For four days in April, Dunsborough Park, a romantic idyll in the heart of Surrey, opened its gardens to the public for its Annual Tulip Festival. I popped along on Saturday the 28th, as this was the last opportunity to see the flowers in all their glory.

Annual tulip festival

Despite the dreary April weather the colours and varieties couldn’t help but lift my spirits.

With bright yellow blooms, named Big Smile, I couldn’t help but raise a grin.

Bright Smile

In the Cutting Garden bed after bed contained densely coloured groups of plants. All with their own name tag so that they were easy to identify.

World’s Favourite

Looking at this mass of red petals with yellow tips (above) it was easy to see why this particular tulip was called World’s Favourite.

Orange Emperor

Orange Emperors and Purple Flags added a regal air to the whole proceedings.

Purple Flag

My favourite, however, was the delicate creamy pink of Sorbet. They looked good enough to eat.

Sorbet

In the Dutch Garden perfectly manicured lawns and immaculately clipped Box hedges showed even more  blooms off to perfection.

Path leading to the Dutch garden

The grey overcast sky did not appear to deter enthusiasts. Some even wrapped themselves in blankets to enjoy a cup of tea and home made cake. On this occasion the refreshments were provided by Ronald McDonald House Charities

Perfect parterre

Issued on entry, and armed with a printed description of the gardens and a list of all the tulips, visitors were well informed as they meandered through the individual “rooms”.

Panoramic view of the Dutch Garden

The Dutch Garden “has a spectacular display of tulips in the Spring and is planted with annuals after the tulip bulbs have been removed, though some beds are reserved for peonies.”

Plant Sales

Inspired by the stunning grounds and magnificent display of around seventy different varieties of tulips I stopped on my way home and bought this lovely bunch from Waitrose.

Soft pastel shades of tulips and apple blossom

Coupled with apple blossom, gathered from my own garden, I decorated our dining table with these soft pastel shades to chase away the grey skies.

Dunsborough Park Gardens will open again on specific dates during the summer months.

For more information visit www. dunsboroughpark.com