Tulips are definitely my favourite spring-flowering bulbs, with their elegance and wide variety of colour. I have seen photos of the tulip fields in Holland which make me desperately want to go over there to see those fields with my own eyes. Unfortunately my garden is not quite as spectacular as the Dutch tulip fields, but I can enjoy the few tulips that do blossom in my quaint little place.
If you, like me, enjoy tulips, now is the time to plant them here in New Zealand. The nights have become consistently chilly which makes the best tulip-planting time. Try to get your bulbs planted within the next couple of weeks – by the end of May it will be too late.
Hopefully you have had your bulbs in the fridge for a few weeks, if not, it’s not the end of the world – they will still blossom well. Dig small holes 8-12cm deep and plant them about 12cm apart. However, if you want a nice clustered look when they bloom, you can put the bulbs a bit closer together.
One of the handiest tricks I’ve learned about planting tulip bulbs is that if you want to enjoy the blossoms for longer in the spring, plant the bulbs at varying depths. That way, when one blossom is finishing up, another is just starting. I did that last year and had tulips blossoming for weeks!
In other news, the hyacinths I planted at the end of March have just peeked above the soil: