Whenever I think of tulips I can’t help but start singing that lovely song by Max Bygraves (younger readers will wonder what on earth I am talking about). The song, no. 3 in the Charts 1958, was one of mum’s favourite hoovering records that did battle with the Electrolux on a Sunday morning.
“When it’s spring again I’ll bring again
Tulips from Amsterdam
With a heart that’s true I’ll give to you
Tulips from Amsterdam”
The Dutch produce over two billion tulips each year for the cut flower market and they are available all year round. The romantic thought that they are only available in the spring when love is in the air has long gone and the romance dented further I think with their popularity in petrol stations.
There was a time when your local public park would put on a fine show and local councils would compete against neighbouring boroughs for the best show but that’s all sadly fallen away as budgets became stretched. However, some places remain loyal to the idea and maintain a traditional tulip display every spring.
Hampton Court Palace, who plant over 20,000 bulbs each autumn, have been presenting a spring display for over 200 years, probably longer if you include the tulip bulbs planted in the Privy Garden for William III in 1702. People would flock to Hampton Court and other Royal Parks to see the displays each spring and delight in the array of colours and shapes usually set within a bed of wallflowers or primroses.
Operations Manager, Gardens