July is here and I am looking out for my Crocosmia and Tiger Lillies (I already have a Calla Lily - the first I've brought successfully above ground, bought on a punt from a pound shop as a single, unpromising-looking bulb, now occupying a pot that's been useless for anything else) but my favourite bulb pusher has already sent me one of her deliciously decadent catalogues showing off the 2016 crop of tulips. Not to be left out, two other catalogues from the usual suspects have joined the pile. And there are some surprises in the pile.
Tulip Absalom, the one that looks like the picture off the front of the front of Tulipomania is priced at a level calculated to recall those heady times. It is beautiful, though. But Tulipa Acuminata (Spider Tulip, Flame Tulip, previously only available from specialists) has also entered the regular market! It's still very expensive and reputedly quite fussy, though - and Tulip Fire Wings might be do similar things, more visibly, and for less money. I'm already too late for my other crazy crave which is Pop Up Yellow, but just as well as this is the most expensive tulip (and also from the looks of it lousy for pollinators).
There are some pretty parrots - I'm especially taken by Diamond Parrot, and after the success of Flaming Parrot, I'm very tempted to try its sunny cousin, Carribean Parrot. On the weird front, the Raven provides with Tulip Purple Tower, which is fringed and green, Big Sun with its sprawled open petals (the bees will love that one) and oh, the velvet purple multi-heads of Night Club are very tempting.
There are also some great colour choices; Blueberry Ripple, the pure white of Tulip Snowstar, blazed blood orange of Tulip Arjuna, pink and yellow Boston, and the delicate sunset glow of Jenny.
Maybe I already have enough tulips. Or maybe just one collection? Frilly Fiesta Mixed looks good.