Spring in Bloom

(Three-year-olds smelling the tulips at the Central Park Conservatory Garden)

I recently came across a really helpful flower book "A Passion for Flowers". Here are some tips to care and extend the life of my favorite spring flower...tulips!

Care of Tulips
Cut away any white portion of the stems, as tulips (along with hyacinths and daffodils) cannot absorb water through this barrier.

You can control the look of the tulip by the amount of water it is given. For arching, dancing, moving tulips, place a small amount of water in the bottom of the vase. For a straighter, more uniform look, fill the container full of water--the stems will absorb the water and stiffen.

To perk up drooping tulip heads, make a tiny incision in the stem of the tulip just beneath the part where the petals attach. This releases any air locked in the neck of the flower.

To resurrect limp tulips, cut the stems (preferably under water) and roll the bunch within a column of paper. Place them in a bucketful of room temperature water for a few hours. They will absorb the water and become little tin soldiers.