Plant tulips now for colour in your borders
Now is a good time to buy tulips ready to plant from November onwards. I used to order mine in May, while I can see them flowering, to be delivered in the autumn
This year I ordered some in July and am getting some more now from wholesalers such as J Parkers, Peter Nyssen and Gee Tee bulbs. Their bulbs are small and cheap and 20 crammed in a big pot provide a good display. Bigger more expensive bulbs come from Walkers, Bloms and Sarah Raven, so it depends on your budget
Do they come up year after year? Well – some do and some don’t. It’s trial and error
Treating tulips as annuals
One aspect of a town cottage garden is that I can see all of it all year round as there are no hidden corners. I look out on, or walk past, every inch of ours every day. I don’t really want to see tulip stalks and yellowing leaves from April to July just to let them die down and maybe, only maybe, flower again next year. So I buy cheap bulbs and treat them as seasonal bedding, pulling them up from borders and pots when they’re over to make room for something else
Using big pots
This year as well as big pots I’m using old terracotta pots just 26 cm high and 26 cm diameter, and I plan to cram 10 or more tulips into each. We’ll see next Spring how that has worked. As they won’t be permanent I will use multi purpose compost and mix it with this year’s used pot compost and plenty of grit. Then next June I can use the pots for pelargoniums and herbs
Which colour tulips to choose?
We all have our colour preferences and my tulip taste is for red, orange, peach, bronze – those are the colours I love to see after the yellows and blues of early Spring. So I hope I have given you some ideas for colour in your pots and borders using cheap and cheerful tulip bulbs.
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