30 May The Life of a Tulip (in East London)
For many, it’s the snowdrop ~ for me, it’s the tulip.
I love snowdrops, but they are no tulip and in my garden, it’s the tulip that brings the garden back to life, after the chilly ol’ winter.
But just like love you, can’t hurry them*, so as soon as Christmas passes, my mind is (not so) patiently on spring. Waiting for their proud cheery blooms, meaning the wait is finally over and the gardening good times can commence.
If you have a sprawling garden with plenty of bedding plants, then it’s likely your tulips are planted in the ground and are never moved. However, I have a small courtyard in East London and space is precious, so my bulbs are planted in pots in late autumn and then removed for storage once the fun bit is over.
*Apologies for the Phil Collins reference.
Planting in pots
Don’t be tight with the tulip bulbs. Plant bulbs in October/November in two layers, so good layer of soil, then layer of bulbs (pointy end up) to about 8/10 inches deep, then repeat like you’re making a lasagne.
The blooming good bit
I planted about two layers of six in this 30cm container, so the container looks full and glorious. These are Snow Parrot, I love the colour of the leaves too.
I posted this image on Instagram in spring and had a couple of comments on how straight they were. #proud
Once the petals have fallen, remove the heads and leave them in the pot until the leaves turn brown. Then gently fork out the bulbs one by one, but don’t remove any more foliage, they need this so the bulbs get all the goodness back for next year.
Although mine have lasted a couple of years, I often buy some new ones as well, so I’m guaranteed tulip blooms in spring.
“I often liken the practice of planting spring bulbs in autumn to lighting the green touch paper of a particularly colourful firework display, only with a very long fuse!”
The Art of Mindful Gardening
by Ark Redwood