Tulips. (From Hanley Swan).

I am, sadly, old enough to remember Max Bygraves singing the cheerful song ‘Tulips from Amsterdam’.

Tulips along with Dahlias are a vital element to providing year round cheer and colour here in Our Garden@19

The dahlias are all now lifted and safely stored in the small greenhouse, this one is kept frost free. There are two electric tube heaters in here, with a new heated propagating sand bench, at the rear, containing some seedlings which I am hoping to carry through the winter. These have been joined by the Aeoniums, Cotyledon Orbiculata, Colocasia ‘Black Dragon’ and Pelargoniums.


The dahlias on the bench are labeled and waiting for the ‘head gardener’ to box them up in compost similar to the ones you can see on the shelf below.


The raised beds that edge the patio have been home, during the summer, to the dahlias and annuals, it is my nod to the Exotic Garden at Great Dixter. I wrote about the dahlias I grow here. 

Tulip ‘Abu Hassan’, now follows into the raised beds along with a few Erysimum x allionii (Siberian Wallflowers) and Myosotis (For-get-me-nots.) Hopefully these will be putting on a show for the early May Bank holiday open gardens.

Raised Bed 1
Raised Bed 2

The pots contain more tulips to dot around the garden in the spring, they are wintered on the patio to help keep the squirrels away.

The Tulips carried over from last year are Tulip clusiana ‘Peppermintstick’, Tulip ‘Calgary’ ,Tulip ‘Orange Emperor’, Tulip ‘Prinses Irene’, Tulip ‘Red Riding Hood’, Tulip ‘Spring Green’, Tulip ‘Tres Chic’ Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’ and Tulip ‘China Pink’. These were lifted or emptied from their pots after flowering and laid out to dry in the small green house rotating with the dahlias.

Tulipa ‘ Ballade ‘ is left in the main borders.

These bulbs are new for 2017, adding to the ones already in the garden.
Allium ‘Beau Regard’, Allium Karatavience ‘Ivory Queen’, Iris reticulata ‘Polar Ice’,
Muscari ‘Siberian Tiger’, Scilla siberica, Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and Tulip ‘Angelique’.

Some tulip pictures to show what we are hoping for.

Have you planted any bulbs for a spring spectacular?

28 thoughts on “Tulips. (From Hanley Swan).

  1. I planted tulips for the first time in a number of years, putting them in the terrace near the house in hopes that the deer and voles don’t find them. Usually, I just limit planting to narcissus for their resistance to deer and rodents, of which I have too, many!


  2. Boo hoo! We do not grow tulips. They bloom only once, but do not regenerate to bloom much the following year. They are grown like annuals, but are too expensive for my budget. I would not want to grow them as annuals anyway, even though I really dig the white ones like Maureen. I just look at the pictures in the catalog.


  3. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I have enjoyed looking through your blog and picking up lots of tips. Your have a wonderful garden with many different rooms. Amongst the tulips I have recently been planting were Queen of the Night and Spring Green. Sarah x


    1. Thank you Sarah for your kind words. Those are two lovely tulip varieties , if you see any still for sale Flaming Spring Green are wonderful. I think I will grow some again next year.


  4. I shall dream tulips via your blog, Brian! Like Eliza, even in my earlier garden I was forced to focus on narcissus and such due to the rabbits and deer. But I did grow Ballade year after year as I found it reliably perennial without lifting. Oddly enough, the lovely Gander’s Rhapsody was also – is there any rhyme or reason to it?! I’ve put in a few T. clusiana var. chrysantha this year, as last year’s attempt with T. saxatalis was at least partially successful. We shall see…


    1. I did once read that tulips with Darwin Hybrids in their breeding were more reliable as perennials. Good luck with yours, the climate you have should suit Tulips as they like to be baked after flowering. ( So long as the deer haven’t eaten them!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sadly I too remember that song although from childhood and never a fan. We still have to look lift our dahlias. You have a lovely mix of tulips – the tubs should look great.


  6. It all looks very well-thought-out Brian! I have planted a few pots with new tulips… there will no doubt be fewer in the ground next spring as I have found holes everywhere on my rockery… mice? Or the squirrels have dug them up! Love your tulip photos. 🙂


  7. What a great selection of tulips, Brian, and you definitely give the impression of being organised even if that impression is misleading as you suggest it might be! After you lifted your tulips last year I thought I would try doing the same, which I did, but then last month I lost confidence in their potential to grow and flower again and threw them out..have I done wrong…? 😉


    1. Hi Cathy,
      I think it is worth experimenting with two year old tulips. It is one reason I plant them in pots, if they don’t flower it’s not the end of the world. This year I have planted two year ones in the raised beds! I have successfully planted them in our Allotment as cutting flowers. I sort the bulbs out by size and only plant the larger bulbs, I do feed the tulips with rose fertiliser just before they start flowering to help feed the bulbs.
      I have attached a link for you to Val Bournes article in the telegraph about perennial tulips at Great Dixter. There is always another year Cathy. I will report on how mine do.



      1. Thanks for the link, Brian – I remember reading a couple of years ago that Darwin tulips were generally better at returning than others so most of the ones that went in the shrub border last year were Darwins – it will be interesting to see which of them return. I think I decided in the end that it was cheap enough to buy new bulbs each year for pots, rather than spend time potting up old ones and nothing coming of them, but I can now see the point of picking out the bigger 2nd year bulbs to keep. Do let me know how you get on and perhaps I will reconsider.


  8. You’re not old! I’m old enough to remember Danny Kaye singing about Copenhagen and I’m not old! I’ve skipped tulips for a couple of years to avoid nasty things but planted a hundred or so this year. Bought named varieties, mixed them all up in a box and now await the surprise clash of colours. That’s the rebel in me.


  9. A lovely selection of tulips. My faves are ‘Ballerina’, ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Antaciet’, ‘Black Hero’, ‘Purple Peony’, ‘Jan Reus’, ‘Rem’s Favourite’, ‘Chatto’, ‘Spring Green’, ‘Westpoint’, ‘Maytime’, ‘Couleur Cardinal’, ‘Jazz’, ‘Princes Irene’, ‘Black Parrot’, ‘Rococco’, ‘Bruine Wimpel’ and ‘La Belle Epoque’. Sorry. Got carried away. Love tulips.


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