Valentine’s Day – ever thought about where the tulips come from?

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The last lorries were leaving Lambs Flowers’ yard at Pinchbeck on Wednesday, having delivered millions of tulips in time for Valentine’s Day.

Sue Lamb, who explained she had just started ordering bulbs for next year’s campaign, said: “We are happy with Valentine’s but sales until now have been very slow and I think a lot of that has been the impact of the weather. But the quality of the flowers is very good and a bunch of tulips represents very good value.”

Lambs Flowers ordered 10 million bulbs from Holland that will all be grown indoors hydroponically, that is in water harvested from the glasshouse roof, with no chemical input. The bulbs are planted on a spike and go into a rooting room for two to three weeks before going into the glasshouse for a period of time. They are then cropped and put into the cold store where they are de-bulbed and packed.

Sue says: “It’s an intensive process and from the point of view of when a tulip is ready, it is ready. You cannot leave it and have the weekend off.”

This year, half a million tulips in various colours were supplied by Lambs Flowers to Butters, where an extra 100 people were employed last week to make up bouquets of tulips and Colombian and Kenyan red roses to sell to Interflora, Waitrose and Flying Flowers.

Butters group business development manager Jo Pearson said: “The campaign was in full flow on Monday and it’s over in such a short time.”