Tip-toe through the tulips… a walk round Lewes.
The crisp Spring air and the bright yellow trumpeting daffodils have now left us as April fades. May arrives with the promise of longer days, warmer rays and the brilliant colours of late Spring in the garden.
Tulips are a late Spring delight for keen gardeners and garden pleasure seekers alike; from the brilliant butter yellow stalwart T. ‘Big Smile’, to the brash cardinal red of T. ‘Kings blood’, under-planted with the jewel-box colours of mixed pallet wall flowers as seen in many Lewes District public planting schemes. Many a Lewes front garden features groups of ivory tulips like T. ‘White Trumpeter’, interlaced with the dark velvety richness of T.’ Queen of the Night’, or the subtle beauty of T. Shirley with its white and purple streaked petals. Grand pots either side of many Lewes front doors are planted with tall pink and purple combinations of the elegant lily-style tulips T. ‘Barcelona’, who’s petals gently reflex outwards producing a delicate flower. On Lewes twitterns and terraces, old tins and boots recycled into planters are bursting with the vibrant yellows of T.’ West Point’ a superb lily tulip and the deep glowing orange of T. ‘Ballerina’.
Then there are tulips immortalised by the Dutch masters; blousy, over-the-top and oozing glamour, these are the haute couture of the tulip world. Parrot tulips, from single feather-edged creations like T. ‘Oviedo’, to doubles T. ‘Rai’ which produce a flower that is almost frilly. Many forms are bi-coloured with a basecoat which is crossed with thin crazed lines T. ‘Estella Rynveld’, others have an almost shimmering hue with their feather edges dipped in a contrasting tint T. ‘Davenport’.
There is just so much to love and admire about the tulip. No matter what your taste there must surely be one to excite the pallet of everyone. During May revel in the many delightful varieties by taking a stroll through Grange Gardens; as the days lengthen so do its opening hours, until twilight. Enjoy!