Freshly harvested tulips on the flower truck

Finally it has reached that time of year again when we can enjoy an abundance of soil grown, outdoor flowers. The tulips are here, hooray!

Beginning with Van Eijk and Cassini in bright, uplifting colours we then move to the glamorous lily flowered 'Merlot' in a subtle purple along with 'Apricot Beauty' and the unusual 'Green Parrot'.

At the end of April will be the double, peony-style tulips, 'Mount Tacoma', 'Charming Lady' and 'Angelique', stunning soft colours with large double flowers. And finally, Meg's favourite tulip, 'Menton' a soft pink with an apricot tinge but the largest of all flower heads. If you grown this tulip in the garden, it is a reliable perennial bulb that will come back year after year.

Tulips growing in the field at Roots Family Farm Shop, Worcester, UK.

Tulips grown here in the soil are quite different to the (sometimes) 'cheap and cheerful' supermarket flowers which are usually grown hydroponically, in crates, in heated greenhouses. They are a limited range of single, cup varieties. We choose to grow many different shapes and colours, 'lily-flowered', 'parrots' and 'peony' types from the brightest red and orange to the most subtle pinky apricots.

We choose our bulbs in July/August, plant in October/November and cut in April/May, the natural season for British tulips.

In a vase you can expect at least a week, often two of blooms that continue to grow and develop into an eye-catching display. So, go on, treat yourself this weekend, there's no time to waste! Choose your favourite and celebrate the start of the fresh British flower season.

tulips and artichoke leaves in a stunning display