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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

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Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Swiss wild tulips


Wild tulips are not the same as naturalized ones, but both grow happily in mountain meadows, I believe, and divide and multiply over time. Tulips started in Asia, in the mountains, and they still grow wonderfully on well-drained slopes with cool nights and warm days.

Farmer Bernard next door has some red ones that reappear every year and no one seems to know anything about where they came from or how long they have been there - always, is the only answer my question draws. They are at the top of a virgin alpine meadow where wildflowers grow like mad from mid-April until early June, when the cows are given a week to nibble and mow the field. The tulips are never touched, since they are at the top of a slope on a very steep bit. Farmer Bernard's smart but not handsome dog sits next to the tulips and keeps an eye on the cows, barks when anyone walks up the lane to buy cheese or ask if they can take some of the manure ("Yes! Please do, as much as you like!" is always the answer.)

The French are trying to list and maintain their native wild tulips; I think these Swiss ones might be cousins.

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