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how to plant tulip collections

(16 Posts)
SparkyUK Wed 03-Oct-12 22:14:57

I have bought a bunch of bulbs similar to Sarah Rave's Super Perennial Tulip Collection and they arrived today (yay!)

I've never planted bulbs before and am wondering if, for a set like this, if I should intersperse them rather than planting in sections of colour and if so, how to I go about getting the colouring right/evenly spaced. I have 25 of 3 different types of bulb and lots of border space to use up, though I'm thinking maybe of saving some for pots because 75 bulbs worth of tulips in one chunk may be too much.

What are you thoughts? Feeling very daunted at the job ahead of me (I have like 100 other bulbs as well, but will be planting them all as distinct entities.)


echt Thu 04-Oct-12 09:44:07

Any grouping would need to take into account the different times they bloom.

If you have any that are fragrant, e.g. Ballerina, put them in a pot for near the house.

I've become all nostalgic because I've never come across the range of tulips, or any that are fragrant, in Australia. sad

McLurkin Thu 04-Oct-12 11:25:48

Ooh can I piggyback on this thread? I've never planted bulbs before either and just got some tulips (veronique sanson), crocus and snowdrops, in a fit of online bulb shopping exuberance, and now I have no idea where to put them.

If I put them in borders, do they need their own bare patch of earth, or do you tend to put them in the same place as other flowers that will die down in winter/spring? (Or can they just make their way up inbetween existing plants that don't die down?)

I have just read that snowdrops don't like clay, so as my soil is all clay perhaps they will need to go in pots.

I absolutely love those SR tulips btw! Sounds like you will have an amazing spring garden OP.

Sorry for hijacking thread - thought it made more sense than starting a whole new bulb one...

SparkyUK Thu 04-Oct-12 12:41:57

Hijack away! Those are good questions. I didn't know that about snowdrops and have a bunch. They do pop up a bt around our garden any way and it was solid clay until we dug in tonnes of compost last year. I may just dig in some compost where I plant the snowdrops and hopefully that will make them happy.

McLurkin Fri 05-Oct-12 19:45:45

Well I stuck half in a pot and half in a bare patch in a bed so I can see how they both do!

Also found a nice pot the previous owners left behind that I can put most of the tulips in and ordered heaps of compost to dig into my very poorly looking borders. Fingers crossed some of it works at least...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 07-Oct-12 16:33:12

I would plant tulips in biggish clumps of the same variety, as that always looks better than a mixed clump (even if you have several different varieties in close-ish proximity). As my soil is heavy clay, I always put tulips in pots, but snowdrops seem to fare ok in the border (although they don't multiply as much as they might in better soil).

Toughasoldboots Sun 07-Oct-12 16:37:06

I love tulips, just received an order of about £60 worth, I got completely carried away blush.
I always plant the same colour in big terracotta pots, I think it looks better that way.
I did go very daring and plant two layers of early and late flowering in the same pot but that didn't work very well, only about three came up.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 07-Oct-12 19:00:14

I got carried away last year - so much so that I had to buy a job lot of pots on Ebay - and am hoping that the bulbs will flower well again this year, even though they haven't (to say the least) had the hot dry summer they prefer.

On Gardeners' World, Carol Klein often has a row of identical pots all with the same tulip nd it looks absolutely gorgeous. I'm a late convert to tulips - I used to prefer narcissus - but if I had a bigger garden I would have even more pots of them.

Toughasoldboots Sun 07-Oct-12 19:02:45

Do you lift them out comeintothegardenmaud ? I have never had much luck with mine. It would save some money though, especially with you buying extra pots this year.

That is exactly the kind of thing I will end up doing grin

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 07-Oct-12 19:09:46

Call me Maud!

I don't lift them, because I don't really have anywhere suitable to store them - that will change when I finally get my deluxe shed - and the one year I did lift them, the results weren't any better than when I didn't. So, I leave them in their pots and shift the pots to somewhere hot and sunny (ha!) in the garden. Generally, they seem to be brilliant in years 1 and 2, a bit depleted by year 3 and hopeless (and sometimes diseased) by year 4.

I have bought just 10 tulip bulbs this year ::polishes halo:: which will go into the trough from which I've just removed my pathetic tomato plants.

What's your favourite tulip variety?

Toughasoldboots Sun 07-Oct-12 19:20:19

grin ok will do maud

I have just had to look the name up as I am not great at remembering, it's Czar Peter, bright red.

The others in my order are

Little beauty
China pink
Bleu aimable

I am going to try and get them in soon but keep putting off the dull chore of getting the compost.

Are you going to buy anymore this year?
I love alliums too but not planted them for a couple of years.

Toughasoldboots Sun 07-Oct-12 19:21:42

Just seen 10 more , I missed that on first read. Very restrained.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 07-Oct-12 19:28:53

Yes, I was!

::further polishes halo::

Those all look very nice. I have China Pink in a windowbox outside one of the kitchen windows. Or is that Showboat? I must renew the labels.

bumperella Tue 16-Oct-12 23:13:58

My tulips invariably fizzle out by about Yr3. Apparantly you should either (a) lift them in the summer (I always think I will do this, but never actually manage to) or (b) plant them more deeply, and always after the first hard frost (which kills some soil fungus-y virally- nasty things)
Have tried the deep-and-after-frost this year.

maxmillie Wed 17-Oct-12 12:15:46

if i get some tulip bulbs now for my borders at front of house can I plant them now and when will they come up? What kind of compost?

Phacelia Wed 17-Oct-12 21:13:09

I just bought some for the first time this year too! So excited. Have about 120 to plant (ouch!). Apparently Sarah Raven leaves hers in the ground, but then she must have thousands so you'd have to leave them, wouldn't you?

If you read up on lasagne planting you can have different things in the same pot blooming at different times. Think I will try that and leave my tulips in the ground, then plant annuals around them for later in the summer. It will be a bit of an experiment so I'll see how they go.

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