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Bulb type and density for tulip lawn / meadow?

johnbaronjohnbaron Posts: 75
edited November 2019 in Plants
I am planning on turning what is left of my lawn that hasn’t already been dug up for a vegetable patch in to a Tulip lawn / meadow. The remaining lawn is about 6x3m so approx 18m2. 

I have two questions and a request for recommendations please. 

1) Do you have to use ‘naturalising’ bulbs? A lot of the more interesting tulip bulbs I’ve seen are not described as naturalising or not perennial. Do I assume that these are will not work in grass and are unlikely to return year after year? 

2) What sort of bulb density should I be looking at? I’ve seen figures of 60 bulbs per m2. Does that seem about right? 

Can anyone recommend a good supplier of bulk tulip bulbs which would be suitable for use in a lawn? 

Thanks in advance. 


  • WilderbeastWilderbeast Posts: 1,415
    Hi johnbaron, so this is something we have wanted to do ourselves and is on the agenda for next year. You definitely need the correct bulbs it's the species type that is required to get repeat flowering, hybrids will only flower strongly for 1 season. Your ground needs to be well drained for tulips as they hate wet feet. Haven't found a supplier yet but they are much less available than hybrids. 
  • Sarah Raven sells Tulip sylvestris, Tulip whittallii and Tulip ‘Little Princess’
    for naturalising, but the website shows them as currently unavailable. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Peter Nyssen stock a number of species tulips suitable for naturalising, but it might be worth contacting them to see if they can do a bulk offer for the numbers you will need. I'm experimenting with some sylvestris myself.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,996
    I'd second P.Nyssen too, although you may find many types are out of stock now.
    They're hard to beat, and they stock a lot of good, well sized bulbs.

    The species tulips are generally smaller than the usual ones we think of when people say 'tulip', although I have some called Fusilier which are quite tall. I prefer them [species] as the usual tulips are quite hard to keep here, even in pots, much as I love them. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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