Top ten tulips

1 White Elegance, 35cm. Slim, chaste chalices, coolly seductive. Flowering April/May

2 Texas Gold, 45cm. Parrot type, in glorious citrus tones of lemons and blood oranges. May

3 Gavota, 45cm. Shapely and elegant at every stage, its prunes-and-custard colours bring a warm radiance. April?May

4 Tulipa sylvestris, 25cm. Dainty, sweet-scented and good for naturalising. Woodland tulip, enjoys sun or partial shade. March/April

5 Dordogne, 65cm. Strong, versatile egg-shaped blooms in mutable, sunset colours. May

6 Mariette, 55cm. Refined lily-flowered type on tall, strong stems, wafting sweet fragrance from luminous rosy-pink chalices. Late April/May

7 Rococo, 35cm. Scarlet, crimped and fused with deep plum and grass green, fragrant; short stems. May

8 Muriel, 50cm. A spectacular parrot, frilled taffeta petals. May

9 Black Hero, 60cm. Opens very dark, like small peonies of deepest aubergine, on tallish stems. May

10 Arabian Mystery, 40cm. Feather-edge of silver on silky mauve, classic blooms. April?early May

Tulip suppliers

Avon Bulbs (01460 242 177; Bloms Bulbs (01234 709099; Crocus (0870 787 1413; J. Parker (0161?848 1100;