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Double or single, fringed or twisted, the species tulip comes back year after year

A close up view of the inside of a yellow tulip with orange edges.
Tyler Motes/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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iStockphoto
Traditional tulips like this one pictured are gorgeous and colorful but might not grow well or come back year after year in Vermont's climate. Instead, try planting low-to-the-ground, hardy species tulip bulbs for a pop of color and incredible variety year after year.

Vermont's climes aren't particularly tulip-friendly unless you plant a certain sort. And that kind of tulip is known as the species tulip.

Also called wild tulips, these grow anywhere from the Tibetan Plateau, to Iran and through Turkey, and all the way to Southern Europe.

These tulips are native plants with really interesting flower petal shapes and shades. Even the leaves are interesting, as some have twisted leaves while others are variegated with different coloring on them.

Species or wild tulips are low-growing, and some of them are almost like ground covers.

If you're up for planting tulips that look quite different than the hybrid varieties you're probably used to, look for colorful, interesting sorts like Tulipa tarda or tulipa praetens.

The nice thing about wild or species tulips is that, unlike the hybrid tulips, these will come back year after year, as long as they're in full sun with really well drained soil!

And not only will they come back, but they will naturalize, too.

Q: "I planted 100 Viking variety aronia potted plants in October of 2011. Now they're nine and 10 feet tall and have a prodigious yield every year. I did this mainly as a demonstration for all Vermont residents to persuade them to grow a few bushes for the food scarcity that I expected to occur and appears to be manifesting now via climate change. The nutritional value of the berries is ideal." - William, in Bomoseen

A: Aronia berries are highly nutritious and are really easy to grow. They are tough and hardy and a beautiful plant to add to your landscape.

The plants bear beautiful berries that are tasty but with a kind astringency to them. You might not pop them in your mouth like you might a blueberry but they do make a great juice that can be used in all kinds of food preparations. And the plant has beautiful fall foliage color, too.

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Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition Sunday with VPR host Mary Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35.

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Mary Engisch is the host and reporter for Weekend Edition Saturday and Weekend Edition Sunday on VPR.
Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on VPR. Be part of the fun and send your gardening questions here, for Charlie to answer on the air. Plus, find lots of great gardening tips and information for all seasons here. For more gardening information, check out Charlie's website, Gardening with Charlie Nardozzi. Charlie is a guest on VPR's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.