Tulips in the mirror

It’s tulip time in every garden.

The plant stems from well drained mountain slopes in Persia, led to a massive financial mania in 17th century Europe, and has since become synonymous with the Netherlands, a flat and definitely not well drained country. Despite its unpromising geographical set-up, the Netherlands is the main producer of commercially grown tulip plants worldwide.

Tulips are a member of the lily family, flowering in spring and then dying down to disappear for the rest of the year underground. Their time in the sun may be short but the more impressive they are while on show. Tulips shaped like stars – like the orange ones above – were popular in the Middle East, while Europe generally prefers the cup-shaped varieties – like the pink beauty below.

I am easy and like them all, the more colourful the better. This autumn, as every autumn, I will plant another lot of bulbs. In my opinion you can never have too many tulips in any garden.