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tulipa_sprengeriJust look at the colour on that.

These are my Tulipa sprengeri – a first foray into the world of species tulips for me, but I have lost my heart to them. They’re in the raised rock garden that runs along the front of my house and the sun just catches them at the right angle so they seem to glow.

I have them planted with small daffodils (I would put a wider shot here of both in their dazzling yellow-and-red brilliance but my camera battery ran out) and the combination is one of those ones that makes you smile every time you see it.

The daffodils aren’t quite the right type – they’re WP Milner, which is a lovely daffodil but ever-so-slightly too early for the sprengeri tulips, so they’re almost over as the tulips get into their stride. You have about a week when they’re both looking perfect, then the daffodils start looking tatty. I’m thinking I might hunt down a later miniature daffodil for next year.

The lovely thing about species tulips is that they come back year after year without any fiddling about digging them up for overwintering, and they never flop. They even self-seed around if they’re happy.

I feel a collection coming on. The list on my phone now reads as follows (in rough order of flowering):

  • Tulipa biflora
  • T. bifloriformis ‘Starlight’
  • T. humilis
  • T. turkestanica
  • T. clusiana var. chrysantha
  • T. kolpakowskiana
  • T. orphanidea ‘Flava’
  • T. praestans ‘Fusilier’
  • T. saxatilis Bakeri Group ‘Lilac Wonder’
  • T. urumiensis
  • T. linifolia
  • T. orphanidea ‘Whittallii Group’
  • T. tarda

That should fill up the front garden nicely!