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Book Review of Tulips

Tulip planting time is almost here. Plant some this fall so you can ejoy lots of blooms during the spring. This remains one of the all-time favorite cut flowers.

So many kinds of tulips are available. There are tall ones, short ones ranging from singles to doubles in a rainbow of colors. How can we choose suitable ones for our floral designs?

Christopher Baker, author of “Tulipa-A Photographer’s Botanical” makes it so easy. Artisan published his book. It features text by Willem Lemmers.

By using the color plates and valuable information provided in this book, you’d be able to choose tulips by color, stem length, type, and bloom time. Use it to make informed decisions when you’re planning those spring arrangements.

Baker moved to Holland where he spent eight months in the bulb fields taking photographs and learning everything he could from Lemmers, one of the world’s greatest experts on bulbs. Lemmers, who also happens to be a third-generation bulb grower, handpicked and gave his approval to every tulip used for these photos.

The book features over three hundred lush color photos by Baker. The main section features 137 full, page-size plates. Baker organized these plates or portraits according to the growing season from early to late blooming.

The introduction includes an enlightening explanation of how Baker came to choose tulips as his photographic subject. There is also a delightful chapter on the folklore of the tulip by renowned writer Michael Pollan and a section on the anatomy of a tulip with a photo showing the labeled parts.

The second part of the book features the stories of five hundred tulips. This section opens with an explanation and the fascinating history of the classification system used for these beloved flowers written by Lemmers

For each tulip, there is complete information on its name, description, and recommended uses whether for outdoor gardens or for forcing.

The book also features informative sections on the new introductions. There is also an engrossing and useful section devoted to the mutation-related tulips. A mutation in a tulip cell can give rise to a new kind of plant called a ‘sport.’ A handy table provides details on the varieties that are known to have come about in this manner.

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