Heart's Delight tulips are rockery or dwarf tulips, but both names are constraining: dwarf sounds small and these tulips have the most enormous flowers you could imagine relative to the size of the plant, and to limit yourself to planting them tulips only in a rockery would be to miss out on many opportunities to use them elsewhere. Heart's Delight is essentially red - as you would imagine - but it is a heart-stopping, warm and invigorating ruby colour that gradually fades at the edge of each petal into a rosy, pale pink. Each flower has six pointed petals that reflex slightly and form a cup shape when closed but in full sun open to become completely flat and reveal the contrasting pale pink colour of the inner petals. In this way they almost look like water-lilies. The base of the flower is a golden yellow with ruby blotches. The leaves are striped burgundy and green. The overall effect is pretty fantastic for such a low-growing flower. Just one of our range of spring flowering bulbs
This tulip should be an essential ingredient in any spring window boxes, patio pots or balcony boxes, especially if they are in full sun. These appear earlier than almost any other tulip so can be the first to muster that first jolt of spring colour into your garden. It is worth using them to underplant other tulips in a pot so that you have continuous flowers - try Claudia or Yonina. Being super-reliable, re-appearing year after year, they make a great edge to a border, not least because their rather smart foliage acts as ground cover and is wind and weather resistant, and of course they will look enormously decorative in any rockery or gravel garden. For a later and similarly coloured tulip to continue the ruby tulip riff, buy some Greigii Dwarf Tulip Pinocchio bulbs at the same time. Or combine Heart's Delight with Muscari and various Allium bulbs to grow through the foliage and keep colour interest in that part of the border. For more of these delightful tulips, why not buy the whole collection of dwarf bulbs.
Registered in 1952 by the well known bulb grower C G van Tubergen, the name evokes the time of Tulip Mania when people gambled their fortunes speculating on tulip bulbs in pursuit of the most rare, even divine specimens. At that time they truly were people's heart's delight. Kaufmanniana tulips originated from Turkestan and have been bred to capitalise on their ability to open in the sunshine to reveal a differently coloured inner petal.