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Tulips bloom early for the Tulip Celebration at Hever Castle

By Angela Cole

When you have an events calendar which needs planning a year in advance, you can’t plan it around what Mother Nature may have in store.

Hever Castle’s award-winning gardening team have been working through the year to prepare for their third Tulip Celebrations, which will be held from Wednesday, April 24 to Tuesday, April 30.

Around 30,000 tulips will be flowering as part of the event - but as mere mortals, they were at the mercy of the environment and the date turned out to be a slightly moveable feast.

Tulips are blooming
Tulips are blooming

The tulips decided to bloom earlier than planned so visitors are urged to head down to Hever from now on to see the blooming marvellous display, even though the event hasn't officially started yet.

Bulb master and holder of 25 coveted Chelsea gold medals, Johnny Walkers helped to select the tulip varieties, with 22 different varieties being chosen.

Tulips are blooming
Tulips are blooming

Free daily tours with the gardeners can be enjoyed during the week as well as tulip floral arrangements in the castle.

Head gardener Neil Miller said: “To me tulips are one of my favourite bulbs, I like bright in your face colours and where do you find a bulb that has all the colours of the rainbow?

"My favourite tulip is Queen of the Night, it is a deep, deep purple, the closest you would get to black. A fab new tulip we have this year in the Italian Garden is called Inferno.

Tulips are blooming early at Hever Castle
Tulips are blooming early at Hever Castle

"It is an intense deep red with spring green coloured leaves and it flowers in April/May to a wonderful height of 45cm. We are planting it amongst deep blue pansies.”

Neil has been writing about the tulips in his regular column for What's On. To read it click here.

As well as the tulips, the castle is also opening up Park Wood to visitors so that they can see the untouched carpet of bluebells.

This area of the grounds is usually closed to visitors but the gates will be opened and visitors will be able to take their families and their dogs on a magical walk through the woodland.

You can check which tulips are out and where in the grounds at hevercastle.co.uk/news

DETAILS

The Hever Castle Tulip Celebration will be held from Wednesday, April 24 to Tuesday, April 30 - but go as soon as you can!
Check how the displays are faring at hevercastle.co.uk

Read more: All the latest events across Kent

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