Old House Gardens
From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs

Order NOW for delivery at planting time in October.


WHY GROW TULIPS? Nothing says “Spring” better than these diverse, colorful, elegantly simple flowers. They are truly icons of the season.

TULIP HISTORY – Tulips came to Europe from Turkey in the mid-1500s and zoomed to superstar status during the Dutch “Tulipomania” of the 1630s. To learn more, click here.

GETTING TULIPS TO RETURN FOREVER – Keeping them dry in summer is one trick. To learn more, click here. To protect them from animals, click here.

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Even Rarer Tulips

Every year we get a handful of spectacular bulbs that are so rare we offer them WEB-ONLY. For an alert the moment they go on sale, subscribe to our free, monthly email newsletter.

TULIP DIVERSITY        Sampler
More varied than most gardeners realize, tulips can be early, late, fragrant, wild, double, ruffled, striped, and more. Here’s an easy introduction to that blissful diversity. We’ll send you 12 bulbs: 3 fragrant early ‘Prinses Irene’, 3 ruffled late ‘Black Parrot’, 3 double Victorian ‘Peach Blossom’, 3 wild slender ‘Florentine’. For zones 3a-7a(8WC).

For 6, 9, or more of each, order additional samplers.

COF42Add to basket:1/$232/$443/$634/$815/$99
ABSALON, 1780        Rarest
Most people have never even seen a brown tulip, let alone grown one. Here’s your chance! 18th-century ‘Absalon’ is intricately patterned with swirling flames of dark chocolate and chestnut on gold. It’s a true broken tulip, a Dutch Bizarre from the Hortus Bulborum, and sure to cause a buzz. 16”, late, zones 4b-7a(7bWC). Chart to compare. See more brown tulips.
TU73Add to basket:1/$9.503/$265/$4110/$7625/$171
ACUMINATA, 1816
Add some fireworks to your garden and bouquets with this spectacularly different tulip that Anna Pavord calls “spidery and mad.” Unknown in the wild, it’s probably the last survivor from the early 1700s when stilleto-petalled tulips like it were all the rage in the Ottoman Empire. 20”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
TU32Add to basket:3/$14.505/$2310/$4325/$9850/$181
ADONIS, 1850        Web-Only & Rarest
Named for the ancient demi-god of manly beauty and spring’s magic rebirth, this true English florists’ tulip is the first Bijbloemen to bloom each spring. With deep purple flames on ivory petals, it’s a thrill you’ll find yourself looking forward to all winter long. 16-18”, zones 4b-7a(7bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare.
TU970Add to basket:1/$22.503/$61.505/$97Limit 5, please.
AMIRAL DE CONSTANTINOPLE, 1665        Web-Only & Rarest
Only two parrot tulips from the 1600s survive, and you can grow this one! The jagged, billowing petals of this fabulous relic are a deep, fiery red embellished here and there with swirling brushstrokes of gold, green, and maroon. Tiny spurs and horns add to its wild allure. Its name is French (hence no “D” in Amiral), suggesting it got its start in quirky, flower-loving Flanders. (For 18th- and 19th-century parrots, see ‘Cafe Brun’, ‘Markgraaf van Baden’, and ‘Perfecta’.) Zones 4b-7a(7bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare.
TU971Add to basket:1/$23.503/$645/$101Limit 5, please.
BEAUTY OF BATH, 1906        Web-Only & Rarest
“One of the most enchanting of the Cottage tribe,” said the Scheepers catalog in 1929. A true broken tulip, this British beauty opens with “the most lovely flushes and pencilings of pale to deeper yellow and pinkish lavender to rose” and then matures to a lace-like tracery of purple on white. Our friend Betsy Ginsburg was so enchanted she wrote a time-travelling detective story exploring how it got its name. Late, 16-18”, zones 4b-7a(7bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare.
TU66Add to basket:1/$16.503/$455/$7110/$132Limit 10, please.
BESSIE, 1847        Rarest & New
Last offered in 2007! Although unusually old for an English florists’ tulip, ‘Bessie’ can still “break” so beautifully that it wins Premier Flame in shows of the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society. It’s small-flowered, with burgundy flames on white petals that reflex charmingly as they mature. Broken, 16”, zones 4b-7a(7bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare.
TU972Add to basket:1/$16.503/$455/$7110/$132Limit 10, please.
BLACK AND WHITE, 1920        Web-Only & Rarest
Historic? We’re not sure. Extraordinary? Yes! This true broken tulip was discovered at the Hortus Bulborum. It’s not clear whether it’s an heirloom whose label was lost or a newly-broken version of one of their other heirloom varieties, but it’s so stunning we couldn’t resist it. With dark purple flames on creamy white petals, it’s a tulip that Tulipomaniacs of the 1630s would have given a fortune to own! Single Late, 16-20”, zones 4b-7a(7bWC). Chart to compare.
TU978Add to basket:1/$16.503/$455/$7110/$13225/$297Limit 25, please.
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Old House Gardens
536 Third St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103.
phone: 734-995-1486
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