SHOWSTOPPER TULIPS: Choose your palette now for a springtime display of glorious color

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SHOWSTOPPER TULIPS: Choose your palette now for a springtime display of glorious color

  • Nigel Colborn advises that now is the time to start planning your tulip color palette
  • The British gardening expert also says that height and flowering time should be considered
  • He says October and November are the best months to plant tulips

Tulips are the stars of spring. You can line them up like Trooping The Color or scatter them randomly in a border. They are excellent for containers – alone or mixed with companion plants.

There is nothing subtle about mass tulips, especially if they are orange, crimson or yellow. But when pastels are mixed, they can be touchingly beautiful.

Now is the time to start planning. October and November are the best months to plant tulips. But if you want lots of choices, buy bulbs soon. They will keep for several months in a cool, dark place.

In formal beds, tulips are enchanting above the blue haze of oblivion. In mixed spring containers, they can stand proudly above mini carpets of pansies or spring daisies. Wallflowers are natural companions of tulips, as well as polyanthus.

October and November are the best months to plant tulips, says Nigel Colborn

An ordinary tulip is colored for only three weeks. Accompanying plants, especially wall flowers and forget-me-nots, bloom from March almost to June. Primroses and polyanthus last almost as long, but tulips are the most important.

When choosing bulbs, it’s important to think about colors, heights, and exact bloom times. But if you prefer a multi-colored mix, this can look great.

Small groups of hybrid tulips in borders create cheerful accents. For wild gardens or informal plantings, strangely little Tulipa turkestanica often buds in February. In June, crimson T. sprengeri the last to bloom.

SMALL AND BIG

Bedding tulips are by far the most popular. The number of varieties can be overwhelming, but you need to know when they will bloom. This is important when mixing colors.

Bloom times are usually listed in bulb catalogs, so always check them when planning a color mix.

It will be useful to know the physical characteristics of each variety. I grow for early flowers Fosteriana varieties such as Flaming Purissima and White Emperor. I like the March show, but I don’t like the weakness of the tall stem. Mid-season, choose the classic, reliable and universally popular Darwin hybrids. The most popular tulip in the world, crimson colored T. Apeldoorn is a Darwin variety. Among the two-tone, Banja Luka it is yellow with crimson flame patterns.

Mid-season Triumph tulips are available in newer colors. Diversity T. Slaw has dark purple petals with contrasting pink edges. T. Gwen it has white flowers, each petal edged with feathery lines of pale purple.

The season ends with almost black T. Queen of the Nightivory cream T. Big smiles and orange, with lily flowers T. Ballerina.

FOX DADGERS

When grouping tulips, it is crucial to know their blooming dates. Even then, different seasons produce different results. Therefore, it is wise to include early, medium and late varieties.

Plant the bulbs with their tops at least 10 cm below the soil surface. If you plant them deep, badgers often don’t smell them.

When growing in containers, you can plant double layers.

This ensures a denser and brighter appearance in the spring. You can also include forget-me-nots or spring daisies as companions.

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