I’ve been to Sissinghurst today, so am spoilt for choice when it comes to spring sweeties to feature as flower candy. Sorry to disappoint, but I am going to resist temptation and save Sissinghurst’s treats for another occasion. Instead let me introduce you to Tulipa ‘Czar Peter’, a gregii tulip that’s currently flowering in our coastal garden. The gregiis originate from Central Asia where they grow on mountain slopes, hence they are hardy, naturally compact and well suited to cultivation in containers. Mine are densely planted in a large, glazed stoneware bowl that sits in the middle of our garden table.
The Czar, so far, is proving a little schizophrenic. His buds emerged pale and bosomy (please excuse my choice of adjective, but it’s an apt one), sitting proudly above the red striped foliage that all gregiis share. Given a spell in the sun the flowers have opened buttermilk yellow with painterly scarlet markings. The contrast is dramatic, highlighting the poor choice I made in matchmaking the Czar with ice white cyclamen, which have suddenly decided to turn candy pink. No matter, the Czar is definitely the star.
Tulipa ‘Czar Peter’ is available from Avon Bulbs from September.