Last May we visited the National Trust property Attingham Hall in Shropshire. The tulip display was in full bloom. The walled garden has been renovated and the tulips took pride of place.I
was inspired and took to the bulb catalogues with renewed enthusiasm. In August I ordered three hundred tulip bulbs.
I do have a smattering of tulips in the garden already. The nation’s apparent favourite Queen of Night is mine too. It is such a dark purple satin that is the colour of midnight. I also have a lovely variety called Carousel which is lemon yellow with a raspberry frill. It arrived by accident because when I bought the bulbs from the garden centre they professed to being a different variety altogether. My tulips always do best in big pots which I put on the patio. Then in the following autumn I plant them in the ground in the hope that they will perform again. Last year’s City of Vancouver were magnificent. Such a pure ivory.
My soil is flinty clay. Not the best for tulips which like it well drained so they’re not sitting in a puddle all winter. They also like to be planted nice and deep. Fortunately because the garden is on a slight slope, it does drain better than most clay soils would. It does pay to put some grit in the bottom of your planting holes though to be on the safe side. I calculated that with all the replanting, as well as my new purchases, I had over four hundred tulips to plant. The varieties I chose were:
- Abu Hassan
- Spring Green
- City of Vancouver
- Pink Diamond
You can plant tulip bulbs well in to November. Now I have to be patient for next spring!