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Tulip Black Parrot

I want to share a photo from my garden from last month. The picture is of tulip Black Parrot that I planted last fall. I purchased it a cool garden center here in Chicago called Sprout Home because the photo of the tulip on the package was stunning. The tulip bulbs were packaged by a garden wholesaler named VanBloem Gardens that sells plants and horticultural equipment across the U.S and Canada. While not as large and nuanced as the product pictured on the package makes the Black Parrot tulips look they are still pretty stunning. The ruffled petals start a wine-red and darken to an almost black and the petals open up semi- flat and horizontal to the stem and reach a height of about 20 inches. The Leaves of this bulb are a grayish-green color and look the same as any other tulip. In my garden I also have Flaming Parrot tulips and the flowers of Black Parrot are smaller and not as flamboyant by comparison.

black tulip, black plants black flowers

Container Garden Inserts

Over the winter I was e-mailed by Jeff Maniscalco the husband of a Kristy Maniscalco wondering if I'd explain what this whole garden blog thing was about. I get a lot of e-mails of people who want to do "partnerships" of one kind or another so I was a little hesitant to answer. Over the course of a few e-mails I tried to explain why people like us blog about our plants and gardens and explain how to use a blog. I set them up with an account and created a couple of entries for them in their blog showing how to use the container garden inserts that Kristy had designed.

After I was done Jeff asked if I'd be interested in trying out one of the Ups A Daisy container inserts. I said sure and when it came in the mail I set it aside and forgot about it when life took an interesting turn recently. The other day I was finally getting around to planting my spring bulbs and my Amaryllis bulbs that I had kept dormant all winter and I spotted the Ups A Daisy planters Jeff had mailed me. Needing to plant everything at once I chose to plant my bulbs up in a large container I grabbed the Ups A Daisy insert and took it outside to see if it would work.

The idea behind the Ups A Daisy is to eliminate the need to fill the bottom of your garden pot with packing peanuts, soil or empty water bottles. I didn't get a chance to save up any packing peanuts this winter for my large pots so the Ups A Daisy came in handy. You measure the inside of your pot with a measuring tape and the measurement dictates the size of the insert that you'll need. The Ups A Daisy insert is then slid in and sits halfway down your pot so you only use half of the amount of soil you would normally use.

The photos in this entry are not mine they're product shots from their website but I'm using them to give you an idea of how to use it. I'll post the pics of my pot when I get a chance to go through my photo album and edit the pictures and the plants are a little more filled out. While I used the sample to plant up some of my "indoor" bulbs I don't see why the Ups A Daisy can't be used to pot up ornamentals, veggies or even houseplants. It is a good product for frugal gardeners like myself who don't want to fill a whole pot with soil and since only half the pot is filled with soil it makes it easier to move your container garden around. One of the creative uses they found for the Ups A Daisy was using the planter insert to create a water fountain for a patio garden. If you're interested you can learn more about the Ups A Daisy inserts for your pots or container garden at the Ups A Daisy website or find a store that carries it near you.