I have always grown tulips in pots. At least, I always start them off in pots – it’s easy to keep an eye on them and to judge how well they do and to see how much I like them. But every year, after they have flowered, there is the same old question of what to do next. I need the pots for my summer displays so do I lift the bulbs carefully, allowing the foliage to die back naturally, then let them dry out in the summer months in preparation for replanting in the autumn? Or do I find spaces in an already overcrowded border (again carefully preserving the by now less than enticing foliage) and see how they fare in the open garden?
Well, a few years ago I chose the latter option for my Turkestan tulips and they never looked back. This bulbous perennial is year-after-year reliable and a good naturaliser, so no wonder it was given the RHS’s award of garden merit. The narrowly strappy blue-grey leaves reveal stems which can each produce up to ten flower heads.
Native to south east Europe and central Asia, they just love early spring sunshine, and the ivory white flowers which have deep egg yolk yellow centres, open wider and flatter the sunnier it gets until it resembles a star shaped poached egg!
I have finally found a good use for those indestructible, ugly orange nets that citrus fruits are sold in. Perfect for storing bulbs in the summer if that’s the route you choose!
NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 inc P & P and is for sale in our online shop here.
More NB If you’d like a bit more gardening chitchat from the3growbags, please type your email address here and we’ll send you a new post every Saturday morning.