There’s been a delivery……..of 9,150 bulbs to be precise. It includes alliums, daffodils, Fritillaria meleagris, crocus and Iris reticulata but it mostly contains tulips.
There is something so joyful about tulips – their intensity and they are the first real blaze of colour of the year. We don’t start planting our tulips until November. They will only start to put roots down about then and the cool temperatures help to wipe out viral and fungal diseases which infect the bulbs. Planting late prevents tulip fire disease which can ruin tulip displays producing brown spots and withered leaves and are aptly named as plants look like they have been scorched by fire.
Here are some of my absolute favourite tulips that we’ll be planting and that I couldn’t be without:
‘Exotic Emperor’ – flowers for at least six weeks and looks good from the moment the buds begin to develop until it is almost dropping. Large double white flowers with a delicate green flame. A magnificent tulip.
‘Princess Irene’ – this tulip has it all – a beautiful colour combination and a sweet scent. It has a chocolate stem and orange flowers that are flushed with pink, plum and a touch of green.
‘Queen of Night’ – one of the darkest tulips you can grow with glossy dark, purple flowers. An amazing tulip. ‘Recreado’ and ‘Black Hero’ are also fabulous dark tulips.
‘Spring Green’ – a real stand out tulip with very long lasting ivory-white flowers adorned with green. Pure class.
‘China Pink’ – a lily-flowered tulip that flowers in light and dark pink shades. Really catches the eye.
‘La Belle Epoque’ – an incredible coffee coloured tulip that flowers for weeks. Very trendy.
‘Ballerina’ – one of the most fragrant tulips you can grow with orange flowers. So graceful.
‘Slawa’ – we grew this tulip for the first time last year and will definitely grow it every year from now on. Deep rich crimson and apricot in one flower that really puts some punch into a colour scheme.
‘Angelique’ – delicate, soft pink double that can easily be mistaken for a peony. Fabulously elegant and fragrant too.
‘Accuminata’ – makes a stunning display en masse. An heirloom variety that’s scarlet and yellow with unusual spiky petals. They will multiply from year to year.
Tulips are the stars of Columbine’s spring garden, with their vibrant and elegant forms they bring the garden alive after its winter rest. And yes……I have the deep heat at the ready.