Tulips past and present

It is late November now and this week I have been out in the garden planting new tulip bulbs – I want to bolster the displays of some flower beds and just fancied a change of colour in others.

It is November and you are supposed to plant tulip bulbs out quite late in the year like this to prevent ‘tulip fire’ – a fungal disease that can spread in Autumn’s wet and warm soil.  Mind you, you are also supposed to lift all bulbs six weeks after they’ve flowered and then store them in dark dry place every summer before replanting in late Autumn… but my back doesn’t have the stamina for all that, so unless I needed to dig a bed or container over, then our garden bulbs have just stayed in the ground.

I do wonder if sometimes garden care instructions can be overly cautious. Especially with bulbs.  Last year for example, a leak in our shed roof caused my prize new Dutch bulbs, that were stored underneath the leak, to go quite mouldy.  Gardening books would of had you throw the bulbs away, but I stripped back the paper on the affected bulbs, peeled or cut out any really badly affected areas and then washed them in a shallow sink of water mixed with a capful of bleach.  Judge for yourself if the resulting display earlier this year was worth the effort!

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