Edmonton weather is not for the faint of heart. We went from snow straight to temperatures in the mid- to high-twenties. The tulips are almost gone before they even had a chance! That's always the risk here, which I try and minimize by planting early and late tulips. This extends the bloom time of my tulip beds by at least one to two weeks. In other places or other years, this might be longer.
I tried a number of new and beautiful varieties of tulips this year including 'Belle Epoque' which has been popular in the farmer/florist set for the last two years, 'Dream Touch' and 'Apricot Foxx.' Surprisingly most people comment on the dramatic 'White Triumphator' tulips, a favourite at Sissinghurst Garden in the UK, which have exceptionally long stems (almost two feet) and gracefully arched, pointed, pure white petals. I paired them with 'Havran' and black parrot tulips in a classic combination.
I've been asked several times where I source tulips from as it can be difficult to find interesting bulbs in Edmonton. You may laugh at the name but I got beautiful bulbs from flowerbulbsrus.com, as well as Botanus and Veseys. Pretty soon they will all be pulled up to make room for the next set of flowers and some vegetables. No time for nostalgia in the garden! Plus many tulips do not do well the second year in the garden. The only notable performers I've had are 'Spring Green' which has grown to an identical height and size in its second year, 'Shirley' and an unknown basic purple which has naturalized in our herb garden.