“Exhilarating” Trio of Jewel-Colored Tulips

Tulips – including three of our favorite heirlooms – rule in a London garden featured in the April 2019 issue of The English Garden.

At the center of the “radiant back garden ... is a particularly exhilarating stretch of color, which draws the smiling visitor unstoppably towards it. There are hundreds of jewel-colored tulips emerging from clear-blue forget-me-nots and a frame of step-over apple trees smothered in pale pink blossom…. The tulips are a combination of the glowing pink ‘Mariette’, dusky purple ‘Queen of Night’, and the clear scarlet ‘Kingsblood’.

“Weaving their way through these, electrifying everything, are seams of flamed yellow-and-red tulips.” Architectural designer Charles Rutherfoord “smiles when asked to identify them. They don’t have a name because these are tulips that have ‘broken’. Charles and his partner, Rupert Tyler (a trustee of the National Garden Scheme), don’t lift the 2,000 tulips they plant each year. When, occasionally, a tulip ‘breaks’ (that is, it becomes infected by a virus), they delight in the delicacy and independent spirit of the resulting colors and patterns.”

At the end of the article, Rutherfoord offers some planting advice that we were also happy to hear: “Plant lots of bulbs and pay absolutely no attention to advised spacing!”