Reviewing the Tulips

Really this is notes for me to look back on next year and later this year when we're busy planting again, but Emma took lots of lovely photos of the Tulips, so i'm sure you won't mind me sharing them.

Vase of tulips doing their wonderful drooping thing

Vase of tulips doing their wonderful drooping thing

Tulips are fickle, and fast. They go from just poking through the ground to flowering in fast succession. Although they are hard work - you have to harvest them every morning,  they need wrapping in newspaper to prevent them drooping and they are expensive to buy, they are such a fantastic range of colours that i wouldn't be without them.

The first week of the Tulips included my ever faithful Apricot Beauty, The New to me, on recommendation, and now being recommended to everyone else Purple Peony, The beautiful Purissima, and Flaming Purissima, Superparrot, Candy Prince and Red impression.

I'll have the same first Tulips again next year, although they'll be more of the Purple Peony, and Apricot Beauty, which i'll also be trying again in the polytunnel (and hoping the rats don't get to them this time) and less of the Flaming Purissima.

The 2nd week of Tulips is always chaotic, and i was picking several hundred every day

We were picking varieties Clearwater (well the label said that, but it was my last to flower last year!) Gabriella, Mount Tacoma, Viridichic, Gwen and Shirley. The first of the Apricot Parrots, and Angelique (which continued flowering for about 12 days!)

The 3rd week of Tulips accelerated even faster! - usually we get 4 weeks, a few in the polytunnel early, and then a final week on the field where they hang on and flower over a good long period, but the heat of April meant that the Cut and Condition workshop on the 25th April, had most of the last varieties, and there were none left to pick by May. Ballerina, Arabian Mystery, Queen of the night, Menton, City of Vancouver (says it's an early, maybe it got mixed up with Clearwater?) White Triumphator, and Rococco Parrot.

As usual there was a slew of miss labelled Tulips. No Pink Clearwater Tulips flowered, but i got extra Menton in their place, which all sold. A third of my Apricot Parrot Tulips, turned out to be this lovely flowers

Apparently it's Tulip Mistress Grey (thanks wonderful FFTF fonts of all knowledge) So i will have to buy that next season as well.

The new varieties of Gabriella, and Purple Peony, were big successes, plus arabian Mystery, which i only grow a few of last year were great.

The only one that i had lots to take home of were Flaming Purissima, - A tulip i personally think looks lovely even when it's dead!,  but isn't to everyone's taste. 

So what am i missing that's your "Must have" and any tips for getting Tulips to flower in the polytunnel? I've managed it 2 years out of 5, the others have always fallen prey to rodents.

Next Year's aim is to have a full 4 weeks of Tulip sales........ watch this space