Tempted By Tulips?
November is the best month of the year to plant tulip bulbs simply because of a pesky problem known as Tulip Fire. The normal cold weather this month is likely to freeze the fungus, Botrytis tulipae, which causes brown spots on the flowers, together with leaves that look scorched and twisted.
There is still enough warmth deep down in the soil for tulip bulbs to put down roots and, because most tulips emerge slightly later than many other bulbs, planting late is not a hindrance.
Back in the 1600s a single tulip bulb was worth more than its weight in gold. Literally. Tulipmania, as it was known, originated in the bulb-capital of the world, Holland. Just a single bulb could sell for enormous sums of money – normally about 10 times the annual salary of a craftsman.
Never before had garden lovers seen such bright and beautiful blooms and it’s not surprising that so many people wanted them. Nowadays we have become rather blasé about the range of colours and styles of tulips available – you can have tulips flowering from early spring right through to mid summer if you plan your display – it’s all about successional planting. Remember to plant en masse for maximum effect.
For one of the most spectacular displays locally of tulips, make a date for the Annual Tulip Celebrations at Hever Castle and Gardens next spring. For more information, visit hevercastle.co.uk