Tulips Galore

The tulips in the cutting garden first opened their blooms at the end of March with the early-flowering 'Exotic Emperor' and 'Purissima' varieties. It's now exactly a month on, the early tulips have just gone over but there are still lots of tulips in flower and a few more yet to fully open.

Tulip Exotic Emperor
Tulops 'Exotic Emperor' and 'Purissima' in the garden border

I love tulips so much that I grow them in the cutting beds (among the dahlias and perennials), in rows on our new allotment and dotted throughout the garden borders.

Tulip La Bell Epoque
Tulip 'La Belle Epoque'

Yes, the leaves can look unsightly as they go over, and you have to let the foliage die down but I think they are worth it, for the sheer variety of flower shapes and colours to fall in love with.

Tulip Little Beauty
Species tulip 'Little Beauty'

Species tulips such as 'Little Beauty', 'Lady Jane' and 'Turkestanica' are ideal edging tulips for cutting beds. These natural forms are smaller than the cutltivated varieties and have smaller leaves that die down quickly and don't get in the way of things. They are truly perennial whereas some cultivated varieties can stop flowering reliably each year.

Spring vase with tulips
Spring vase with tulips

Whatever type of tulip you go for - species or cultivated, lily-flowered or peony-flowered, there is a tulip for everyone. If you chose early, mid and late-flowering varieties, you'll get 4-6 weeks of flowers for cutting and have a beautiful garden display lasting 6-8 weeks.

Species tulip 'Lady Jane'
Species tulip 'Lady Jane'
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