There are now more than 3,000 named varieties of tulips, coming in all sorts of colors, sizes, and bloom times. A couple hours drive, north of my home are fields and fields of tulips grown and sold all over the United States. In the springtime, people from all over flock to those fields to witness the beauty of the tulips and celebrate the ending of winter.
I too celebrate the blooming of tulips in my yard, as they herald in spring and bring color back to my garden in a way that drives away the doldrums of winter. I planted tulip bulbs a couple of years ago, during the fall, after ordering a collection of varieties described as romantic, with hues of red, orange, and yellow.
I got mine from a Dutch tulip company, which had an incredible selection of varieties. I haven’t seen anywhere else offer as much selection as the Dutch companies, so if interested, I’d recommend looking there first.
Tulips require a period of cold for them to bloom, which is why I planted mine in the fall.
My tulips have been pretty low care. In the summer the stalks die and I trim them back, not so much for the health of the flower, but to just keep my flower bed looking nice. A few of my tulips look diseased this year, in which they look burnt and didn't reach their full height. From reading on the topic, it sounds like what could have caused this is that they didn't get enough water in the growing phase, which is pretty important for tulips.
All parts of tulips are reported as being edible, though I have only tried the petals. I found the petals to have a pleasant flavor, kind of like that of a sweet pea, which is a flavor I have liked since I was a child. My kids like the flavor too and have shocked visitors to our house by nonchalantly eating the flowers as a snack. My Grandmother once told me that during World War II, people in Holland supplemented their diet with Tulips.
The petals can add great color to fruit salad or desserts. I’ve been meaning to try a recipe I have seen for awhile of stuffed tulips, in which you take a tulip blossom and stuff it, kind of like you would stuff a sweet pepper, and bake them in the oven. Since sweet peppers don’t really grow well in my area and tulips do, this has looked like a great and colorful thing to try. Tulip blossoms have some resiliency in their structure, so they would be good for something like this.