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Avatar for BrookbyHouse
Aug 31, 2016 12:04 PM CST

Hello. I'm a member of the Kent Garden Club here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We are involved in the restoration of an Olmsted firm designed garden. We have the original plans and planting lists for "Brookby House", the John Blodgett estate built in 1927. The research so far has found the bulbs not available here in the states. Hortus Bulborum has them in there collection and a few Dutch sellers list a few. Unlikely we can get all we would need. I've basically concluded that we'll have to try and find comparable bulbs matching color and height from late single tulips with a few other late blooming doubles and Lily-types. Orange seems to be the hardest to find in the different hues used in the original plan.

I'm looking for further insight into sources of these heirloom bulbs. Or comments in general.

Below is list of the bulbs used. Attached is the plan of the bulb plantings.

Velvet King, 1912 (syn.: Velvet Gem; Dreadnought.) (HB) Dutch Florists Tulip. Bybloemen. Cup-shaped, large; bright dark red-purple; base small, sharply defined, white; 31 inches; May 14, 15 days. #10 on plan, 110 bulbs.

Ellen Willmott, 1900 (HB) One of the lily-flowering tulips blooms in soft primrose yellow with scented flowers. #38 on plan, 100 bulbs.

Fairy Queen, (HB) Cottage Tulip. Flower shot. Type 2: pointed. Form and substance good; outside light purple, passing to a paler margin, tinged with primrose-yellow; inside deep yellow, with a purplish flush; base dull; filaments with a black ring at apex; 30 inches; May 15, 14 days. #37 on plan, 110 bulbs.

Orange Beauty, 1905 (syn.; Prince of Orange.) (HB) Formerly classified as a Cottage Tulip. Flower orange scarlet. A form of 'Gesneriana' Large, opening well; form good, substance fair; outside with a purplish flush; base indefinite, yellow, streaked with olive; filaments olive; 26 inches; May 10, 16 days. #41 on plan, 100 bulbs.

Inglescombe Pink, 1908 (syn.: Parisian Aurore; Salmon Queen.) (NO-HB) Cottage Tulip. Flower pink. Type 1: cup-shaped. Large form and substance good; colour good, much deeper outside, pale blue; 25 inches; May 8, 17 days. #39 on plan, 123 bulbs.

Grenadier, 1912 (HB) Cottage Tulip. Flower orange-scarlet. Type 3: egg-shaped. Large, form and substance good; colour very bright, yellow; 21 inches; May 8, 17 days. #40 on plan, 75 plus 40 bulbs.

John Ruskin, 1904 (HB) Cottage Tulip. Flower shot. Type 3: egg-shaped. Form and substance fair; pink and orange; base yellowish, with olive ring; 24 inches; May 10, 15 days. #42 on plan, 123 bulbs.

Orange King, 1903 (HB) Formerly classified as a Cottage Tulip. Flower orange-scarlet. Form and substance good; base yellow, with a faint olive margin and an olive blotch on each outer segment; 29 inches; May 8,19 days. #43 on plan, 75 bulbs.

Vitellina, 1896 (HB) Cottage Tulip. Flower primrose. Type 2: pointed. Long, form and substance good; 31 inches; May 16, 12 days. #44 on plan, 500 bulbs.

gesneriana L. Spathulata, 1904 (HB) Cottage Tulip. Flower cochineal-red. Type 2: pointed. Large, of good substance, opening well; colour bright and clear, clear bright blue; 28 inches; May 8, 18 days. A strong and brilliant garden flower. #45 on plan, 460 bulbs.

Cardinal Manning, 1913 (HB) Dutch Florists Tulip. Bybloemen. Egg-shape, large; Bishop's purple; base diffuse, tinged yellow; filaments blue at apex; 34 inches; May 8, 22 days. #21 on plan, 40 bulbs.

A "Pink" Insulinde which has no cultivar named on the list. The closest I've found for that one is Zomerschoonz. #46 on plan, 40 bulbs.

Thumb of 2016-08-31/BrookbyHouse/822914
Aug 31, 2016 3:58 PM CST
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 2
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Photo Contest Winner: 2017
Have you checked with Old House Gardens - they deal in heirloom tulips and other bulbs exclusively.
Their selections change with different years, they are very helpful and insightful whenever I've communicated with them.

Welcome to the site. Check out the tulip database here, you may hit on one you need, you could inquire of the grower perhaps.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Last edited by jmorth Aug 31, 2016 3:59 PM Icon for preview
Aug 31, 2016 4:02 PM CST
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 1
Tim at Colorblends/Schippers would probably be very helpful.
As Yogi Berra said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
Avatar for BrookbyHouse
Sep 1, 2016 6:03 AM CST

Thanks for the reply's. I've talked to oldhosegardens, they don't have anything but the Zomerschoonz. Colorblends is one of the catalogs I've gone through looking for comparables. I've made contacts with some overseas forums for help also. BTW - most of the tulips were on the data base. Attached is a photo showing the first year(May 1928) of bloom in the Chinese Garden at "Brookby House" -
Thumb of 2016-09-01/BrookbyHouse/081be9
Last edited by BrookbyHouse Sep 1, 2016 6:03 AM Icon for preview
Sep 1, 2016 6:26 AM CST
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Beekeeper Wild Plant Hunter Bird Bath, Fountain and Waterfall Bee Lover Cottage Gardener Herbs
Hummingbirder Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Organic Gardener Vegetable Grower
I am sorry I can not be of any help , but it looks like a very interesting garden and project.
Wish you luck , and please post a progress report , especially in the spring , I am sure it will be most beautiful.

Olmsted, My husbands mom's maiden name
Avatar for BrookbyHouse
Nov 17, 2016 9:31 AM CST

Here is an update on the bulbs chosen -
Dec 24, 2016 7:34 AM CST
Name: Steve
Millbury, MA (Zone 5b)
Photo Contest Winner 2018 Photo Contest Winner 2019
Here's a site which might interest you. They catalog Old Tulip varieties and what collections they are in.

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