Tulips. Metal engraving by Richard Earlom, based on the artwork of Philip Reinagle, for the book, New Illustration of the Sexual System of Carolus von Linnaeus: And the Temple of Flora, or Garden of Nature, published in 1807.
Tulip Week - A container display to catch the attention of visitors with Tulipa ‘Suncatcher’ with raspberry-red tipped flowers extending up from a striking yellow base. In the same pot was Tulipa 'Holland Queen’ a yellow Rembrandt tulip with broad red flames and Tulipa 'Ile de France’ a cardinal red tulip with blood red colouring inside.
Bulbs come in all shapes and sizes: the
larger bulbs pictured are Crown Imperials, also known as Fritillaria, along with Allium,
which are known as Giant Onions.
Every fall at Longwood a mighty mission
takes place, whereby a staggering 230,000 bulbs are individually planted! These
bulbs spend the winter underground and bloom in the spring, to create Longwood’s
famously spectacular springtime display. Last Thursday us students spent a day
helping the team with this huge bulb-planting project, as one of our weekly
Bulbs are underground batteries packed with
energy and they help a plant to survive the harsh conditions of winter in a
dormant state. The plant is then able to flower early in the year and harness
the springtime light. The fall is the best time of year to plant
spring flowering bulbs, as they are dormant at this stage of the year and at
Longwood a mix of bulbs are planted including Tulips, Daffodils, Fritillarias
One of the main display areas for bulbs at
Longwood, is the Flower Garden Walk, which is an historic pair of parallel
borders, which are the length of two football fields. Each spring this area hosts
a mix of bulbs, which are planted in blocks of colour, following the spectrum
of the rainbow. In order to achieve such a large scale
planting, a design is drawn up a year in advance and detailed orders are placed
for the delivery of the bulbs. It then takes over a week of intense work kneeling down, for a large team of staff, students, and volunteers to first lay-out
the bulbs and plant each one individually. Guests are always delighted to see the vast
planting process and some ask whether we simply dump soil on top of the bulbs
once we lay them out? However we reassure them that each individual bulb is dug
in, 6 inches deep, using a trowel in order to maintain the pattern and design.
Curiously we started our
day of bulb-planting, with an area of bare soil and having planted the bulbs,
we also ended the day with bare soil. Come the Spring, the Flower Garden Walk
will be ablaze with colour and we will be able to see the results of this hard
work and the blooms of this buried treasure.
Here we are planting a mix of Tulips and
To ensure correct spacing of the bulbs,
when laying them out, we use a pre-cut measuring stick. It is a tricky skill to
keep the rows straight and uniform!
Fellow interns Spencer, Clare, Myself and
Nathan, after a busy day laying out bulbs.
Thirsty work planting, on a warm October
Article and photos by Katy Merrington, International Horticulture Trainee
Dramatic drifts of Crocus vernus (Dutch crocus, giant crocus, large-flowering crocus) cultivars include Crocus ‘Pickwick’ with large purple-striped flowers on a greyish-white background with orange stamens and stigma. These
herbaceous perennials grow from a corm, with linear leaves usually with a silvery central stripe.