When I’m faced with the tulip catalogues in August with their cornucopia of offerings in bright jewel colours and curving shapes, just two outcomes prevail: either I go bananas and order almost everything in sight (2016) or I dither until it is too late and there’s nothing left (2017). I blame Sarah Raven entirely for this. No one else comes close to the seductive mix of colour combinations, cunning ‘collections’, and hot summer photography contained within that thick paper catalogue of hers.
Therefore it’s a useful weapon to be able to narrow down one’s choice tulips so that when confronted by Ms Raven’s devilish catalogues you can keep your cool and calmly wield the strength to order only your very best and most favourite ones in good time.
One tulip that will certainly fall into this category henceforth is apricoty-brown ‘Bruine Wimpel’. I admired it longingly in the catalogue in August 2016, adored it unreservedly when it bloomed in spring 2017, and did a dance of joy when it reappeared in my cutting bed in spring 2018. In a jug with ‘Purissima’ (another firm favourite), forget-me-nots, Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’ and a stem of lovage, it is a pleasure to behold. Purer and simpler than the double ‘Belle Epoch’, it is the very embodiment of calm, collected rationality. If ‘Bruine Wimpel’ were ordering tulips from a Sarah Raven catalogue, there’d be no splurging or panic-buying. Bruine Wimpel knows exactly what it wants, and what it wants is a quiet place at the back of the vase and to let the other flowers do the chattering.
In a vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who has also found tulips for us this week. I do recommend visiting her page and seeing what she and many other garden bloggers across the world have found in their gardens for a vase today.