Bulbs Gardening Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Introducing Canada’s Sesquicentennial Tulip!

 

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Canada 150 tulips in bloom.

Did you know that there is an official tulip for Canada’s 150th anniversary, celebrated next year (2017)? It’s called Canada 150 and is white streaked with red, a combination that “recalls the Canadian flag” according to the press releases. Well, maybe you had to be there…

Another attraction: its foliage is variegated, rimmed with a thin white edge.

Over 300,000 Canada 150 tulips will be planted this fall by the National Capital Commission in its gardens in Ottawa and Gatineau to ensure a spectacular show next spring at the Canadian Tulip Festival (May 12 to 22, 2017). Also, many municipalities across Canada will be planting huge beds of this bulb very soon.

You too can obtain bulbs of Canada 150. They will be distributed exclusively this fall through Home Hardware stores across Canada at a cost of $ 12.97 for 25 bulbs or $44.99 for 100 bulbs. The bulbs are scheduled to arrive in stores in time for the weekend of September 10-11.

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Same bulb, different name.

Note that other suppliers will be selling the same tulip under the name Canadian Celebration. You’ll likely find it under this name in your favorite garden center this fall.

American and European readers of this blog will also be able to locate this bulb, but this time, under its real name, ‘Happy Generation’. (Yes, the tulip was renamed in Canada for commercial purposes… sorry, I really meant “patriotic reasons”!)

‘Happy Generation’ is a Triumph tulip and reaches about 20 inches (50 cm) in height.

A Few Words About Tulip Care

Tulips need cool to cold winters to grow well and can be planted in hardiness zones 3 to 8 as well as colder parts of zone 9.

20160908D.jpgPlant tulip bulbs to 6 inches (15 cm) deep; 12 inches (30 cm) deep if you have a problem with bulb-eating squirrels, since squirrels tend to give up digging if the bulbs are planted deeply. (Read Protecting Bulbs from Squirrels for other methods of keeping squirrels from harvesting your tulip bulbs). It is important to plant them in well-drained spot in full sun, preferably in rich soil. Space the bulbs about 4 inches (10 cm) apart, planting them in groups of at least 10 for the best possible effect.

Plant the bulbs when soil temperatures start to drop in the fall, but before the soil freezes. That can be as early as September in zones 3 to 5 and as late as December or even January in zone 9.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

6 comments on “Introducing Canada’s Sesquicentennial Tulip!

  1. Larry, do you have some references to confirm that Happy Generation is in fact the same tulip as Canada 150? I have not been able to confirm that this is true.

    Robert Pavlis, Gardenmyths.com

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