I was up to Vancouver, BC today to photograph spring blooms at VanDusen and UBC Botanical Gardens. Spring is really late this year, but there were a number of plants in bloom on a gloriously pleasant day under a brilliant blue sky.
These delightful little species tulips were the star of my day, as I’d never seen them before. They were blooming in the alpine garden at UBC, in full sun and nestled against a nice warm rock. The flowers are similar in size to Tulipa tarda, which we have in our garden, but Tulipa urumiensis blossoms are solid yellow instead of having some white.
I found that Tulipa urumiensis is native to the shore of Lake Urumiya in Azarbaijan and along Lake Rezaiyeh in northwestern Iran. It’s apparently been in cultivation since the late 1920s, but I’ve never run across it. A page on Paghat’s Garden website has more information if you’re curious.
The photo was made with my 24-105mm all-purpose lens, with the camera on the tripod as usual. I softened the mid-day sun with a diffuser held as close to the flowers as possible. What you see here is straight from the camera, just downsized and converted to a JPEG for the web. Getting it right in the camera saves a whole lot of time later.
The magnolias in both gardens were putting on a great show, but quite difficult to photograph in many instances. The trees are getting to be good size and when they bloom on the upper branches it’s hard to isolate the tree from its surroundings. I didn’t try, choosing instead to just enjoy the beauty of the trees.
One of my favorite primroses, Primula denticulata or Drumstick Primrose, was in full bloom in both gardens. I bought one plant at the Seattle Flower & Garden Show back in February and planted it in our garden, but I haven’t seen any sign of flowers yet. Perhaps it takes a couple of years for them to get established. Either that or I planted it in too much shade and it’s not going to thrive.
Spring has been so slow this year that I haven’t done any garden photography since shooting in the snow on February 27. As the days get warmer and longer the plants should start to catch up and I’ll get busier.