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Last year I had such fun experimenting with Tulip combinations, that I’m very excited about choosing what to try out this year. Above (and in my banner pic), are Tulipa ‘Ballerina’, a wonderful Lily shaped Tulip and the Fringed, ‘Curly Sue’. Mixed with the purple leaves of some overwintered mustard leaves and the joyous heads (and feathery foliage) of Ranunculus, these bulbs had passers coming to a halt to gaze at the explosion of colour.

But this year I want more than just the fringes. I want it all! Parrot Tulips (above) have the fringes (ok, serrated edges), but they also have exquisite curves and twists, and often come with flecks of contrasting colours. That’s what I want.

So I’ve decided to put ‘Irene’ Parrot’ (left) in a bed with the vibrant bi-coloured ‘Helmar’ and to add a contrast and lessen the overwhelmingly orangeness of it all, I’ll add the Lily shaped Tulipa ‘Burgundy’. On reflection, this combination seems like a more extreme version of last year’s show, but with different textures and flower shapes, I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all comes together next year.

And for a client’s pot, I’m mixing the red Tulipa ‘Bastogne Parrot’ with the alluring ‘Carnival de Nice’, a gorgeous double late confection. I’m slavering already.

It’s a good time to order your Tulips now to get the best choice of bulbs and I’ve ordered this year from Peter Nyssen. Having rung up on a few occasions to add to my online order and request certain delivery dates, staff at Peter Nyssen couldn’t have been any nicer and I’ve found their bulbs to be really good value too. There are 15 different categories of Tulips to choose from on the website, including Darwin Hybrids, Kaufmanniana, Viridiflora and Single Earlies, so put aside a bit of time to enjoy making your choices and to match up heights and flowering times to create your own symphony of colour. As well as Tulips, I’ve also ordered Alliums, Fritillaria and Hyacinths. I really love Autumn, but now I can’t wait for spring.

P.s. More on Tulip choices

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