Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Yucca Tulips and Southern Traditions

How cool are these flowers? Are they even flowers? No, they are faux flowers. These are the 'Yucca Tulips' Nina and I have been talking about for a pretty long time. Since Easter is just under two weeks away and spring is near-now is the time to make some of your own yucca tulips and decorate your home in anticipation of the Easter bunny hopping you way! Kids will love this activity, and Felder Rushing ( even has some yucca tulips at his place in Mississippi (may or may not be a good thing for Tennesseans).

Nina sent me this picture when she sent me some tuberose bulbs. Along with the picture came a few words about Southerners and some beloved southern traditions. Now, I am not knocking southerners, no-no-no, but! southerners CAN be a bit different. Nina thought my mother and the other northerners(including my sister) reading this blog would enjoy the words that came with this lovely picture. I am printing them verbatim. These words are Steve Bender's words and were originally published in March 2005 in Southern Living.

"The continuing influx of newcomers to the South means that many people arrive here sadly unaware of some of our most cherished regional traditions, such as painting the rocks along the driveway in patriotic colors, or drowning an Angus rib- eye in a sea of ketchup. I cannot allow this horrific state of affairs to continue. So listen up, newbies. Here's a traditional spring project that's sure to win you the respect of your Southern neighbors-making yucca tulips. First, you need a plant called yucca. Then, on the pretense of making Easter eggs, buy yellow, pink, white, and blue foam egg cartons. Cut tulip-shaped blooms out of the cartons, and spear them on the ends of the yucca leaves. What a striking display! And it lasts for months! Folks, you just don't see these up North. It's one of the things that makes living here so special."

So, in the spirit of being Southern and with Steve's fine words still fresh in our minds-make your own yucca tulips and brighten your landscape. Mine will be prominently displayed at the end of my driveway along with my German purchased Easter eggs made especially for hanging on trees.

The second picture shows my little egg cartons and how I cut my 'tulips'. All you need are pastel egg cartons and some scissors. Rural King sells pastel egg cartons for 25 cents a piece if you need some. The last picture is of my yucca tulips-or is it tulip yuccas?! Thanks Nina for the article and amusing words.

in the garden....

This is an old post but will probably become an annual post. It is Yucca Tulip time and I wanted to get it out now so you'll be all set for Easter this weekend. I am busy putting my Yucca Tulips out too! Make all your neighbors smile and doubt their very sight!


  1. dawn with peachesMarch 12, 2008 at 7:47 AM

    wow, these are so nicely done, they look real!

  2. Tina, my tulips are ready, just waiting for granddaughter next week. Yours are so much prettier than the one's I have made, but 'm not a "craftie person!!!!

    I'll be outside today as I am sure most of us will, but first must check on my Dad. Have a good day everyone!

  3. Oh I really like them, very cool!!!
    Remind me when I am down there to go and buy some egg cartons. We can't get them here. They are a no-no. Maine is and has always been a leading state when it comes to recycling, banning chemicals and such. I have wanted to make some of the Christmas trees outta the egg cartons like Nana used to make. I still have the one she made for me but after 30 years it has seen better days and I would love to have a new one. She also made the crosses that you kids all had one of.

  4. Those are so neat! What a nice post otday --getting us in the Easter spirit:) Looks like another beautiful day today. Have company so I won't be on too much:) Catch you all later:)

  5. With all the talk on the Tulip Yucca, I really could not envision them.
    They look like some type of real flowers in the pictures. They are so neat and a great craft to share with kids!

    I spent some time in the garden yesterday. Okay, a lot of time. Got all the planters cleaned out and also started a new project. I had some of the circular type border bricks from a tree we cut down years ago. The things were lying in the backyard for the past two years and are now nicely moss covered. The Saint wanted to toss them but I would not hear of it. Was going to pass them on to his mother with their next visit to us but they showed up in a new car so the old dirty bricks remained where they were until now. I moved them into the garden along a small slope. The plan is to make two planters out of them with only making a half circle with the open ends coming out of the sloped part of the soil. I have this vision in my mind and only hope it takes shape in the ground as nicely for me. LOL….

  6. Tina,

    I thought the painted rocks was only a St. Louis tradition.

    I listen to Felder, he's on my ipod right now. He is very funny and practical but not relevant to middle Tennessee

    hello to everyone.


  7. ps

    I have really appreciated your thoughtful comments at my the time I get to commenting I am often tired and forget to say what I mean to say,


  8. I am as Southern as Turnip greens and Cornbread but never have I painted a rock to display on my driveway! I have never even heard of such a thing. What about bowling balls Tina? LOL.

    Now in my younger years I was guilty of putting ketchup on a well done steak! After having a bite of a med steak, I have never touched the ketchup bottle for steak since. A good steak does not need any sauce...

  9. Skeeter I don't know what she is talking about either cause they do paint rocks in the north but usually white to make a border. More around flower beds than driveways.

    However I do like the look of her bowling balls. They are different and I like that.

    I agree steak needs nothing! But I want mine cooked a little less than med but not quite rare.

  10. hey all-you guys are funny! this post will be in the paper tomorrow-so let's see how much more fun we can get.

    felder emailed he did the last time when i talked about bottle trees. i was hoping he himself would comment but that is ok. here is what he had to say..

    "fun! up North they put plastic easter eggs on small shrubs. we do it in the South, too, but let's give Yankees some credit for helping Keep America Gaudy!
    btw, in South America i photographed a number of yuccas festooned with REAL eggshells...and in South Texas i photographed an agave with silk peony flowers on each tip... "

    gail, i saw felder at a perennial plant society meeting. there was a huge crowd and all loved him and dr. dirt. he is so definitely relevant for middle tennessee. if you can't smile when you go to the garden-what is the point? i understand elegance and refinement in the garden-but we also have to have some fun! it is the unexpected and different that makes folks smile and he does a good job of that-we may even need more of that in all of tennessee! plus, let us not forget, southern living calls him the south's premier gardener...he is quite popular and i think more would emulate him if they dared. i say why not-life is too short!

    painting rocks. there is a garden down on dover road the woman painted all the rocks around the driveway, i think black and red. took a long time and i have hand it to her! lotsa work! they do do it up north too.

    just wait til i hang up my Easter eggs...never fails to make kids smile-not sure about parents but then again-tennessee?!

  11. Good Afternoon, All.

    I too am a southern "gal" & I've never heard of painting rocks unless you want to make the flower bed noticed. Never heard of tulip yuccas either. Just noticed them from time to time. Thought that was just someone doing their thing, like the person not far from here that uses white styrofoam cups to write a phrase in a chain link fence. But I must admit they are pretty.
    Never heard of Felder.

    Steaks are another matter all together. Don't put anything on my steaks to ruin the true taste. Haven't had a real good steak in awhile since the Steak House went buffet. And I like mine Med. Rare.

    How long did it take you to cut these out Tina? Did you just use the hole where the eggs are put? I don't have a Yucca plant. Every time I get around one it attacks me. Then I have problems from being stuck.

  12. hey lola, took less than 10 minutes. i cut up about 2 18 packs of yellow, one 12 pack of blue and one of 12 white. real easy. nina told me to fold the yucca leaf over so it won't fly off. will last a long time.

    running short on school and i am dropping off my last pup tonight.

    just wanted to say-i just picked up another batch of bowling balls...i have a spot too! they last forever! tacky and gaudy or not! they are mine and it is my garden! see ya...

  13. Where do you get the bowling balls? I have a project I would like to do that calls for a bowling ball. I think they would be neat in the garden.

    Glad the last pup is headed for a permanent home. I know you will be sad but lets face it you were a great "mom" while the time was needed.

  14. dawn with peachesMarch 12, 2008 at 7:13 PM

    yah, you have some kinda inside market on bowling balls? I like the gazingballs but I'm sure bowling balls last ALOT longer.

  15. Tina I think your bowling balls are great! Is shows the imagination from within your soul. I think that it is great that you have found a purpose for something that would end up in a land field taking up space on this earth. You have found a way to incorporate them into your garden and I think that is great! You have little bits of whimsy all around you and that should make you happy. So you keep collecting all the balls you want to, just dont say one word to BJ when he decides to bring one to you to throw for him...

    We were in town today and I had my new toy with me. The Saint bought me a new camera as an early birthday gift. (I will be going under the knife “tonsillectomy” a day before my special day so he is trying so hard to make up for me missing out on my birthday as we usually try to go somewhere) anyway, I had the new camera with me and was playing with it. I snapped a shot of some beautiful blossoms on trees that seem to be growing wild around here. I also snapped a few shots at the doctor’s office parking lot. The business around here really do well with landscaping. I was shocked at their beautiful green grass! I am not sure the variety of grass but it is lush green and beautiful. Lots of places seem to have this grass around their businesses. Sod is a big thing down here. Then I snapped the row of pear trees across the street from us. They always make us smile each time we leave the house and head down the street…. All the beauty in the air is such a pleasure and the sun was making it all glow!

  16. Oh dear, Skeeter, sorry. You will be sore for a few days but will have less pain later on. We will be thinking of you and miss you when the time comes.

  17. dawn with peachesMarch 12, 2008 at 8:36 PM

    Good luck with your surgery Skeeter, I had this in 7th grade and Tina had it even younger, you will feel soooo much better, ease with breathing alone.

  18. dawn with peachesMarch 12, 2008 at 8:37 PM

    ok mom, how dare you! Just kidding

  19. Tina,

    He is funny and irreverent, which I like. I listen to his local Mississippi radio show and he does focus on plants that are specific to his climate a good deal of the time....He isn't a snobby plant guy at all.


  20. Yeh, good luck Skeeter. Hope you don't even have a sore throat.

    Ok, minute is up Jean.

    Hi All: Hope all have a very restful night & a great day tomorrow.

  21. hey all. i didn't do much today but was so tired i came home from school early. don't know what is up.

    lola, a local bowling alley (which shall remain nameless:) gives me their cracked balls. lots of colorful ones. win/win situation. they don't have to haul them off to the dump and i have an accessory for the garden.

    i have tons and am always happy to share with others. they serve a purpose in that they edge some beds and slow down water run off. they don't rot but do fade a bit. my friend geri and her daughter claire just made some BEAUTIFUL balls with glass mortared onto theirs. i am going to post on it sometime. i might do another post on mine some other time. it has been a long time and there are more readers on here now than when i first posted about bowling balls and bottle trees. any readers out there interested in seeing bowling balls in the garden?

    skeeter, good luck with the surgery. lots of popsickles, jello and koolaid. my mother took VERY GOOD care of me when i had it many many years ago. it hurt-alot.

    mom, you did a really good job of caring for me. i still remember it to this day.

    dawn with peaches, do not remember you getting yours out. it was the thing to do back then. not common now. good luck skeeter!

    gail, i did not even know felder had a radio program until i visited his site again this week. i just enjoyed his talk and his truck crop. mississippi would be a much different climate than us here, but i like his whimsy and his take on life and that really doesn't have a whole lot to do with gardening. that is why i talk about him. quite the character. i am not like him (am i-you met me?) but i do my own thing here. like all gardeners and you! your garden is beautiful. i want to come see it sometime...

  22. Thanks Tina. I did try but as mothers I don't think we ever feel we did enough of the right things so good to hear we did at times.

    Skeeter, Tina is right about the popsicles so make sure you have some ahead of time.

  23. I will have Crystal Light, Popsicles and pudding. Ah, what a way to spend your birthday! LOL, I know it will be painful and I should have had it done years ago, but what is a few days of pain with a lifetime of releif after the pain is gone.... Thanks for your kind words all....

  24. mom, you were a great mom.

    skeeter, sounds like you are good to go.

    all positive feedback on my yucca tulips from paper readers. mainly this is an EXCELLENT activity to do with kids. you can substitute something similar to yuccas if you don't have a yucca.

  25. I've never heard of this, but what a cute, cute idea! Your house will be all ready for spring and Easter!

  26. I just have to get me some yucca.

  27. How funny as i was reading the comments, I was thinking, I have already seen that one. then i was like, "Oh my goodness, Anonymous is on here after having her baby"! Then my name was up and silly me remembered the comments remain with the posting from a year ago. Duh.... I got a kick out of that one....

    Okay, I will be on the road again today and of course when the sun is out and I should be doing some outside fun things, I will be stuck in a car all day. Sigh....

  28. Good Morning! I like this post...and remember doing a double take when I looked at the photo last year! I hope your day is delightful...I can't wait to get outside in that soon to be warmer garden! gail

  29. Linda, It is a bit 'unique' indeed! You should've seen some passrsby when they stopped and died laughing when they realized the 'tulips' were fake.

    Dawn, I think they will grow there!

    Skeeter, I like these old posts with our conversations as they can remind us of where we were last year? Plus, this is a classic and many new readers come all the time-not so many check archives to I thought I should repost it. You have a safe trip!!

    Gail, Yup! You were on here and again this year. Wonderful! Not sure how 'egg carton' tulips would look on forsythia bushes-but hey it's a thought:)

  30. Cool Yucca Tulips. They don’t look fake. Good for us in Maine where nothing is blooming. How much fun! Happy Easter!

  31. Hi Tina, these tulips leave me speechless. I have to admit, they are growing on me though. Last year I was thinking, hmmmm. This year it is hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  32. Sarah, A bright spot of color indeed. Mainers would accept them no problemo:)

    Frances, Good thing I don't live close by I might have to 'help' them grow on ya! Ha! You would really be known as a greenthumb. lol

  33. I've painted some rocks but only to label some plants. Some lasts and some doesn't - need to figure out why.
    Tina I was out most of yesterday and missed the post but caught up today. What a nice time you must have had. I'm just itchin' to go buy plants but haven't done any yet as we can still freeze. Looks like ya had fun. Linda

  34. Dang where did I go to school? That sounded horrible - some lasts and some doesn't? LOL guess it's still early not quite awake yet.

  35. Linda, Don't even worry about catching up-too much to do I think. Painting rocks-hmmmmmmmm..... Have a great day in the garden. I am on my way out for a wonderful walk!

  36. Well I liked them when you posted last year and I like them now. Wish I had a big Yucca plant as I would then have a Yucca-Tulip plant for us northers to enjoy. There are a few Yuccas up here but very few so maybe some folks just get lucky in growing them. I think they have to be well sheltered. There is one down by where Fabbisio's store was and Nana loved it.

    I bet Josh would love to help with that. We hung eggs on a Honeysuckle Bush last weekend and oh what a time he had. He just loved doing it. Since he will down in TN next Easter, you will have to do both with him.

  37. I haven't heard about yucca tulips before. I love hearing about all the different traditions from different parts of the world.
    Hope you had a nice walk!

  38. I've never heard of this tradition before Tina. Very creative & festive for the holidays. :)

  39. Egg-carton tulips and bowling ball edging remind me of my favorite childhood item of garden kitsch: old tires, painted white. Either space them along both sides of your driveway and plant with strawberries, or cut them in half and make a driveway fence of half-round tires. I'm still waiting for the garden-decorating pros to revive this practice.

  40. Tina, I don't have a yucca plant, but maybe I should plant at least one for next year. I love these yucca tulips--they certainly would brighten up a corner of my garden while I wait for the tulips to start blooming. And the cars drive so fast by my house, they would think they were real:)

    Ooh, I am so envious of your trip to the nursery yesterday. I can't wait until it warms up a little more here to actually start plant shopping--my favorite way to spend the day!

  41. I can't make yucca tulips this year! Those dang deer ATE the tips off of my yucca! No kidding. I think I should take a photo for proof, just in case anyone is in doubt of this fact.


  42. Tina:
    What a great idea with the yucca tulips, We used to make these origami flowers when I was younger. but such a wonderful idea on decorating the yucca with these!

  43. I wouldn't have guessed it if you hadn't mentioned. So beautiful!

  44. Mom, You bet we will! I even have a honeysuckle on which to hang eggs too in honor of his Meme.

    Catherine-different for sure!

    Lona, Thanks! It is fun!

    Racquel, It was published in Southern Living so there must be some credibility right?:)

    WS, I've seen those tire planters and the half tires! Maybe it's coming back?

    Rose, Yuccas are fun plants-drought tolerant and not picky. Their bloom is wonderful but a bit short lived. I adore mine, the tulips are a bonus. Won't be long now and you'll be shopping too...

    Cameron, The yuccas must've tasted good! I wonder what they'd do to the egg cartons if they were on the plants? Hmmmmm

    Zach, Origami is fun-and still in. These are fun too.

    Chandramouli, You should see my neighbors look. They really can't believe their eyes!

  45. Never heard of the yucca tulips but they are sure pretty. I'm glad something nice can be done with them. The flowers are pretty but I think the plant itself is horrible looking.