Whilst it may be quite late in the season for planting Tulips, all is not lost. You can still plant bulbs now for some later Spring colour!
Down here in the south we are fairly clement which is in our favour for late planting as bulbs should be in the ground for six weeks before there’s a chance of it freezing. However , the warmer temperatures here should help greatly.
Tulips prefer a light, well- draining soil. If you have waterlogged soil or if you are a patio gardener , pots and containers are a fantastic way to showcase the rainbow of Tulip varieties available. You can also get some great bargains as Spring bulbs tend to be heavily reduced in price right now!
When planting your bulbs , be sure to dig around three times the depth of your bulbs. Sprinkle a layer of horticultural grit for drainage in the hole before laying the bulb and a handful of bonemeal will give them some extra nourishment, particularly if you are planting late.
I love pots and planters and try to collect as many heights as possible for an interesting and dramatic look. Tulips look fabulous en masse and grouped together for impact. This year on my front garden patio I have gone for a pink and purple theme , filling pots with blocks of colour in varying heights. Be sure to note the heights of the flowers on the packets as they are not all the same and the taller plants should be put at the back when creating a pot collage.
You can also add in some companion bulbs to compliment and enhance your springtime stars. I have potted up a vintage stone planter with a central row of reddish coral Tulips surrounded by a ring of blue Muscari . Miniature Narcisi , Daffodils or Snowdrops would also work brilliantly!
Part sun part shade is best for Tulips and after flowering allow the foliage to die back down as this will feed the bulb for the next year when you can enjoy your planting efforts all over again!
Some varieties I recommend are; ‘Queen of the Night(Height 60cm)- A maroon , almost black flower that is dramatic and great to mix in with other pinks and purples such as ‘Shirley’-(55cm) Ivory white flowers with lilac edges and ‘Angelique’ (45cm) A blush pink with a double Peony shaped head, A real stunner!
A gorgeous red is ‘Bastogne’ (40cm) A cool toned red, Muscari (Grape Hyacinths) of any variety compliment Tulips wonderfully and Narcissus Daffodil ‘Elka’ with its star shaped pale heads will make a stunning addition to any Spring containers. There are so many beautiful colours and varieties you can have a lot of fun creating your paintbox pallettes,