The tulip season has come two weeks early for the UK’s biggest tulip bulb producer thanks to a mix of warm and wet spring weather.
Interior decorating magazine House Beautiful reported that Belmont Nurseries near King’s Lynn in Norfolk has seen the flowers come through ahead of its Dutch rivals, with farmer Mark Eves saying he was “shocked” at how early the tulips have flowered.
“The weather has really helped, with a pattern of having a warm week, followed by a wet week, throughout the spring,” he said. “We're flowering before Holland.”
Janet and Peter Ward own the business and the pair hire two fields in Norfolk and rotate them on an annual basis. They now grow 37 varieties of tulip and supply over 20 million stems to supermarkets each year.
At the beginning of the 20th Century more than 3,000 acres of tulips were grown in Norfolk and Lincolnshire, according to House Beautiful. However, the industry has been been virtually wiped out in recent years, with farmers turning to more profitable vegetables and cereals.