Top 10 tulips to plant now for a beautiful spring display

As I explained in my previous post here, now's a great time to plant tulip bulbs for beautiful blooms next year. If you're keen to get planting, but wondering what variety of tulip to choose, here's my favourites for you to try...
1. Menton (above)

I admire the quiet elegance of the single-flowered Menton. The flowers’ tall stems, classic tulip shape and beautiful blend of pink and peach look fabulous when planted in large groups with forget-me-nots.

2. Angélique (below)

My all-time favourite tulip, the peony-like blooms resemble a bowl of raspberry ripple ice cream and flower for many weeks in May.

3. Artist

How could you resist this confection of pink and green – the cup-shaped blooms with pointed petals are supremely elegant.

4. Claudia

These gorgeous lily-shaped pinky-red flowers are highlighted with a white trim and appear from early May.

5. Princes Irene

I love this tulip for its cheerful apricot flowers with delicate brush strokes of dark maroon painted up the sides.

6. Purissima (White Emperor)

Sometimes you need something simple and sophisticated to dress up a container or bed, and Purissima is the perfect choice. Its pure white blooms also emit a delicate fragrance.

7. Queen of Night

The designers’ favourite, the dark, brooding purple flowers of this regal tulip are almost black. Match them with white forget-me-nots or violas in a pot or plant them in a gravel garden where the light background will act as a foil.

8. Turkestanica

Little species tulips like Turkestanica are great for naturalizing in an alpine or gravel garden. The bulbs are smaller than the standard types and should be planted about 12-15cm (5-6ins) deep.

9. Rococo

You either love or hate parrot tulips. I rather like them, even though they’re ridiculously flamboyant, with sumptuous layers of feathery petals. I’ve chosen the scarlet Rococo, which is one of the brightest and a real show-off if ever there was one.

10. Sapporo

I’m not fond of yellow tulips –daffodils do yellow so much better in my opinion – but the buttery Sapporo blooms are simply stunning. Flowering in May, plant them with purple alliums for a classic colour combo.

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Zia Allaway, Garden Expert

View all posts by Zia Allaway, Garden Expert