Show­stop­per and eye-opener for early spring

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

All tulips are win­ners – some big­time, oth­ers a lit­tle less stat­uesque but nev­er­the­less stars in their own right.

Tulipa ‘Show Win­ner’ falls into the lat­ter cat­e­gory but what it lacks in height it makes up for in pres­ence. It’s one of the Kauf­man­ni­ana group of tulips – small, of­ten with pur­ple­marked fo­liage, and with sin­gle, of­ten bi­coloured flow­ers that usu­ally ap­pear in late March and early April.

‘Show Win­ner’ will prob­a­bly never reach more than 20cm in height, but with its broad, light green leaves mottled with pur­ple, and stand-alone scar­let flow­ers feath­ered with cream around the margins, it is a real eye-opener just as the gar­den is start­ing to awaken af­ter win­ter.

Planted in clumps at the front of bor­ders or packed into con­tain­ers, the bulbs can flower for sev­eral weeks – es­pe­cially if they are pro­tected from strong, cold winds.

Then, when they have fi­nally shed their petals and are pre­par­ing to re­place all the en­ergy they have used af­ter putting on a stun­ning flo­ral show, it’s de­ci­sion time – leave them in situ or dig them up, dis­card the dam­aged and dis­eased and store the healthy un­til Novem­ber when they can be re­planted?

What­ever your choice and what­ever form of tulips you grow, dead-head them to stop them set­ting seed.

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