TULIPS

Blossom  Tulips  |   Roses  |  Dahlias

Double Tulips

Introducing Tulips to my Garden

I'm often asked on Social Media the names and varieties of the tulips I photograph and where I source them.

It has only been in recent years that I've started adding tulip bulbs to my small garden.  I wanted to be able to include varieties that I couldn't pick up at the supermarket. I plan and plant a new collection of bulbs each Autumn ready for the following Spring. 

There are over 3k registered tulip varieties, so knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. I select varieties that have an interesting form. I prefer subtle colours that will compliment other Spring flowers such as Apple blossom and Hyacinths. Having a small garden I grow my tulips in tubs that I alternate with Dahlias come the summer months. 

Below, I've listed my favourite varieties that make a great starter collection. I'm sure this Tulip Guild will continue to grow as I add more varieties each year.

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Liberstar Tulips

Liberstar Tulips

Liberstar is the smallest tulip I grow with a delicate bell-shaped bloom. They work well mixed with other tulips and Spring flowers.

Similar varieties include:  

White Thrumphator

White Elegance

Green Star  

Columbus Tulips

Columbus Tulips 

The Columbas tulip starts off as a ball shaped flower head that fully opens into these wonderful cups. Once cut they last for over a week making them a worthwhile addition to any garden. 

Similar varieties include:

Angelique

Double Sugar

Amazing Grace

Dream Touch Tulips

Pink Parrot & Dream Touch  

Parot tulips come in a variety of colours and create a striking display of wild curly petals. (pictured on the left). Whilst in contrast Dream Touch is a double tulip with white-edged petals and opens like a rose.

 

Similar varieties include:

Black Hero

Palmyra

Blue Diamond 

 

Copper Image Tulips

Copper Image & La Bella Opoque 

Without a doubt, these 'peony' like tulips are sensational and complement each other in their salmon-coral tones. Initially rich in colour they fade, getting softer in tone as they open. 

Similar varieties include:

Charming Lady

Hermitage Double

Finola Tulip

Finola Tulips

Once fully open Finola is the biggest of my garden tulips. Its form reminds me of an Amaryllis when fully open. Beautiful for a showstopping display.

Similar varieties include: 

Pink Star Double

Belicia

Fox Trot

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Dream Touch Tulips

P H O TO T O G R A P H I N G   F L O W E R S 

P H O T O G R A P H I N G 

T U L I P S

Breaking winters spell, Tulips showcase a diversity in form and colour.

Photographing tulips gets exciting when you invest in growing your own. From stunning elegant whites to the flamboyance of parrot tulips.

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PLANNING

Tulips are happy flowers by nature. However, there is an inclination to simply pop them straight into a tall vase.  Whether you wish to create a flatlay or set up a still-life composition the best tip to working with tulips is to not be afraid of cutting those stems!  Tulips carry on growing in the vase so they will always add an inch back to their stem length.

ARRANGING

Being brave enough to cut those stems will enable you to create smaller, intimate arrangements.  Parrot and double tulips always remind me of those amazing oil painting of the Dutch Masters from the seventeenth century.  There is something timeless about tulips that makes them an essential Spring bloom.

STYLING

My styling methods don't vary that much from flower to flower. However, with tulips, I do prefer to get closer and showcase their beauty. I also like to include seasonal accents by incorporating a few sprigs of new leaves, blossom or other seasonal flowers such as Hyacinth or Forsythia. 

 

Tulips are big fleshy flowers so by adding in softer layers with old paper, postcards, fabric, or scattered petals  I can soften the overall look. 

LIGHTNG & CAPTURE

I always choose to work with defused soft natural light.  However, Spring light can be both overcast and stark here in the UK.  So lighting can be tricky. My suggestion, when lighting is diverse, is to experiment with the light you have and know how to adjust your camera settings accordingly. 

 

When light is low I'll adjust my camera settings, increase the cameras ISO setting as well as selecting an open apature between 1.8f - 2.5f. The more light I can get into my camera and onto the sensor the better. 

Parrot and Dream Touch Tulips

PROCESSING

Some of my earlier 'textured' florals were of tulips. Their large flowers and association with the Dutch Masters make them an ideal flower to process with Textures.

See how I process with digital Textures in my book Art Beyond the Lens, Processing with Digital Textures. 

You can download a selection of FREE TEXTURES HERE and experiment to see how they work*.

*Adobe Photoshop is required for digital texture processing.