Pre­pare for spring!

14 great tulip va­ri­eties to try this month...

Amateur Gardening - - Front Page -

THERE is no ‘wrong’ way of plant­ing tulips – how­ever and wher­ever you de­cide to grow them, they will shine out and look stun­ning. But first things first: which plants will you choose?

Tulips are di­vided into

15 sub-sec­tions, largely based on the shape and char­ac­ter­is­tics of their blooms. Some are like gob­lets and cups, oth­ers have fringed petals, and the ‘parrot’ tulips have ir­reg­u­lar petals that re­sem­ble the feathers of ex­otic para­keets.

Most flow­ers are sin­gle, but blowsy dou­bles are avail­able. There are also species tulips, which are of­ten smaller than bed­ding tulips and last much longer. It is also worth con­sid­er­ing the tim­ings of the flow­ers, as if planned well you can cre­ate a suc­ces­sion of colour that lasts right through spring. For ex­am­ple, for a pale dis­play you could start with the diminu­tive Tulipa bi­flora, which has creamy, gold­enyel­low petals and flow­ers from late win­ter, then segue into the mid-spring beauty of T. ‘Puris­sima’ and then fin­ish with ‘Spring Green’ that has green­feath­ered ivory blooms. In con­trast, T. ‘Black Parrot’ is a late-spring bloom with meaty-red flow­ers, while T. ‘Angélique’ has ruf­fled pale-pink petals and strong

1ft (30cm) stems.

The gar­dens of Great Dix­ter has a stun­ning ar­ray of tulips in spring ‘Angélique’ is one of the most pop­u­lar tulip va­ri­eties

Firm down the soil after plant­ing

‘Olympic Flame’ brings heat to bor­ders

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