Anyway, offering a post about the tulips the RTs (rat-taupiers/water voles, for newbies) didn't eat. This picture is from the Mirror Garden, a very cheap mixture called 'Pastel Mixed'. I nearly flipped when I looked down at them from above about a week ago and only the dark pink was flowering. I swore that I would never buy cheap tulips again because it looked more red than pink ... on closer inspection it proved to be a very dark pink. Now I'm happy because I can see that it works (if not quite as pale as I imagined). Originally, I'd wanted Tulipa 'Queen of the Night' (a really, really persistent tulip, so a good buy), 'China Pink' (ditto, and an elegant shape to boot) and 'White Triumphator' (ditto, ditto). However the RTs and the lack of available 'China Pink' when I came to order in October (late as usual) made me go for a cheaper option. In the end I planted this 'Pastel Mix', 'Queen of the Night' and red and white variegated 'Sorbet'.
We have a little border on the street at the front of the house and there I've put 'Couleur Cardinal', already looking luscious with very glaucous, well-shaped foliage; the richest red flower I can imagine.
The Cardinal is a Sissinghurst dream that I can't seem to shake, but 'Queen of the Night' and 'China Pink' were favoured by the Assistant Curator of Herbaceous and Alpine, Brian Halliwell, when I worked at Kew, for use as spring bedding on the Broad Walk and in front of the Palm House. Obviously they were yanked out and replaced every year. It wasn't until I planted them at home that I realised how perfect they were for any garden.
Now ... I'd really like to know the name of your favourite tulip and why do you love it?