Wow, it’s November already? It feels like this autumn has flown by, but don’t worry – there is still plenty to get out and do in the garden in order to prepare for the year ahead, and this month’s subscription box is the perfect place to start! Packaged beautifully with bright colours and uplifting illustrations, there is no post more inspiring to encourage you outdoors when, let’s face it, it’s not the nicest out there! Tulips are the moment, and this box provides you with all you need and more, with three gorgeous varieties and even a uniquely beautiful daffodil. The monthly subscription box is so useful (especially when it contains bulbs!) as it is an exciting yet timely reminder of what to get planting now. Some may be under the impression that by November you have sort of missed the boat for bulbs, but they couldn’t be more wrong!
Now is the optimal time to plant tulips, as planted any earlier they may wither and rot in the conditions of a warm and wet autumn. I am sure we gardeners can all agree now is certainly cold enough, and tulips actually prefer to be planted in cold conditions. November and December are perfect, as the bulbs don’t get too warm but still have plenty of time to prepare for their springtime performances. Tulips are best planted in a free draining soil or compost mix, with lots of grit. They grow most vigorously in a sunny spot, however the blooms last the longest in the shade, so a pot is a perfect mobile solution! Tulips are most typically used in the base of a bulb lasagne, below daffodils yet above alliums. A tip to give your pot of tulips even more interest the year round is to add plug plant toppers. Planting winter bedding such as violas saves your eye from the unsightly, bare grit or soil all winter. The tulips will grow up through the bedding, and you will be left with the effect of a beautiful, multi-layered display.
The colour scheme of the tulips included in this month’s box is classic, versatile and beautiful. Pink, peony and salmon, this classy palette will pair wonderfully with almost any other. If pastels are more your thing, try combining with whites like ‘Danceline’ or lilacs such as ‘James Last.’ However, if you are one to favour the bold and brilliant, pair these tulips with bright tangerine and crimson for a stained glass effect. ‘Amazing Parrot,’ ‘Labrador’ and ‘Brisbane’ are good options, and all mentioned are available on The Rose Press Garden’s website and compliment this month’s bulbs beautifully – it’s not too late to order!
Tulip ‘Fancy Frills’ was the first I discovered when I eagerly opened my monthly box. Exciting, unusual, flamboyant and fun, this lives up to its name and is truly a fancy, frilly tulip! A bright yet blushed pink, this would look stunning paired with the white of early narcissus or paler pink of chionodoxa. I can’t wait to have it in my garden next spring!
Next up is ‘Salmon Impression,’ a more refined yet no less stunning tulip. Its smooth petals are a pale pink gently flushed with apricot. The large and goblet shaped flowers are held on tall stems, the blooms float like tulip-shaped clouds above a border or bulb lasagne.
Another beauty is ‘Pink Star,’ a late flowering double tulip, with large blooms that can reach a span of 10cm! With short stems and huge heads this tulip is perfect for cutting and would be ideal in a cut flower bed. ‘Pink Star’ is of a unique apricot-pink colour, and shades can vary from pale to deep rose. It would complement other apricot coloured tulips beautifully, such as ‘Apricot Beauty,’ or if contrast is more your taste pair it with a deep purple, such as ‘Blue Diamond.’
And I must not forget the daffodil; a great addition to the tulip mix that can still be planted now are the stunningly classy Salome daffodils included in this month’s box. They have the most unusual and gorgeous peachy pink centres, perfect for a more refined colour scheme that deviates from the primary coloured norm- and they’re good for cutting! These would work perfectly planted amongst any of the tulips included this month in use as a bulb lasagne – that way your pot, bed, or section of border will look even lovelier for even longer!
The monthly subscription box continues to get better and better as the months go by, even if we already thought that it couldn’t get any more exciting! For the optimistic gardener and the gardener that needs something to look forward to this box is a lifeline, particularly at this time of year. Form the joy when it arrives, to the productivity of planting and the anticipation for the flowers next spring – it’s the best post ever!