dividing these tulip bulbs and leaving them in the ground, the small bulbs will only produce foliage during the following spring. If that’s what you wish, then don’t bother dividing your tulip bulbs.


If you want to have lots of flowering tulip bulbs, you divide the bulbs:


  • plant the big tulip bulbs where you want to enjoy only flowers. The bigger the tulip bulb the better. Do check for any signs of disease or damage and discard those that look ill. A healthy tulip bulb should be firm, and have a protective papery skin surrounding it, something like an onion.
  • plant the healthy small tulip bulbs on an area where they can grow foliage and as such grow into bigger bulbs.


It is always best to replant tulips in a new location, yet I do have lots of tulips that return on the same spot each and every year without making any extra effort of dividing or replanting. And that’s how I enjoy gardening the most 🙂 .


When to divide tulip bulbs


Tulip bulbs can be dug up in June after the flowers are gone and re-planted in September.


For best results, try to dig up an entire clump of tulip bulbs soon after their foliage has withered yet still firmly attached to the bulb.


How to divide tulip bulbs


  • digg out a clump of tulip bulbs out of the ground, expect to dig holes from at least 20 cm or 8 inches deep and dig your hole at least 5 cm or 2 inches deeper than the bottom of the bulbs
  • carefully loosen all the dirt that surrounds the tulip bulbs and gently pull them up. Do loosen the dirt that’s underneath the bulbs as tulip roots grow deeper down than the bulb. Be extra careful as you extract this portion of the bulb
  • brush the soil away
  • divide the tulip bulbs in healthy ones (big and small) and discard the sick and rotten bulbs
  • wrap the tulip bulbs loosely in burlap sacks or brown paper bags


Keep your divided tulip bulbs in a cool, dry place until you will plant them again in the fall.

Christmas tulip

Christmas Tulip

Christmas tulips under the Christmas tree.

Head to your local florist and buy some red tulips to put under the Christmas tree.

tulip bud

Green tulip bud

Make sure to not only buy flowering tulips, but also buy a few tulips buds so you really feel like it’s an early spring in stead of early winter. And when your tulip flowers have bloomed, it’s time for the tulip buds to open.

Tulip Bucket

For a complete tulip experience, add the perfect gift: a tulip bucket. This enamel bucket contains 6 tulip bulbs, compost and of course tulip growing instructions so anybody can enjoy blooming tulips in a bucket at home. The latter you can also order at your online florist.

Spring Flower Bulb

Ever wondered when planting your spring flower bulb? Or just looking for spring bulb flower pictures? Or you have some spring flower bulbs stored away and you don’t remember which flower bulb gives which flower?

Then have a look at the picture below: which flower blooms when in spring and how heigh does the flower of this spring flower bulb get…

Blooming spring flower bulbs: time and height

Aspring flower bulb

Spring Flower Bulbs

Earliest blooming bulbs first: (see picture above)

  • Galanthius (snowdrops)
  • Crocus
  • Anemone Blanda
  • Muscari (grape Hyacinth)
  • Greigi Tulip
  • Fosteriana Tulip
  • Hyacinth
  • Daffodil
  • Darwin Hybrid Tulip
  • Fritillaria Imperialis
  • Spanish Bluebell
  • Late Tulip
  • Dutch Iris
  • Allium Giganteum

Snowdrop flowers

snowdrop flowers

Enjoy these snowdrop flowers with in the background the first crocus flowers rising above soil! Also enjoy this beautiful snowdrop desktop wallpaper.


Galanthus nivalis is the most common cultivar in today’s snowdrop flowers. They are about 4 – 6 inches (10 – 15 cm) tall.


Like most spring blooming snowdrop flowers have long blooming seasons and normally the flowers last 4 – 6 weeks.


Only 1 or 2 flowers will be produced per snowdrop bulb each year and they only last a few days in water, but when you have an abundance of snowdrop flowers, they are adorable in tiny vases.


Galanthus Elwesii


galanthus elwesii


Other frequently available snowdrop bulbs are Galanthus elwesii or Giant Snowdrops. They have larger flowers, taller stems and larger green spots on the petals.


As with all flower bulbs, do leave the leaves of the snowdrop to die back naturally. This is necessary because the leaves provide nutrition to the snowdrop bulb for next years’ snowdrop flowers.

When to cut dahlia flowers

cut dahlia flowersJust came back from the garden and cut myself a little bouquet of dahlia flowers. It’s summer and the dahlias are blooming in all their colours, so it’s a bit tricky to find me a complete dahlia bouquet, today I am in a pink mood 🙂

Just to share with you that the best time of cutting dahlia flowers is when they are fully open! Unlike with other flowers where you cut them just before they "peak" or before all of the flowers are open.

Dahlia is your perfect exception: you can admire them blooming at their peak in your garden or cutting them to enjoy them in your house.

Snow Drops

The first bulbs of 2013 are flowering!!!!

From the spring bulb plants, snow drops are now blooming in Belgium.

snow drops

Galianthus is the first blooming flower of the spring flower bulbs.

The weather is still very irregular: we have some snow predicted for this weekend, yet at this very moment it’s all warm, which is at least 5 degrees Celsius.

Happy that there are new bulbs again and looking forward what the weekend will bring 🙂

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