Tulip Mania

Last week Jason at Gardeninacity and  Christina  at Myhesperidesgarden showed us some of their favourite tulips and I thought how useful it is to see what other people recommend. I am sure we will all be ordering Christina’s ‘ Burnt Sugar’ this year. So here are some of the ones I am enjoying this year.

Several people have admired  the tulips in my header. The picture was taken at the wonderful garden of Ulting Wick near Maldon in Essex last year. You need a very deep pocket to come up with the sort of displays they have here.


But you can borrow some of their planting ideas. I love the combination of plants in the next picture. I think next year, I will grow these tulips  which I think are ‘Snowstorm’, Queen of the Night’ and perhaps ‘Magic Lavender’. with aquilegias, grasses and camassias, although I haven’t got the nice green humps of Box as a background.


I like tulips growing amongst other plants and I copied my idea of growing them with Tellima grandiflora from Ulting Wick. I already had swathes of this stuff just waiting to be livened up with some lilifora and viridiflora tulips. So on a smaller scale I copied the huge drifts I saw at Ulting Wick.

Tulipa viridiflora 'Springwood Green'  Tulips'Ballerina' and  the yellow 'West pont'

Tulipa viridiflora ‘Springwood Green’ , Tulips ‘Ballerina’ and the yellow ‘West Point’

I also love tulips with Lunaria annua ‘Alba variegata’. I showed you the combination with Tulipa viridiflora ‘Springwood Green’ recently but it also looks good with ‘Apricot Beauty’
I think tulips look wonderful with forgetmenots and I love the effect of pink tulips with the sky blue Mysotis.

I have to admit I have never actually planted any forgetmenots and these combinations are sheer serendipity.

I am very fond of fringed tulips and each year I get a few more.

I love ‘Curly Sue’ with ‘Negrita’, ‘Barcelona’ and ‘Queen of the Night’.

 Tulip 'Barcelona'

Tulip ‘Mariette’

Tulip 'Queen of the Night'

Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’

‘Queen of the Night’ is my favourite and I grow it everywhere. My other favourite is ‘Prinses Irene’. That is not a typo by the way, the tulip is named after Prinses Irene of Holland. I love how this tulip goes so well with bronze or brown foliage

I am also very fond of a fully double sport of Prinses Irene called ‘Orange Princess’ I like to grow this one in pots.

Tulip 'Orange Princess'

Tulip ‘Orange Princess’

Another pretty tulip for pots which is new to me this year is ‘Honky Tonk’.

Tulip 'Honky Tonk'

Tulip ‘Honky Tonk’

This year for my dose of tulip envy I went to the wonderful Chenies Manor in Hertfordshire. This magnificent manor house was built in c.1480. The garden is a beautiful setting for a superb tulip collection.
My resources don’t allow such a wonderful tulip display as they have here, but as with Ulting Wick, I came away with some ideas to copy. I love the pure white forgetmenots with these white tulips and I shall be looking out for some seeds.
What really took my breath away at Chenies were the huge pots crammed full of tulips in rich sunset shades in the little courtyard. I am definitely going to copy this idea next year in the largest pot I can find.
If you would like to copy this too, the tulips are ‘Christmas Orange’, Annie Schilder’, Apricot Beauty’, Queen of the Night’, Monte Flame’ and ‘Jimmy’.
Which tulips have you been enjoying this year?

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69 Responses to Tulip Mania

  1. Christina says:

    Now that my tulips are all but over (there is actually just one still flowering) it is lovely to enjoy yours and those that inspired you. I love the fringed ones too, do you know the name of the lovely yellow one at the top? Also the middle bottom of the collage is like one in the mix I bought so again I’d love to have the name as it was such a strong long lasting tulips although a little short. thanks for the link too.

  2. Christina says:

    Oh, I also meant to say that I don’t think Barcelona is a lily type tulip which it seems to be in your image.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Christina, you are quite right, it is Mariette. I have amended it. I got confused, I meant to put in a photo of Barcelona, because I love it and and instead I labelled Mariette as Barcelona. Senior moment.

  3. Chloris says:

    Hello Christina, I have labelled the tulips in the mosaic but the names don’ t show up unless you click on the individual images. The first yellow one is Hamilton and the pink one is Huis Ten Bosch. It is a bit shorter but it is such a lovely colour.

  4. Blogging has made me more appreciative of tulips, which are annuals here and thus seldom used in beds and borders. But Jason’s enthusiasm has spurred me to plant two pots for the stoop in spring and this year I had a riot of red and yellow parrots. I’m very impressed with the underplanted tulips you’ve pictured. Since my container display is short lived, I sometimes cut foliage (such as aucuba) to fill in around the tulip foliage. It serves a dual purpose, as it helps keep the container-grown plants upright, but is not as pretty as the feathery grasses or wispy blooms you show.

    • Chloris says:

      I think tulips look lovely growing amongst something like Tellima grandiflora or forgetmenots or wispy grasses because their stiff upright stems are not terribly attractive.

  5. Gorgeous, gorgeous! I think I’m going to have to try the tulips in pots next fall, for a great display next spring. Rabbits eat my tulips in the ground, but maybe the pots would help. Your combinations with other flowers and plants are stunning!

    • Chloris says:

      Thanks Beth. Well pots are just the thing for you then, unless you have very athletic bunnies. I am looking forward to trying the sunset shades I saw at Chenies in pots.

  6. Alison says:

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful displays and combinations you’ve encountered. I seldom think of tulips as part of a combo, they tend to stand alone in my garden. But I like them much better the way you’ve shown them. I’ll have to think of ways to combine them next year. I do like the idea of doing a massed container display too, though.

  7. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Beautiful tulips and combination ideas! My favorites are usually the hot colors as they bring such a bright splash of color to the fairly pastel palette of spring. That being said, ‘Pink Impression’ was a favorite this year along with ‘Prinses Irene’ and ‘American Dream’ which starts light yellow and red and ages to an amazing bright orange. The tulip I look most forward to seeing each year is a single yellow lily form that came with the garden 17 years ago. It doesn’t increase or diminish but faithfully puts forth it’s single flower.

    • Chloris says:

      Would your yellow tulip be West Point do you think? It is a beauty. I have just looked up American Dream and Pink Impression and they are gorgeous. Definitely 2 more for next year’ s list. Thanks Peter.

  8. beautiful, lovely sunny photos of beautiful flowers brighten my wet and windy day, thanks for sharing, Frances

  9. snowbird says:

    Goodness, what a heavenly sight!!! I kept thinking….that’s my favourite, then I would come to the next picture! I love them all…..especially Queen of the night, I planted a hundred of those last year and only twenty or so came up this year, and to add insult to injury the kids from the school next door pick them when they come on their daily pilgrimage to see the skeletons!!! Aren’t forget-me-nots the perfect companion for tulips, they seem to self seed everywhere.xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Have you any idea how weird that sounds to anyone who doesn’ t know about your eccentric choice of garden ornament? ‘The kids pick them on their daily pilgrimage to see the skeletons’ . You can’ t have children picking your Queen of the Night, that’ s outrageous. Set the hedgehogs on to them. Speaking of which are your hedgehogs hardened off yet?
      I hope you had a lovely time in the Lake District.

      • snowbird says:

        Hahahaha….oops! Yes, that comment does sound rather odd now you come to mention it! I would set the hogs on them, but unfortunately they come to see them too, Herbie in particular is a huge hit…and they love the cat as well as the dogs…. and have now taken to running around the monkey puzzle tree…..sighs…..if only they weren’t so utterly adorable! The hogs are hardening off beautifully….four are now about to undergo drastic weight loss as they are back where they belong!xxx

  10. Flighty says:

    A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. I like tulips, but do prefer the ordinary, single-coloured ones best. I didn’t grow any this year but their on the list for next year. xx

  11. AnnetteM says:

    I really enjoyed seeing all your tulips and other displays with some wonderful colour combinations. The forget-me-nots look wonderful, especially the white ones. I, too, am going to look out for some of those. Queen of the Night is really special, isn’t she and well named as she is so regal.
    I am going to think a lot more about underplanting the tulips with other plants after seeing your post. My tulip post is being prepared – maybe get it published for Bloom Day.

  12. Thanks for all this information, it’s very useful. I do so love your combination with the Tellima. The Chenies pots are absolutely stunning. They look a bit like ranunculus, but much easier!

    • Chloris says:

      Tellima is easy, even a bit invasive do you have it? I am pleased with the effect of the tulips growing through it.
      Yes I love those pots at Chenies, the whole courtyard was full of them, it was dazzling.

  13. pbmgarden says:

    These all are so gorgeous who could choose but I do love the soft color of your ‘Apricot Beauty’. I’ve never know of white forget-me-nots. Will have to look for them here.

    • Chloris says:

      The forgetmenots were snow white, just perfect with the white tulips. I have never grown white ones but I have noticed one white one amongst my sea of blue ones. Where my forgetmenots came from I don’ t know, I have never sown them.

  14. Kris P says:

    Tulips make me as envious as peonies. I really hope I can visit the UK in the spring someday.

  15. Chloris says:

    May is a wonderful time to visit, everything is so fresh and lush and the flowers of May are sumptuous.

  16. mattb325 says:

    Such a wonderful selection of tulips and photos. I really like the combinations…especially the forget-me-not (which is another of the weeds here) Perhaps when I get my tulip collection going, I will have to copy the T. ‘Honeymoon’ & forget-me-not combo….that one is particularly lovely, but I will happily take any from your photos: they are beautiful…do any naturalise during the wet summer months or do they need lifting?

  17. Chloris says:

    No I don’ t lift them, I can’ t be bothered. They are an extravagance really as most of the modern hybrids dwindle away. It helps to plant them deeply and feed them with a high phosphorus feed such as bone meal. The Darwin hybrids are stayers as are the viridifloras and some of the lilifloras.

  18. Great and nice tulip mania 😉 It’s a wonderful garden

  19. Laurin Lindsey says:

    Beautiful tulips, I like how you combined them with other flowers it really is so lovely. I will borrow the idea of the pot full of tulips, thank you!

  20. Now I know that it is Prinses, not Princess, Irene. Either way it is an outstanding tulip. I have never grown ‘Queen of the Night’ but there are often masses of it at the Chicago Botanic Garden. So far this year I think my favorite tulips are Couer Cardinal, Ballerina, Princess Irene, and Early Harvest.

    • Chloris says:

      Oh yes Couleur Cardinal is another gorgeous one, I must remember that for next year. I don’ t know Early Harvest, I’ m off to look it up.

  21. Brian Skeys says:

    Thank you for the tulip tour, you grow a great range and combinations. It is always inspirational to visit other gardens for ideas of plant combinations. My favourite this year, that I have grow for the first time is Passionale, I do also like Queen of the night and always grow Princess Irene. ( See ‘The Team’ on my blog for the reason).

  22. Julie says:

    I absolutely love your version of Utting Wick, more than the original and the underlying (Tulipa viridiflora ‘Springwood Green’ Tulips ‘Ballerina’ and the yellow ‘West Point’) with Tellima grandiflora. A really gorgeous combination, that has to be my favourite this year.

  23. Such a lovely post, your combinations are inspiring, u til I moved here I had only ever grown tulips in pots, they seem to be happy to return in this lighter soil, so I want to experiment with mixing them amongst other plants more.Prinses Irene is a favourite already, and Burnt Sugar is going on the list, but I need to think about adding paler tulips too, I think, to lighten things up. Much food for thought, thank you!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Janet, I think this is the great thing about blogging that we can all exchange ideas. I love hearing about other peoples’ favourites and how they grow them.

  24. Cathy says:

    Mmm, some lovely displays and inspiration. I love fringed tulips too, but Mariette stood out in your post today. I do like that shape. My last ones to flower now are a lovely golden yellow parrot tulip called Texas Gold, but less frilly than most other parrot tulips.

  25. gardenfancyblog says:

    Chloris, such gorgeous combinations of tulips! Especially those n the first picture. And Chenies Manor has long been on my short list of gardens to visit when I finally make it across the water — amazing tulip display! Thanks for sharing your tulip photos. -Beth

  26. such a lot of inspiration here. It is interesting how each of us are drawn to different colours – I tend to go for the pastel shades, but had never really considered white, which are just beautiful in the garden with backgrounds of other colours. I am growing Camassia for the first time this year and am loving it!

  27. Angie says:

    Never mind Tulip mania… A severe case of Tulip envy here. I’d love to have deep enough pockets for some stunning Tulip displays, sadly not!
    I love the all white combo in particular, classy!

  28. Chloris says:

    I know what you mean. I always think I’ ve been really extravagant and yet the display is disappointingly meagre.

  29. Hello Chloris, popping over to your blog from Virginia. I am a rather haphazard gardener using the controlled chaos method as my standard MO. So I am completely enchanted by some of your photographs which show the tulip amongst many other spring bloomers rather than in stands all on their own. A lovely idea. Tulips are a real challenge for me to grow because of a persistent vole problem which leaves me wondering each fall whether I should simply plant five dollar bills in the holes and leave it at that. But hope springs eternal in the heart of the gardener and I am inspired now to try plantings of forget-me-not amongst this fall’s bulbs. Thank you.

    • Chloris says:

      I am glad you enjoyed the post Barbara. Squirrels are the problem here with freshly planted tulips. I plant mine really deep in the hope that they won’ t be able to smell them out. I am not a great fan of tulips growing in rows, their stems are not really a feature so it is nice to grow them with plants that will soften them . Forgetmenots and Tellima are both great for this. I love the idea of snowy white Forgetmenots with white tulips.

  30. Anna says:

    If I was issued a school report for my tulips Chloris it would invariably say “Could do better” so it’s great to pick up ideas and inspiration from people who grow them well. I’ve had a lean year when it comes to tulips after disappointments last year meant that I struck them off my bulb shopping come autumn! I must try again maybe with something along the lines of that sunshine combination you saw at Chenies. Not wishing to sound like a pernickity teacher should the caption read ‘Tulipa viridiflora ‘Spring Green’ under you third photo. It’s one of the few that I have managed to succeed with 🙂

  31. Chloris says:

    Indeed, you are right, of course it is Spring Green. Where I got the wood from I can’ t imagine. Thank you Anna. I do like to be accurate when I give plant names but I made 2 mistakes in this post. Oh dear, I’ m slipping up.

  32. Just stunning! How wonderful would it be to wake up to such a fabulous display every morning! I’m going to try tulips again next fall. I am the eternal optimist. 🙂 I do love that pot of sunset hues. Very cheerful.

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  34. Annette says:

    You show some stunning combinations, my favourites being the first two and the one with the orange tulips and the red foliage. As much as I adore massed planting of tulips I also realize that it’s work intensive and you need the right setting and style of garden as it’s hard to incorporate them into established borders. But I love experimenting and make new container plantings every autumn. Right now I’ve heaps of tulips waiting to be planted at their future spots in the newly planted borders. There’s something quite magical about them…hard to resist 😉

    • Chloris says:

      I love them too and every year I wish I had bought more. They are perfect for containers. When I plant them in beds I always slice into ones that are already there. But they do lift the border in April.

  35. Debra says:

    Swoon. What gorgeous combos. I have to learn how to propagate tulips because you are right: it would take deep pockets to re-create anything remotely like these displays. But so worth it haha

    • Chloris says:

      I have never learnt to propagate them and they are an extravagance because most of them don’ t last more than a few years. Still I can’ t resist them.

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  37. threadspider says:

    Gorgeous displays of tulips. I wish they lasted a little longer- apart from Queen of the Night, which is still going, most of mine are now over. I love the densely planted pots in courtyard gardens and will try some of the orange ones you mentioned. My best discoveries this year are a white lily flowered, Sapporo, and a tall coral pink, Menton. Both would look great with white forget me nots.

    • Chloris says:

      I love Menton but I don’ t know Sapporo, I will look out for it. I am going to try cramming a huge pots with sunset shades like the ones at Chenies next year. They looked stunning.

  38. Robbie says:

    ( long sigh) oh my, eye-candy extraordinaire!!!! I love the idea of mixing in beds with other spring flowers-I need to get some timing going on in my small garden:-)

  39. Chloris says:

    Tulips do look good mixed in with Spring flowers don’ t they? I think that is the way to do it. That or growing them in pots.

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