Friday, December 18, 2015 - 12:00

Thirty gardeners at the Eden Project got down on their hands and knees to create what will be one of the biggest and earliest bursts of colour Britain will see next spring.

Over just ten hours they planted an exotic range of nearly 30,000 bulbs across three beds in the Mediterranean Biome.

Led by Biome supervisor Catherine Cutler, the team worked feverishly to install 26,500 tulips and 2,200 Ranunculus asiaticus, commonly known as Persian Buttercups.

Two years ago one row of Persian Buttercups was planted as a trial in the Biome and the result was so spectacular, next spring they will be the centrepiece.

The team will also be growing 25 different diminutive species of tulips in plant pots, so that visitors can see the original wild tulips.

Catherine said: “It has been a Herculean team effort to plant out the beds in ten hours, all done with some great team spirit.

“I’m most excited about the new tulip variety ‘La Belle Epoque’(a late double), as well as the bicolour ones such as ‘Dream Touch’ and ‘Arabian Mystery’ and ‘Victoria’s Secret’ – a rich velvety plum coloured parrot. For the second year running we’re growing the fantastic ‘Blue Spectacle’ which look just like mauve waterlilies”

Catherine added: “We’ll have an amazing display in the early spring at a time of year when everybody needs an injection of lots of colour to cheer them up after the dark months.

“People really look forward to seeing the tulips and many come back year after year to see them. Next year we will have twice as many tulips as we had last spring.”

The planting team of 30 included apprentices and skilled gardeners from all areas of Eden – recently voted Best UK Leisure Attraction for the fifth year running at the British Travel Awards.