Cape Gazette
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Garden Journal

Combine Angelique with peaceful white tulips

By Paul Barbano | Sep 04, 2013
Tulips always look best planted in masses for drifts of bloom.

All of humanity tries to take good from evil. So it happened when an innocent slave named Angelique in New France, now known as the province of Quebec, was tried and convicted of setting fire to her owner’s home, and burning much of Old Montreal. There were no witnesses and very little evidence. It is thought she was made the scapegoat because she tried to escape her bondage and flee to the United States. Before she was hanged, she was tortured by strapping wooden planks to her legs and having a wedge driven between them to gradually crush her legs. Though innocent, Angélique immediately confessed her guilt and was hanged.

From evil comes good. There is now a tulip named Angélique with exquisite semidouble petals, often blooming with two to three blooms on each stem. This late double tulip is a soft and slightly ruffled, delicate pale rose pink set against a creamy white self.

It grows a stately foot tall or more with up to three flowers per stem, each flower four inches across.

Like all double or semi-double tulips Angelique blooms later in the season than many. Because the petals are thick and almost waxy, the blooms last longer than almost all other tulips.

As a bonus, Angelique has a light fragrance. It even attracts butterflies.

Tulips always look best planted in masses for drifts of bloom. Try combining Angelique and the white tulip Mount Tacoma for a peaceful pastel bed of flowers. Or mix it with a contrasting double tulip such as Lilac Perfection. These peony like flowers are also excellent as long-lasting cut flowers.

Tulips grow best in full sun in well-drained soil. If your soil is too sandy, dig in compost or other organic material.

The ideal soil pH is between 6.0 to 6.5. If you can’t plant your tulip bulbs right away, store them in a cool spot, below 65 degrees. Plant the bulbs about six inches deep and six inches apart. Cluster at least 10 bulbs for a good show.

Beauty is fleeting, and most late-flowering tulips only bloom well for one or two seasons, so you may have to replant them every fall for a full garden.

The heavy blossoms are subject to damage from heavy rain or strong winds, so choose a sheltered spot or stake the stems.

When the tulips first emerge in the spring scatter a good organic bulb food around them. If your spring is dry, water them once a week, but be careful that they don’t get waterlogged. “Wet feet” can cause the bulbs to rot.

With Angelique in your garden you can enjoy the calming effect of her pink and white blooms. Mix her with a white double tulip or a dark one for contrast. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

As for the slave woman, “Marie-Josèphe dite Angélique?” She is  a folk hero to all oppressed people. Remembered now simply as Angelique, which is quite fitting, as her name means “pertaining to angels.”

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