Gar­den Shop Plant Hunter

Three tan­ta­lis­ing tulips for a sea­son of colour, cho­sen by plant hunter Lark Han­ham

The Daily Telegraph - Gardening - - Notebook -

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.tele­ 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.tele­

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