No other spring bulb is as colourful or impressive as the tulip. Grown en masse in the famous Keukenhof Gardens in The Netherlands or in pots adorning a domestic driveway, they take your botanical breath away.
Varieties of tulips are plentiful and have been divided up into 15 different divisions from Lily flowered to fringed examples. With breeding, they have come a long way from their delicate species days and changes in size, colour and petal shapes have resulted in a riot of choice.
Perhaps the most reliable tulip for any gardener to pick is one of the Giant Darwin Hybrid tulips. These Darwin tulips are classed as division 4 and were introduced in the 1940s. They are a cross between species, single late tulips and offer the largest, most long-lived options available.
They are a classic tulip shape and stand boldly in borders demanding attention. These jumbo tulips also make a fabulous cut flower and are worth growing in a cutting bed in rows for this purpose.
'Golden Appledorn' is a rich yellow growing to a height of 60cm, while 'Appledorn's Elite' cuts a dashing figure in bright orange-red edged with yellow. The two varieties make a fine pairing appearing in April and May.
The Giant Darwin Hybrid tulips are also often referred to as perennial tulips due to their ability to flower over a period of years, rather than the tendency of so many other tulips to just flower well in year one.
Tulips like a warm sunny spot and love to be baked over the summer as this mirrors their natural habitat. Good drainage is also essential.
For traditional tulip pizazz, Suttons stock the impressive 'Red Impression' - this is definitely a Darwin with a dazzle!
Plant amongst a group of forget me nots which carpet the ground below and cover foliage as the tulips die back, or for a formal scheme - the tulips look fantastic surrounded by box hedging.
If you decide on a Darwin - you won't be disappointed!
When To Plant Darwin Hybrid Tulips?
Plant Giant Darwin Tulip bulbs in late autumn, November is considered the best month to plant giant tulips.
Buy Darwin Hybrid Tulips UK