Apricot beauty tulip mix | why Sarah loves this

Watch as Sarah explains why she loves this soft coloured trio and how to prepare tulips for arranging in a vase

This is one if my favourite pastel collections; the Apricot Beauty Tulip Mix. With three tulips in it, each one of which are really favourites of mine. I completely love them all and I’m going to explain why. ‘Purissima’ is a really cracking tulip, I’ve grown it in the garden here for 25 years or more and the main reasons I love it is that it’s very very early, it’s the first flower here often in March, middle of March to the end of March. Also, it’s incredibly perennial and you can see that here because this was one bulb and now it’s five, and so I can pick two and still leave three in the garden and it looks almost as good. So, I’ve got flowers for inside and flowers for outside. So, I just strip the bottom leaves, because you don’t need that once they’re in the vase and that’s photosynthesis and so that needs water so they’re better off without them. Then plop them straight into water. The next one in this collection is another real cracker, which used to be called ‘Exotic Emperor’ and it’s the one you see in these pots most prominently. It’s now called ‘White Valley’, I really don’t know why, it was a much nicer name, ‘Exotic Emperor’. But it’s a really good tulip, because it’s very perennial like ‘Purissima’, it has incredible vase life because it’s a double it has incredible pot life, which is why we use it so much and we use it in the borders, we use it everywhere. I love it for these green bracts that are around the petals and it’s early and very long flowering. The final one in the trio is ‘Apricot Beauty’, and it is a beauty. I used to really not love this colour but now it’s one of my favourites and this is a sweep that I planted 15 years ago, in amongst peonies, with another very perennial tulip called ‘Negrita’ and honestly the ‘Apricot Beauty’ has been stunning us every spring now for well over a decade. It’s very much stood the test of time this collection, honestly, I think I put it together, I don’t know, 10 or 15 years ago and I just want to explain how I put it together and it’s often how I put flowers together. First of all, I pick the thing that I totally fall in love with that morning in the garden and it’s the most showy of all of them, and for me it’s ‘White Valley’ this double, wonderful very early tulip. So that’s what I call my ‘bride’, and then I always know what my next colour that I’m looking for is because it’s the same and that’s what I call my ‘bridesmaid’ and that is ‘Purissima’. So I’ve got ‘bride’ and ‘bridesmaid’, and the ‘bridesmaid’ backs up the ‘bride’ and doesn’t compete with her, so you’ve got the same colour but not quite so showy. Then I’ve got what I call my ‘gatecrasher’, which here is a very soft romantic one, which is ‘Apricot Beauty’. It does give you the contrast rather than just adding another white tulip, having this soft apricot tulip, I think, just works absolutely perfectly.

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