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Welcome  to our Tulip tests 2016

Presented to you in time for bulb buying season, we hope there may be some interesting varieties here for you to consider.

We have always planted Tulips every year so it was not our intention to test the whole plethora of varieties across the entire spectrum of colours. The Tulip tests have been more about seeking out the unusual, possibly more couture varieties. It was also about trouble shooting with true whites and experimenting with some of the darker, more dramatic specimens. There will always be those staple Tulips - your tried and tested and loved favourites. These tests have been about seeking out the sublime.

Some selections didn't pan out, but that's the whole point of the tests.  Most had merit, and some completely blew us away.

Shall we begin?

Test area 1 - in a quest to find true white Tulips

Get the look : White Swan & Queen of Night against Farrow & Ball 'Downpipe'

Variety : Tulip Icecream. It sounded great but was possibly in the top 3 of disapointments. Short length and lived flower that took on the odd appearance of looking almost mouldy!  Nice for only a few days.

Carnival de Rio : not recommended, failed to pack a punch!

In the test patches

The Whites

Tulip White Swan, also known as Honeymoon has been a trickster in the past - one batch even appearing pink at first. This is the second year we have tested it and it indeed opens as lemon then turns 100% pure white.

Tulip Shirely

Does the same (see below for range), lemon tinged giving over to pure white.

Our recommended whites (all pictured) - Spring Green, Maureen, Tacoma, White Parrot, White Dream

Dark dramatics

Blueberry Ripple  - tall, strong, bold, went on forever. Great in both traditional and modern contexts. Looks very vintage or paired with Queen of Night it becomes ultra modern and slick.

Jackpot - the reverse of Blueberry Ripple and very sharp looking. Long lasting blooms. The depth of colour is remarkable. See below Queeen of Night and Black Parrot for combining with.

Tulip Uncle Tom. Peony like but very short lived blooms. Not a favourite.

Tulip variety Paul Scherer - much deeper than Queen of Night.

Our Tulip test patches

The Brights

First to bloom were Tulip Pirand - but we called them the Watermelon Tulips. It was surprising how much they changed in colour and stature over a long flowering period.

Tulip Dynasty, a relatively new variety to 2016. It was a bit of a let down and did not contatin the pink streaks promised. Blooms were short and the colour dulled out quite quickly.

Tulip Monee however was the opposite. Not one that we were overly excited about, but it proved to flower forever with the depth of colours deepening with maturity.

Tulip Orange Emperor : our rating average, there are better orange varieties for effect.

Tulip Irene Parrot. Short lived but utterly amazing colours so every bit worth it! It's like a bouquet of flowers in one Tulip.

Tulip Barbados : a true shocker of colour and texture.

Tulip Albert Heijn : beautiful white tipped petals on large blooms.

and who would have thought these unassuming little buds would turn into...

Tulip Estella Rynveld

Tulip Celebrity

Curly Sue

Top 5 Choice Tulips

Our top five favourites for the #tt2016, selected  for their couture qualities, colours, pattern, longevity and uniqueness are Blueberry Ripple, Jackpot, 

Shirley

Tulip Monee

And our # 1 is Tulip Estella Rynveld

Happy bulb buying and planting!

All photographs and ingredients are by us

Images ©Hendy Curzon Gardens Ltd. 2016