Who's a pretty boy then? The Parrot Tulip.

Welcome to our blog. You'll be able to read about our new plants, seasonal specials, learn tips and advice from our experts and just enjoy a good 'rummage around' our garden. Today let's have a look at Parrot tulips.

Our familiar smooth petalled tulips originated in Turkey and didn't arrive into Holland,  (now home of the tulip), until 1601. Since then, the Dutch have created over 4000 named varieties and 15 different classes of tulip. The 'parrots' have to be one of the most beautiful of classes.

Parrot-tulips are so called because they are as brightly coloured as as jungle parrot and they have feathered edges. This decorative 'feather' frill, is your key to identifying them. Historically they had flame-coloured petals but now modern parrot-tulips come in most colours.

Virtually unknown until the early 20th century they are now one of the most popular tulips for bridal flowers.

When last in Holland and looking at tulip fields, it dawned on me the Dutch have made tulip breeding and growing, an art form. I am digressing here, but even the simple process of giving their vast fields of bulbs a drink, gives an insight into their genius.

When we water our plants we water from the heavens downwards, when the dutch give their bulbs a drink they water from under the soil upwards! They simply open and close their dams and dykes until water starts to rise up from under the ground. Once the bulbs have had a drink they reverse the process and the water drains away.

The history behind 'Tulipmania' as the rich and powerful of France, Britain and Holland tried to outdo each other in a tulip's colour and price and the subsequent financial collapse is for another blog. However there is something about tulips which continually ignites the passions...and for me this year, it's the parrot-tulip which lit the flame.

Parrot Tulips are great value, so perhaps make these beauties you're choice for planting this year. The frills, feathers and colours make them unique, interesting and desirable. They are easy to grow. Just make sure they are in well-drained soil and are planted 3 'bulb-heights' deep.

Tip of the blog - Some frosty nights now, make sure there's no water in your hose.

To end with, here's a couple of pics of gorgeous Parrot tulips to whet your appetite. Enjoy.

Black Parrot
Super Parrot

Apricot Parrot


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