Tulips – worth the bother?

This year I planted over 100 tulips. I love tulips. However, while they last for a good three-ish weeks in flower, that’s quite a short amount of time for quite a lot of effort. I’m not lazy or anti brief flowers, it’s the fact they’re unlikely to flower reliably for a second year so you really have to dig them all up and get rid. It feels wasteful and excessive. One thing’s for sure, I won’t be planting them throughout the border again because trying to get them out from between the roots of growing perennials was a nightmare. Next year, I’ll only grow tulips in some pots for little splodges of colour. I’ll save enjoying the big displays at professional public gardens instead.

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

One thought on “Tulips – worth the bother?”

  1. Wrestling with a similar dilemma about putting tulips among my perennials next year , I found this article interesting:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningadvice/10801495/Top-tulip-tips-from-Great-Dixter.html

    If it’s good enough for Fergus Garrett, it’s good enough for me. I’m going to give some of those varieties a try in a nice sunny spot and see what comes up the next year.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningadvice/10803633/10-best-perennial-tulips.html

    I’m also tempted to try some of the species tulips like t. turkestanica

    http://www.peternyssen.com/our-shop/autumn-planting/tulips/tulipa-or-miniature-tulips/tulip-turkestanica.html

    Although I admit they’ve not as lovely as those green star you’ve grown this year and the foliage dying back might be unsightly. But that’s gardening isn’t it: if it doesn’t work, do something else.

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