Deciding I should grow tulips again

Tulips are such beautiful and elegant flowers. Though they aren’t as easy to grow here as they are in other parts of the world.

Here the ground doesn’t really get cold enough for them, it certainly doesn’t freeze. That means your tulip bulbs have to spend about 6 weeks in the fridge before you plant them.

You wouldn’t think that would be really hard, but the last time I tried I forgot all about them until it was way too late to plant them.

I had decided at that time that I wouldn’t bother with them again. Too much trouble. Then again I had also said I wouldn’t buy any more bulbs for the garden as well. I have bought heaps more for this year. Guess what else I got?

Yep, I ordered some tulip bulbs.

They are in the fridge and will need to be planted around the beginning of May. So please remind me. Though I am out in the garden all the time now so I imagine I won’t forget. I hope anyway.

I am also staggering the planting of the bulbs so they will flower at different time, I hope. Another thing I want to do is plant them closer together. I always seem to plant things too far apart and then there is too much space between them.

Have you ever grown tulips? How did you go? What is your favourite bulb?

There were lots of tulips at the flower show and I photographed them of course. All the photos are from that.

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  1. Hi Leanne,
    it’s easy to grow tulips here at the North Norfolk coast but the problem are that the muntjacks like to eat them. We lived for quite a while in the Netherlands where everyone grows tulips in their gardens.
    Mass planting is great. We have flower beds with red and others with yellow ones. We love the classic ones in red and yellow.
    Thanks and wishing you a wonderful weekend
    The Fab Four of Cley
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. Hello, it seems there are many things that like to eat tulips, thankfully here once they start growing they are fine.
      I bet the Netherlands were amazing in spring. I love the idea of mass planting, but don’t think I have enough bulbs, oh well, it will be nice to have some.
      Thank you so much.

    1. I totally agree, though not sure I have a big enough garden, but I am going to plant them very close together this year. Thank you Chris.

  2. I used to try to grow tulips but our local deer population ate them πŸ˜’. About your pictures, I have trouble photographing tulips. Something about red color (especially) makes it difficult. Any tips?

    1. I don’t think I need to worry about deer here, lol. Thank you and the only tip I can recommend, especially with reds is to underexpose, or put your exposure compensation down a couple of stops. It is a hard colour to photograph and the camera over exposes it. I hope that helps.

    2. Funny you should mention roses, I just ordered a couple, not red, but a couple of other colours. Swore I would never have them, but there are some I really wanted. So good time to see what they are like.

  3. Hello Leanne,

    Lovely photos, and I didn’t know about the issues with chilling bulbs you have to go through – here our issue is them not surviving long term with the wet.

    In the end after many trials we grow only one sort, which is pretty reliable both in the ground and in pots – it’s called T ‘Flaming Purissima’ and the great thing is this single variety will give you colours from red through pink streaks and nearly white, with yellow in the throat and all in a random mix.

    We eventually found that it works really well with Hyacinths in pots (Fiona’s idea – I don’t really like them), but love this mix of H. ‘Kronos’ and H. ‘Woodstock’ – they extend the flower interest with the hyacinths coming out for about 2 – 3 weeks before the tulips.

    Plus if you add in some Allium ‘Purple Rain’ and A. ‘Purple Sensation’, that goes on even longer. Maybe 4 or 5 of each in a biggish (?12 inch wide pot), planted in layers at different depths. All works well, if you don’t have any pesky animals like voles or mice (or Aussie equivalent) which will take the tulips out.
    A couple of pics to give you ideas of colours – which are clearly a very personal thing –

    The second image shows the tulips in the ground, which we have to replant every year, intermingled with a couple of late, mainly white daffodils – ‘Thalia’ and ‘Actaea’ which might work if you can grow /like daffs? A significant fag if you need a few hundred which we do in this area, but we reckon it gives us such a lift to look at for 3-4 weeks, it’s worth the hassle and cost. The daffs are MUCH more perennial.

    Best wishes

    1. Thank you Julian, I guess wet soil is not really a problem here. Yours look wonderful. Love the wild look of them. I could only wish to have something like that. My garden is so much smaller. I have grown them before and they do okay, but it is the refrigerating and then remembering to plant them that I have always had trouble with.
      Thank you for sharing your garden with me.

    2. I have done some in pots, again not enough bulbs, but was thinking of doing some more this year as well. I think I should remember this year, well I hope so.
      Happy gardening to you too.

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