When I think of spring tulips are the most iconic symbol that warmer weather and brighter sunshine days are right around the corner. While visiting the market yesterday, I was so pleased to be greeted by bright colors or yellow, hot pink, red and lavender. Is it true? Winter is coming to a close? As I thought about it, I quickly recalled my days of living on 13th Street in Washington, DC. Every week it was a treated to pick up new tulips on my walk home from work. It was almost like these little pops of color were the pendulum of swinging in spring. They also inspired me to switch out pillow covers and change the drapes to brighter and lighter linen styles.

So how can we make the most of our tulip selection? Here are a few tips to prolong the life of these little friends that can perk up any space this spring.

• Try to pick the freshest bunch possible. Tight and closed is my first hint.

• Trim ¼ inch from the base of the stems (wash of any soil that might still be on the stems.)

• Make certain you select the perfect vase. Finding a vase with a smaller opening on top will keep the tulips closer and more erect.

• Use a small amount of water in the vase. Otherwise, the tulips will continue to grow and they will bend over and break.

• Don’t re-cut the stems or change the water. This will make them droop.

• Add a splash of bleach to the water. This will keep the water clear and give you fresh, beautiful tulips for an entire week.

• Lastly, if you have a special event and are not concerned about the lifespan of the tulips, locate a penny produced before 1982 drop it in the water and let it sink to the bottom of the vase. This penny will keep your tulips standing straight however, it will shorten the life.

David Brown
Mulberry Seed Design