Tubs full of tulips

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THE cause of last weekend’s bad back was planting tulip bulbs in tubs.

The ground’s in no state to plant bulbs now, so I opted for containers at the last minute.

I bought a collection of single earlies from J Parker’s (15 bulbs of the varieties you see here, plus 15 free Apricot Beauty). I wanted more Diana, so ended up with 45 of them.

They’re easy enough to plant, 4-6 inches deep in decent, free-draining compost with a bit of bonemeal added.

I did read on a US site the trouble people go to to grow them in warmer climates.

They need at least six weeks of cold weather, so they force them in the fridge. Bulbs must be kept away from fruits such as apples, which emit ethylene and prevent a flower stem forming.