What should you be planting now? month by month advice
Chelsea Flower Show, London, England
23rd - 27th May 2017
This is without doubt the world's most prestigious flower Show. Every year during May, the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea are transformed into a plant paradise with the finest examples of horticultural excellence in the world.
Bloms Bulbs are one of only a few remaining family businesses dating back to 1860, and since 1948 the Blom family have exhibited a large collection of different varieties of tulips at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. And in 2016 were awarded their 65th Gold Medal at Chelsea.
Bloms plant over 35,000 tulips bulbs to provide the 30,000 blooms necessary to mount their exhibits. The final selection are chosen between 180 and 200 different varieties, 80% of which are well loved classics such as Angelique and China Pink which regular visitors to the show always expect to find.
Every spring we visit the Dutch growers and trial grounds to make his selection from the new season's novelties, which make up the final 20% of the displays. Ultimately it is the reaction of the customers to the Bloms exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show that decides which varieties go through to next seasons catalogue.
Bloms always have something special at Chelsea and this year displayed, for the first time, some of the broken or reflected tulips much prized from the 15th through to the 19th century. The exhibit featured the traditional English florist tulip Columbine, a true broken tulip, and perhaps the most famous of all English broken tulips, Sam Barlow. The collection also included the old Irish tulip Mrs Keightley, part of an assortment of tulips collected from Irish cottage gardens in the late 1800s. No display of historic tulips would be complete without the inclusion of the dagger-shaped petals of Elegans Rubra, so reminiscent of the Ottoman tulips of the early 1700s. Much of the conservation of these bulbs today is carried out by The Hortus Bulborum; visit their website to find information on adopting a bulb www.hortus-bulborum.nl.