Ham House and Garden hopes to draw in extra visitors this spring with 'living exhibition' of tulips

Planting at the gardens in Richmond will illustrate 400 years of tulip trends.

Tulips can tell a historical story to visitors. Image: National Trust Images/James Dobson
Tulips can tell a historical story to visitors. Image: National Trust Images/James Dobson

Visitors will see four centuries of planting styles, colours and shapes using more than 1500 bulbs, including varieties that are rarely seen and not commercially available. 

Expected to be in full bloom from mid-April, the displays aim to show how tulips have changed to follow fashion and see how bulb breeders have developed new flower shapes, colours and height.

Ham House and Garden is also providing a downloadable exhibition catalogue. Tulip trails and tulip-related art activities are aimed at family visitors.

More than 10,000 new bulbs have been planted in the garden this year. 

Regular garden history tours provide context and share the stories of the past while the kitchen garden provides produce to our Orangery Café, situated right by our Four Centuries of Tulips.

Hever Castle and Gardens is also introducing a tulip festival this spring, with talks looking at the blooms' importance through history. 

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