From as early as March through to mid-May, the colourful cups of Tulip flowers adorn our gardens, parks and roadsides and what a sight to behold they are arriving alongside, or just after, the glory of the daffodils!
Tulips come in a myriad of different colours so you’ll never be short of several to suit your garden or just plant one colour en masse for a really dramatic effect.
New varieties of Tulips flood the market every year to offer more than 3000 cultivated varieties to chose from. Alongside those classic, elegant shapes, you can now buy varieties such as Fringed, Parrot, Lily and Peony shaped Tulips and ones with double or multi-heads – which all look absolutely stunning!
Tulips are relatively short-lived but you can extend the season of interest of Tulips by planting a few early and late varieties which will flower at different times, so that as one finishes flowering, another one begins.
Tulips will last longer if they are protected from strong winds which can snap their tall, slim stems. A good way to do this is to plant them in pots which you can move to a sheltered spot if high winds are forecast. They also need full sun to grow strongly although if they receive shade for part of the day, the flowers will last longer.
Tulips also look great in a vase on display indoors and if you are taking them from your garden, snip them before the bud is open so they will last longer in the vase. Remember to remove the lower leaves before you put them in the vase as you would do with any other flowers so that no leaves sit below the waterline in the vase.
If you didn’t planted Tulip bulbs in Autumn, then it’s not too late to buy ones from the garden centre now. Make sure to buy plants which are not yet flowering so you get the benefit of the flowers in your garden. Dig a hole wide and deep enough to be able to plant the whole Tulip bulb, roots and as much soil from the pot as you can. Firm the soil around the plant and water it in well. The Tulip will soon settle in, stand tall and give you a great show!