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Hever Castle has planted thousands of tulips for 2021 after last year's flowers bloomed in lockdown

Thousands of white tulips with red tips have been planted to greet visitors to a Kent castle garden this spring after last year's displays could not been seen by visitors due to the first national lockdown.

The team at Hever Castle near Edenbridge wanted the 2021 display to be spectacular, after last year's bloomed while the gates were closed.

Tulips at Hever Castle Picture: Hever Castle & Gardens
Tulips at Hever Castle Picture: Hever Castle & Gardens

Currently displaying snowdrops to local visitors, after March's daffodils, by the third week of April, the multi-coloured flowers will provide a colourful trail throughout the gardens.

Head gardener Neil Miller has selected a brightly coloured palette for this year of more than 25,000 blooms.

He said: “Last year we were all set, as everyone was, to throw open the gates and wow visitors with thousands of tulips, but sadly no one but the gardening team got to see the stunning floral celebration so we doubled down and thought long and hard about the selection for 2021 - and we think visitors will approve.”

The white tulips with raspberry tips called Affaire will greet visitors at the castle gate, while a new bed of more than 4,000 tulips planted in block colours will mimic a flowing rainbow beside Two Sisters’ Lawn.

The Italian Garden with its ornate sculpture will provide the backdrop for more formal displays in geometric patterns while on Pergola Walk, a variety have been allowed to mix together.

Tulips are all around the gardens at Hever Castle
Tulips are all around the gardens at Hever Castle

More than 3,500 Apeldoorn Elite tulips, in red and yellow will bloom around the walls of castle alongside thousands of wallflowers Fire King and Golden Bedder.

He added: “I don’t have the budget of say Louis XIV of France who imported 4 million bulbs a year from Dutch nurseries, but I do have enough to play with to purchase some wonderful tulips.

“I’m particularly pleased with some of the specimen tulips we chose for our potted displays for 2021. I fell in love with the Rasta Parrot with its feathery tepals and bold colouring - this one is sure to be a favourite with garden visitors.

"We endeavour to choose as many specimen types as possible from the peony group to the Darwin, the botanical/perennials (like Vibrant Spring Green) which go on for years, the parrot tulips, standard and late groups in order to provide talking points. Visitors always enjoy the displays and go away with plenty of inspiration for their own gardens.”

Tulips come in up to 15 different types, and Hever will be sharing examples of these on social daily.

Neil Miller with tulips at Hever Castle Picture: Leo Beiber
Neil Miller with tulips at Hever Castle Picture: Leo Beiber

Neil will also be providing tips, with the castle's website hosting his worksheets detailing what to plant in April, when, where and how, with video tutorials this spring too.

For more details go to hevercastle.co.uk.

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