Top tips for taking care of your tulips this spring
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Top tips for taking care of your tulips this spring

IN an age of ever-increasing consumerism, the purveyors of commercialism have used presentation, clever packaging, and blanket advertising to tell us what ‘must have items’ we need to be happy, contented, and successful.

Their latest suggestion would have us all buying more and more cut flowers.

Did you know that some outlets now offer a guarantee with their cut flowers, particularly with tulips and carnations?

The ‘assurance’ has to do with the length of time they remain in bloom, and every bunch sold is guaranteed to last for at least seven days.

Carnations can be expected to last longer.

You will of course be expected to change the water and do everything necessary to prolong their lifespan.

Tulips of course have always made excellent cut flowers and by following a few simple guidelines it has always been possible to prolong their lifespan.

If new to buying cut flowers let me assure you that by following the following tips many extra days can be added to your display.

  1. Plunge cut tulips in a bucket of cold water (almost up to their necks) for at least two hours before arranging them in vases
  2. Trim an inch or two from the bottom of each stem before placing them in vases or containers.
  3. Add the cut flower food whenever this additive becomes available. This comes as a standard addition and is free with all cut flower purchases.
  4. If your tulips start to fade, don't discard them. Try this ‘rescue’ method; Cut the stems again removing an inch or so and then roll the blooms firmly in paper and put them aside overnight in a cool place. They should be almost fully revived by morning.

Tulips have always been synonymous with Easter (which falls on April 14 this year) and between now and then all the popular varieties will be on sale at outlets up and down the country.

What is nicer and more apt during this period than a bunch of yellow Yokohama tulips teamed with fresh, sprouting foliage.

Other long-lasting varieties include the vivid red Alfred Cortot, lemon yellow Chopin, apricot yellow and red striped Cape Cod and the very lovely dark rose-red Hearts Delight.

There are dozens more of course but their arrival in bucket displays signals and suggests that new garden life is to be found around every corner.