Published: 05:00, 12 April 2022
Take in the stunning Tulip Celebrations display at Hever Castle and Gardens this spring.
From Tuesday, April 19, visitors to Hever Castle, near Sevenoaks, can enjoy rows upon rows of colourful tulips, including a newly-planted grassland site.
The Tulip Celebrations display sees almost 40,000 tulips of every colour bloom across the Italian Garden and throughout the estate.
Visitors to the castle will be able to discover unique specialist tulips, as well as learn about the new field of bulbs flowering in the grasslands beside the Arbour, on daily tours with the gardening team.
There will be a rich variety of flowers on display, including Tulipa Abu Hassan, White Prince, Ruby Prince, Tulipa Ballerina and white, red and purple Ricardo tulips, all mixed with spring daffodils and sprawling landscaped gardens.
A kaleidoscope of colours will be found in the Italian Garden while, on the other side of the walled garden inspired by the fall of Pompeii, tulips will bloom in mesmerising block coloured arrangements.
“I’m a bulb obsessive and come autumn each year, I pour over the catalogues and plan the display for April,” says Neil Miller, head gardener at Hever Castle. “Last autumn was no different, and while I ordered 25,000 tulips for the Italian Garden, castle walls, pots, displays, entrance and tulip field close to the Gatehouse entrance, I couldn’t shift that idea that it was still not enough. So, with the blessing of our CEO, I ordered enough bulbs to cover a new 70 square metre site close to the Golden Staircase.”
The newly-planted site is enhancing biodiversity on the estate by using a machine that was minimally invasive for the soil, where many insects make their home. This machine also helped preserve the grasslands where the pollinators will gather this spring.
“This area, known as the Arbour, is planted with red and white bulbs that will flower from March through to June,” explains Neil. “The swathes of red and white in this area of the estate will be a design tribute to the Tudor Rose.”
Neil will be among those giving the daily tours of the tulips at the castle and explaining the thought behind choosing the tulips this year.
“It’s been wonderful to see returning visitors each year who’ve caught the bulb bug,” adds the expert gardener. “The season begins with thousands of crocus after Christmas, continues with close to 100,000 snowdrops in February, dazzles with nearly 60,000 daffodils in March and bursts forth with colour thanks to the tulips in April.”
Tours of the Tulip Celebration at Hever Castle and Gardens take place from Tuesday, April 19 to Sunday, April 24. Adult tickets start from £54.80. Book online here.