UK: Over 60,000 tulips are set to bloom at Arundel Castle in West Sussex in mid-April, when the annual Tulip Festival will see the extensive gardens decorated with swathes of the colourful flowers for three weeks.
A record number of over 130 varieties of tulip will make up the display, including the mandarin-scented Ballerina, the deep maroon Queen of the Night and the playfully striped Marilyn.
“We have a number of unusual and exciting tulips at Arundel Castle this year,” said Head Gardener Martin Duncan. “Keep an eye out for the deep crimson, fringed Valery Gergiev. It’s a fantastic, slightly bizarre looking tulip that is sure to please.
“My favourite variety is the Honeymoon – it is pure white with a lot of detailed fringing. Other very striking blooms are the Curly Sue and the Barbados.
“We’ve spent months carefully planning the display so that different varieties come into their best throughout the festival. Our red and white labyrinth of red Apeldoorn tulips and white Thalia Narcissus will be at its most beautiful towards the end of April.”
The unique, quirky stumpery – the home of upturned ancient tree roots – will be filled with delicate botanical tulips that are far smaller than their famous counterparts. The bright red Tulip linefolia grows to just 15cm, as does the Persian Pearl.
Throughout the Collector Earl’s Garden, tulip varieties such as the Parrot Negrita, Black Parrot and Rococo will set a lavish scene with their rich colours and unusual shapes. The bright orange and yellow hues of Firework and Rhapsody of Smiles tulips will burst from the Tropical Borders, reminding visitors that summer is just around the corner.
The Annual Tulip Festival is set to run from approximately mid-April to early-May. Green-fingered folk should also make a note in their diary for April 28, when the Spring Plant Fair returns, as well as the Allium Extravaganza which runs after the tulips from mid-May to mid-June.