This weekend saw Glenarm Castle host its ninth annual Tulip festival. I haven't attended this event every year since its inception, but if athletics don't take me out of the jurisdiction over the May bank holiday weekend I do tend to paddle along to see what new varieties and colours are on display.
Each year the borders in the walled garden are planted with in excess of eight thousand five hundred bulbs, all supplied by, "Bloms." Last week's frosts didn't seem to have had any detrimental affect on the displays. The tulips stood rigidly to attention. Each variety had at least one hundred specimens grouped together so that one could truly appreciate their colour and form. I do think that the tulip is one of those flowers which needs numbers and it looks much better in formal borders and beds with straight lines. The amateur gardener, self included, tends not to plant tulips in large enough blocks. The impact of this bulb comes with numbers and subtle or even not so subtle juxtaposition of colour and form.
As usual there were representatives of, "Bloms," in attendance hoping to persuade viewers to place orders for their own 2016 display.