It’s Not Too Late To Plant Tulip Bulbs


In fact they are supposed to fare better disease-wise if planted towards the end of the year, rather than in autumn with the other spring-flowering bulbs. I came across this particular bouquet in Aardvark Books (Hereford’s wonderful second-hand book emporium and book lovers’ heaven).  Stunning, isn’t it? You can well see why tulip mania broke out in 17th century Holland. (Perhaps one of history’s more benign expressions of humans losing all sense of proportion).

Tulips of course are not native to Europe (hence the excitement when they first arrived there). Their homeland is Turkey where they grow wild, and it was the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire who bred and  filled their gardens with ever new varieties. Trade in the bulbs was forbidden and each new variety carefully recorded. But as might have been predicted with such highly desirable items, they escaped at last. And ever since we’ve had more and more new versions, each one designed to incite tulip lust. So much so, I find it impossible to choose whenever I look at a bulb catalogue. On the other hand, as I said, there’s still time to plant some…


Life in Colour: Kaleidoscope Jude wants plenty of colour from us this month.

46 thoughts on “It’s Not Too Late To Plant Tulip Bulbs

  1. Amazing colours, Tish. I’ve heard of 17th C tulip mania – fascinating stuff. I think any planting of bulbs is going to have to wait now – short, wet, days! We love the garden, but are pretty useless gardeners!

      1. Oh, I know. But I can’t resist. Trying a couple of new combinations this year. And actually I have never been disappointed by her tulips.

  2. I suffer from a rare condition–you might call it a bulbous addiction. Anytime fall winds its way down to where I’m raking leaves, I hunt the end-of-season plant sales to buy a bunch and hope like heck they survive my impulsive and hasty planting racing the clock to beat the first frost and hope they take root in time. Usually I’m snagged by giant bins of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, snow drops, etc. and I grab the buy-one, get-one bundles of 50 bulbs each. Because, you know, SALE! Then I try to plant them and remember that my ‘yard’ is technically 1-2 inches of top soil layered over the bedrock of landfill from a nearby quarry. (95% rocks, 3% weeds, 2% sandy soil. It is a real shame and, if I ever have money, I’m having it professionally dug out and refilled with decent dirt!) Any how, I feel the same pull to plant and appreciate the gloriousness that is a double tulip with frills and furbelows. Now if only the critters would leave them alone long enough for them to survive to bloom!

  3. I suppose Max Bygraves wouldn’t have had a hit with a song called ”Tulips from Istanbul” .

    Seriously … I’m not that old. I Googled it. Honestly!

      1. Sweetheart, we are all on the same train. You just might be in the next carriage closer to the engine- just – but we can still wave at each other and will probably arrive at the station more or less at the same time.
        Unless we’re all fortunate that the train is operated by B.R. then who knows when we’ll arrive?

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