Tulips in the Front Garden

As part of Gardening Gone Wild’s Front Garden Workshop I’ll show you the tulips that are in our front sidewalk garden bed, which is a work in progress. There are only two kinds of tulips in the front garden, a purple one called ‘Negrita’ and a mixed purple and white one called ‘Shirley’.

The tulips are blooming in a small rounded formation just in in front of two Euonymous Fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ shrubs. I put in those two bushes and several yews as a foundation planting. The yews were in sad shape when I purchased them but I got them for less than two dollars each. I babied them a bit last summer and now they are flushing out with new growth. The euonymous are doing fantastic but that shouldn’t be a surprise!

If you look really carefully in the picture below you can see a Russian sage to the left of the euonymous. The Russian sage needs to be moved to the other side of the sidewalk where it will receive more sunlight.

Here’s a closeup of one of the ‘Negrita’ Tulips. It’s dark purple petals contrast nicely with the new green foliage of the euonymous.

The arc formation I tried to make with the different tulips had the dark purple of the ‘Negrita’s in the center and the white and purple colored tulips on the sides forming wings. In the background you can see one of my red twig dogwood cuttings. I tend to use the front garden bed to acclimate plants (usually from cuttings) to the outdoors since it is in part shade for most of the day.

It looks like one of the tulips lost her petals. Just behind the naked tulip you can see the foliage of a ‘Stella de Oro’ daylily. It’s one of 13 divisions I made of a large chunk in the fall. I know 13 isn’t a lucky number, but I’m not superstitious. Maybe I’ll divide a few more, just to be safe.

Here’s a side shot of the tulips. On the left side of the photo you can see a Nandina looming over the bed. It is the largest plant in the bed and the only thing that remains from the previous owners of our house. I don’t like nandinas much since they are overplanted in our area but this one will stay where it is. The larger nandinas can be attractive but I don’t think much of the dwarf varieties.

Here’s another shot of the mixed tulip. It’s a pretty good photo if you want to see the parts of a flower. You can see the stigma in the center surrounded by the stamen.

I like how the edges of this tulip are highlighted in purple. It just makes it more interesting than a plain tulip. Another interesting thing about these white and purple tulips is that they start yellow! I thought at first that we had received the wrong kind but as they matured their true colors revealed themselves.

In this last picture you can see in the lower left a spirea that volunteered itself in our front bed. It must have been here before we bought the house. It’s had a rough time lately because of aphids.

There’s the tour of the tulips in our front garden. There’s more to highlight in our front yard but everything is still very much a work in progress. When the tulips fade the annual verbena I planted will take over (I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but I’m not superstitious). I may drop in a couple salvias when the cuttings I made get a little further along. Come back and take a look later this week at the corner shade garden I put in this weekend along with other front garden highlights!

10 Replies to “Tulips in the Front Garden”

  1. Lovely tulips and your little russian sage worries me that it will be eaten the emerald gaity, which will spread out, won’t it? Good to hear you will be moving it for more sun in the future. I’m rooting for your little magic carpet!

  2. Your tulips are beautiful, and distinctly spring-like!

  3. Dave, your tulips are beautiful, as are their garden companions.

  4. Beautiful tulips. A light frost is expected tonight. Who would’ve thought? Thank you so much for sending me the link info. I am going to try it out. Can’t wait to see the shade garden. That is what I mostly have and it is a challenge to get the sun lovers like Russian Sage and coneflowers to be happy. But shade is ever so nice.

  5. The tulips are so beautiful. I just wish they would hold their bloom longer.

    I too anxiously await the shade garden as I have so much shade. I will be looking for an idea or two…

  6. Lovely, Dave – such a welcoming front garden. I adore your ‘Negrita’ tulips, and it’s exciting to see how much more there is to follow. And how interesting about the other tulip that starts out yellow and changes color. You make me think that I really ought to order more tulips this summer!

  7. I used to grow ‘Negrita’ with ‘Shirley’ at my old house, where the rabbits weren’t as bold, so we have the same taste in Tulips. I really like the inside of your mystery Tulip with its blue heart.

  8. ‘Shirley’ actually rings a bell. That might be what you planted. Sounds familiar anyway.


  9. Lovely, lovely! I just love tulips in spring. Thanks for sharing these pictures.

  10. Frances,

    I think sometimes I look at plant locations as being temporary homes for them. I didn’t have a strategy for the Russian sage last year but it looked good where I put it. This year I have some more ideas so it will find a new home soon!

    Nancy and Gardengirl,

    Thanks! I’m glad you like them!


    I hope the link info helps. I’ll try to talk about my shade garden corner tomorrow. It’s still a work in progress but isn’t everything?


    Thanks! You can see the yellow tulip picture in my latest post here: Front Garden Spots


    Thanks for the tulip help! I’m positive now that it was the ‘Shirley’ tulip. I looked for the packaging for it but couldn’t find it.


    ‘Shirley’ it is!



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