Arundel Castle tulips explode into colourful display

THEY call it the tulip explosion – and certainly, the grounds and gardens of Arundel Castle have burst into life with a second wave of spring colour,

As the daffodils die down, more than 15,000 tulips are bursting into bloom.

A spokesman for the castle said: “The Duchess of Norfolk has ensured her gardening team has pulled out all the stops to create a wonderland of breath-taking colour with tulips of every shade festooning beds and borders in the Collector Earl’s Garden.”

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Head gardener Martin Duncan and his team planted thousands of new bulbs in the autumn and winter – not only tulips, but narcissi, Crown Imperials, alliums, scillas, Dutch irises and fritillarias, to add to the 53,0000 bulbs planted in the previous two years.

Other spring flowers now at their blooming best include the many primroses scattered around the less formal lawns.

But it is the reds, yellows, oranges, purples, pinks and whites of the tulips that dazzle in the walled gardens, the herbaceous borders, the organic kitchen garden, the wildflower garden, and the Collector Earl’s Garden.

Martin said tulips were once highly prized. “Tulips were traded throughout Europe and had become all the rage by the 1630s. Fantastic sums of money were paid for a single bulb, sums that equated to 12 times the annual wage of a carpenter.”