Showstopper and eye-opener for early spring
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.