Spring has reached its zenith and the softness and freshness of the foliage slowly turns to deep green and tougher maturity. Primroses are fading fast, to be replaced by bluebells and wild garlic, which in turn, after a short magnificent display, decay promptly in step with the developing canopy. The sadness of ebbing spring is soon assuaged by the excitement of new actors on the floral stage, giving sometimes fleeting but always spectacular performances.
One of the first performances is from an easy but seldom seen member of a very familiar family. Tulipa sprengeri is exceptional in two ways, firstly being the last tulip to flower and secondly in its ability to flower in light or dappled shade. I first discovered this tulip on a visit to the Copenhagen Botanical Gardens several years ago, and having no doubts about its hardiness, I purchased a packet of seed. It proved easy to germinate, which is fortunate because my bulbs do not to produce offsets.
The full story appears from page 61 of our magazine.