‘Tulipmania’ returns to Hever Castle

Hever Castle and Gardens will host its second Tulip Celebrations between April and May this year, with 20,000 tulips in bloom in the grounds of Anne Boleyn’s childhood home.

Visitors will be able to take part in a tulip trail, either self-guided or with Hever’s head gardener Neil Miller, and take in the colours and varieties planted in the castle grounds, along the Pompeiian Wall, in the traditional Tudor Garden and the Italian Garden.

The largest of the tulip planting displays will be in the Italian Garden, with thousands of blooms fanning down the length of the gardens towards the Loggia and the lake.

The history of the tulip will also be celebrated this year. Displays and information points in the castle will explore the Elizabethan horticultural boom, when gardens began to expand to include flowers and plants brought from around the globe, including the tulip bulb from Turkey.

Visitors can discover artefacts and paintings in the castle relating to the gardening craze, including a portrait of Margeurite de Valois in the Inner Hall which features tulips on the bodice of her dress.

Head gardener Miller said: “This year we want to share more about the history of the flower and tie it in with the famous residents who lived at Hever Castle itself.

“We know that the tulip was officially introduced into the Tudor gardens of England in 1578, and as ‘Tulipmania’ swept through the Netherlands in the 17th century, its effect was felt in England as tulips became a feature of the plant collector’s garden.

“We want our Tulip Celebrations this year to really thank these early pioneer gardeners, without whom our gardens in the UK would be far less colourful in springtime.”