Spring Flowering Bulbs: Tulips
For spring bedding there is no flower which has such a wide colour range or which gives such a bright display over so long a period as the tulip. They can be massed in beds by themselves, but the best results are obtained when they are planted with other subjects flowering at the same time such as aubrietas, forget-me-nots, violas or. A beautiful effect may be secured with such combinations so long as the correct colour choice is made.
When planting several varieties of tulip together, it is important to use those which will flower at the same time. Early-flowering tulips and Darwins, for instance, planted in the same group will never provide that perfect splash of colour. There is much to be said for planting one variety only in each bed to be certain that the flowers will all show at the same time, since with different varieties, even of the same class, there is sometimes a few days’ difference which may quite spoil the effect.
October and November are suitable months for planting. The beds should be deeply dug and a dressing of well-rotted manure or compost incorporated with the soil, a little bone-meal being a valuable addition. Bury theat least 4 in. deep, even more in lighter soils, allowing 4 to 6 in. between each bulb to make a really good show.
Single Early tulips can be used for bedding and if given a position which is not bleak or exposed, a brilliant display may often be obtained as early as the end of March. They vary in height from 12 to 14 in. with one or two varieties perhaps an inch taller and are therefore particularly suitable for early bedding. The range of first-class varieties is very wide and among the best are Bellona, pure yellow; Brilliant Star, scarlet; Couleur Cardinal, purplish-crimson; General de Wet, orange; Keizerskroon, scarlet with a yellow edge; and Prince of Austria, orange-red, scented.
Double Early tulips are of great value for beds and borders and also succeed in pots and bowls. The colour range is good, among the best varieties being Electra,red; Marechal Niel, yellow and orange; Orange Nassau, orange-scarlet; Blossom, rosy pink; and Vuurbaak, scarlet.
Mendel tulips are hybrids between the old Duc van Thol and the Darwins and vary in height from 14 to 24 in. Useful for bedding and forcing, they are available in many attractive varieties includingBeauty, ; Athleet, white; Krelage’s Triumph, red; Orange Wonder, orange.
Triumph tulips are the result of crossing the Single Earlies with the Darwins, all varieties having stout stems. Alberio is cherry red edged yellow; Elmus, carmine, white edge; Princess Beatrix, scarlet, edged gold; and Rhineland, crimson edged yellow.
Darwin tulips are rather more formal in appearance, producing stems of 24 to 30 in. according to variety. They flower from mid-April onwards. Varieties include Apeldoorn, orange-scarlet; Dover, poppy red; Lefeber’s Favourite, glowing scarlet; London, orange-red; and Spring Song, red flushed salmon.
-flowered tulips are May flowering, the petals being pointed and reflexed in a beautiful manner. Good varieties are Aladdin, scarlet edged yellow; Captain Fryatt, garnet red; and Mariette, deep satin rose.
Parrot tulips are quaint and attractive. Flowering from early May onwards most varieties grow 20 to 24 in. high. The flowers, handsomely cut and laciniated, are excellent for cutting. Among the best varieties are Blue Parrot, Texas Gold and Fantasy, the latter being an exquisite shade of soft rose with green markings and salmon rose and white on the inside of the flower.
The Cottage or Single Late tulips are hardy, long stemmed and valuable for garden decoration and for cutting. The colour range is extremely wide both in the case of self colours and those of more than one shade and they grow 20 to 26 in. high according to variety. Among the best are Advance, light scarlet; Artist, salmon rose; Mrs John T. Scheepers, yellow; Ossi Oswaldi, creamy white, flushed pink; and Rosy Wings, reddish apricot pink.
The Double Late tulips have been described as peony-flowered tulips since they form very large, full-petalled flowers. Eros is old gold; Nizza, yellow with red spottings; and Orange Triumph, orange-red with yellow edge.
The tulip species or Botanical Tulips provide quite a change from the more usual groups and are available in many different shapes and colours. They grow 4 to 20 in. high and in some of them the wild plant is evident. They flower from February to May according to variety. The three main groups of hybrids can be strongly recommended. These are Tulipa kaufmanniana, 4 to 9 in. with pointed buds and broad, flat flowers; Tulipa fosteriana, 8 to 15 in., very large single flowers, suitable for planting in tubs, urns and at the base of trees; and Tulipa greigii hybrids, 9 to 20 in., which have very large, bicolor flowers with streaked and mottled foliage. Other individual varieties include Tulipa eichleri, vermilion orange and Tulipa praestans Fusilier, vermilion.