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Garden Plot: The bloom of tulip bulbs is a favorite sign of spring

These are some of my tulips from a few years ago. The ones on the left are ‘broken,’ revealing a couple of different colors. (Diane Lynch / For The Ark)

Usually, Marin is finished with the chilly weather by the end of January, but it was 50 degrees out a few times in February and recently this month, with the windchill making it seem much cooler. Now I’m wondering if the tulips that were left in the ground last winter after reblooming will bloom yet again. They need about 12-14 weeks of 55 degrees or cooler soil. I’m guessing last winter we had close to that, which explains why my tulips came up and bloomed last spring after years of sitting underground. I was surprised because that was the only time in my almost 40 years of living here that I’ve had that happen.

If you’re thinking of traveling to Europe this spring, you might consider a visit to the Netherlands to see Keukenhof, an amazing bulb display garden open for about six weeks, this year through May 12. All of the bulbs are then removed, and the garden is prepped for planting in the fall, when fresh bulbs become available. From October through December, the gardeners will plant a staggering 7 million bulbs. The garden will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year. It was started in 1949 by 10 bulb growers as a way to showcase their trade, and it opened to the public in 1950. The garden is located in Lisse, about 20 miles southwest of Amsterdam. It’s surrounded by fields of bulbs growing for the trade, a most beautiful sight.

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