When it comes to Spring Bulbs, there is no shortage of colourful options to choose from. But no one can deny that Tulips are truly the Queen of them All.
There is an almost endless array of colour and forms on offer and each year there are more and more beauties to choose from. Like no other flower, the Tulip seems to radiate colour. The petals are totally saturated in it, and this can be used to create brilliant effects in the garden.
The hardest part is choosing your favourite tulip! To help narrow it down, Tulips are classified into different categories, each competing for the spotlight. Every class offers something different to delight and excite. Here are just a few of their categories and some of our favourites from each.
Big, bold blooms. Monet Tulips are tall, strong and long lasting, perfect for the garden. We love the array of bold, bright colour that this hardy range of Monet tulips provide. The large flower heads are hard to beat and they flower late in the season. They need less cool treatment than most Tulips and so are fantastic in warmer climates. Monet Tesselaar Diamond Jubilee is of course a favourite, with mottled pink and white petals it is a stand out.
Bokassa Tulips are the premium Tulip range for potting. The flowers of these Tulips are a medium height with compact foliage that lends perfectly to container plantings. Bokassa Tulips will perform equally well in the garden. High on our list is Bokassa Red, and Bokassa Saigon. Solo they shine, and when these two are combined they are a dynamic duo!
Tulipmania might have transpired nearly four hundred years ago but the spirit lives on in gardeners everywhere. This list of tulips represents a top selection that is well suited to the Australian environment. One of the best is ‘World’s Favourite’, it has just become Laurie, our Tulip farmers favourite. The petals have real substance and they seem to glow in the garden. Others to look out for are Furand, Salvo and the lovely lilac, Candy Prince.
True extroverts. Parrot Tulips are colourful, frilled and flamboyant. They certainly create a stir in the garden. Their ravishing bicolored, frilled petals are completely decadent. We love Super Parrot, the superb, white petals have cool green striping and look stunning in a vase. At the other end of the colour spectrum we also favour Bright Parrot, the bright orange petals have accents of gold. A nice, strong variety.
With extravagant petals, these flowers have all the frills! The unique shape of Fringed Tulips lends beautifully to the texture of the garden. Our long time favourites are the pure white petals of Honeymoon, and the romantic magenta tones of Curly Sue. Both are gorgeous and have proven themselves to be truly hardy. Hot to trot in 2015 will be Cuban Night, a fabulous new variety. It is almost black on opening, fading to deep purple with a hint of white through the fringe.
Full blown beauties. These flamboyant flowers unfurl gradually to expose layer upon layer of petals, like the old fashioned frilly petticoats. The large flowers are long lasting on short to medium stems. Great in both pots and garden beds. Our picks are Carnival de Nice, Horizon and Double Price all hold a special place in our hearts and gardens.
Lily Tulips are curvaceous blooms. These slim lined varieties are extremely elegant with the tips of the petals gently arching outwards. Lily Tulips are terrific blended with more traditional shapes. Top varieties include Claudia, Synaeda Orange and Tres Chic.
We hope this helps you pick … although our favourites are always changing and we find it so hard to pick we have over a hundred varieties growing in our garden!