Sixty thousand blooms to view

By | Category: Travel destinations

After an odd winter which has generally been milder than some were expecting, Spring flowers are blooming. As has been common over the last few years, daffodils have been out since February and are now dying off in the south of our countries.

Tlips at Arundel Castle during the 2017 festival. photo ©Julia Claxton

The next flower to brighten the landscape tends to be the tulip and with it comes the big outdoor tourist attraction of the year. People will start getting in their cars and catching coach tours to visit some of our most spectacular displays of flowers and it is to Arundel Castle in West Sussex that many will go.

Unless there is a sudden cold snap – and that doesn’t seem to be on the horizon at the moment – over 60,000 tulips are set to open for the Annual Tulip Festival.

From mid-April, the gardens at the castle will see over 130 different varieties of tulip flower but they a comparatively short time. The display will end after about three weeks but during that brief time there will be any number of different colours and perfumes.  The castle gardeners have planned the display so that as one variant comes to its end another should bloom giving visitors a wide show of colour across the three weeks.

Everybody thinks they know what a tulip will be like and so well-known has this become that for centuries, drinking glasses have been described as tulip shaped. The flower has become so famous that in the seventeenth century, tulip bulbs could be bought and sold for eye-watering prices. So well-known was the flower that Alexander Dumas even penned an adventure story – The Black Tulip – about the flower.

At Arundel, then you might be surprised to see a tulip with a perfume like mandarins (the Ballerina tulip), deep crimson, rather odd one called Valery Gergiev and some that are almost miniatures.

Incidentally, in the middle of the festival – on the 28th of April – is the Spring Plant Fair and after the tulips have disappeared for the year, the month long allium display takes over.

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