Best of the bunch
There are tulips for every setting, from delicate species and dwarf varieties to frilly parrots and majestic Darwin, triumph and lily-flowered types, plain, striped, flamed, single and double.
They can be used in many ways - in a mixed border, in a bedding scheme adding uniformity in height and colour, or in rockeries or containers.
In mixed borders, you can plant them alongside other plants that will cover the bare ground before the tulips emerge and after they die down. Violas, polyanthus, double daisies and wallflowers are among their most common companions.
For dramatic effect plant single varieties of the same colour in pots, avoiding the types with weak stems and heavy flowers with a tendency to flop.
Using multi-purpose compost, plant bulbs close together with at least three to four times the depth of the bulb covering them, but leaving enough space for the flowers to open.
Good container types include T. ‘Queen of Night’, with silky purple-black flowers and ‘World’s Favourite’, with glowing orangered blooms, edged with gold.