May Plant of the Month by Martin Fish: Tulips

Plant of the Month by Martin Fish

Horticultural expert Martin FishMartin Fish is a gardening columnist, broadcaster, speaker, RHS judge and all-round horticulture expert. He writes for publications including Garden Answers, Kitchen Garden and Which? Gardening.

We have worked with Martin closely over a number of years and each month he will be choosing a favourite Plant of the Month for us, with tips and advice for planting and growing in the garden.


Colourful tulips

Tulips are one of our most popular late spring-flowering bulbs and I think they look great when planted in drifts in the border or in pots to add colour to a patio.

They first became popular in the 16th & 17th centuries, and during Tulip-mania in the Netherlands, tulip bulbs exchanged hands for huge amounts of money. Some people made their fortunes trading bulbs and others lost theirs!

Nowadays tulip bulbs are much more affordable and we can all grow them in our gardens. They are very simple to grow, in fact the hardest part about growing them is choosing what varieties to grow from the many thousands of different shapes, heights and colours available.

Colourful flowers Tulips

Always buy good quality bulbs in autumn and plant them at least three times the depth of the bulb and ideally plant in November or early December when the soil is cooling down. By planting quality bulbs, you will get a much better display of flowers in May.  As well as enjoying them in the garden, if you have a little spare room in you veg plot, it’s worth planting a few extra bulbs so you can pick your own cut flowers for the house.

I love them and the brighter the colour, the better!

You can find more about Martin at or find him on Twitter!

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