Tulips and Alliums

Autumn is the time to start planning for the winter as there are many things that can be done and one of those things is to plant up some bulbs ready for next spring. Tulips and Alliums make a great combination. It’s traditionally best to plant tulips in October and November as this will protect the bulbs from diseases, any fungal or viral diseases tend to have been killed off by the colder temperatures.

Tulip varieties I often use are Tulipa ‘Queen of the Night’ a beautiful dark purple almost black flower, Tulipa ‘White Triumphator’ which has a delicate white flower, Tulipa ‘ Shirley’ which has a white flower with a pink edge to it and then the Tulipa ‘Black Parrot’ which is a purple flower with a frilly edge. It’s worth the time invested in planting these in early Autumn as there will be a stunning display come the spring.

Amongst these bulbs I often mingle in some Allium bulbs which will replace the tulips once they have died back, and give a beautiful architectural display of purples. I usually plant two varieties which are Allium sphaerocephalon and Allium atropurpureum. The Allium sphaerocephalon has slightly different looking flower heads, being more of an egg shape than the classic round head, with a lovely claret colour, they grow to around 90cm and flower slightly later than others in July/August. The Allium atropurpureum are a beautiful variety flowering May/June time at around 75cm in height adding some great colour to a scheme and will look great mixed in with ornamental grasses.

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