Garden Shop Plant Hunter
Three tantalising tulips for a season of colour, chosen by plant hunter Lark Hanham
Great for adding colour to the spring garden, tulips are available in all shades except blue. Thanks to their diversity, there’s a tulip to suit every taste and setting. Tulips can be categorised into many different groups depending on their parentage, habit, flowering time and size. Capable of growing to a height of 1m, most achieve 60cm tall and 30cm wide, so they’re ideal for interplanting shrubs and perennials. The optimum time to plant is between October and November. Only once the bulb has achieved a good dose of cold weather (vernalisation) will it flower. They prefer moist, free-draining soil in sunny locations.
‘Purissima’ AGM (Early)
Blooms from March to April and is part of the early Emperor’s mix, often selected for their large, fragrant flowers. Up close, one can enjoy its subtle, creamy tone. As the flowers age, its petals tend to reflex open to expose a vibrant egg-yolk-yellow eye.
‘Princess Irene’ (Mid)
Emerging in April, ‘Princess Irene’ provides unrivalled flowering longevity and bridges the gap between the early and late-flowering varieties. Associating well with vibrant oranges and dark clarets, each bi-coloured bloom adds extra detail to the border.
‘Black Hero’ (Late)
Just as you think all is lost and tulip season is over, ‘Black Hero’ swoops in and saves the day. Its magnificent deep claret-black, goblet-shaped blooms are categorised as peony type. Their remarkably blowsy flowers are best in sites sheltered from wind.
How to buy
Buy 15 (five of each) for £7.49 or 45 (15 of each) for only £14.98 and save £7.49. Plus p&p £4.95. Supplied as size 12/14 bulbs in September. Order at gardenshop.telegraph.co.uk or call 0333 772 0325. Contract for supply of goods is with Hayloft Plants Ltd. Offers subject to availability. Offer closing date August 23 2016.
Call 0333 772 0325 or visit gardenshop.telegraph.co.uk