Six On Saturday: The tulips are marching on

Yes I have more tulips and great news: the elusive Ronaldo has appeared and not by zoom from Italy – or maybe he’s in Portugal now. I digress. Here’s what’s lifting the spirits this week


The holy trinity of tulips: Ronaldo, Negrita and Flaming Spring Green as they were intended to display.  I still only have two Ronaldo on show, but I have time, I can wait. 


Speaking of waiting, I plan to have the poshest potato patch in N20. Following a tip from Tea Break Gardener I dug a trench along the edge of this year’s potato patch and planted it with a tulip collection.  The first of four to appear is this lovely red one, ‘Sarah Raven’.  They will be joined by ‘Mariette’, a brilliant pink lily shape, ‘Lasting Love’, triumph group, a pinky red and ‘Ballerina’ lilly flowered, orange of course. 


Elsewhere the tulips have been joined by irises.  These came from a friend when we moved here so have been in the ground for four years and I have an urge to divide them.  That’s going on the jobs to do list.


Yes, more tulips.  Those along the inner edge of the long border have come into flower this week.  This is a mix of ‘Shirley’, ‘Queen of Night’, ‘Barcelona’ and ‘Violet Beauty’.  They’ve also been in the ground for four years and are beginning to show their age.  They flowers are not so large and one or two clumps are thinning out.  I have a dilemma: to lift them all and start again with another combination or to add in new bulbs.  Just don’t expect me to make a decision any time soon.  


The beautiful apple blossom has stolen the show in the sunshine.  Even the apple tree that was moved about a year or two ago is laden with blossom.  The result of some expert pruning by a man I know.  This week the ailing  plum tree was pruned by me. It took hours! I decided that the other plum could have the benefit of an expert’s touch.  When it’s done I’ll share the photos of both trees and you can see if you can tell the difference. 


This is so out of season, but in the north facing, deep, dark corner of my garden the hellebores and anemones have just come into flower.  These brave plants deserve to be featured for overcoming the hostile conditions.  I’d love to hear any recommendations for cold, dark, and I should say dry corners.  I’m looking for ground cover suggestions.  

I’ve been sowing more seed, planting the main crop potatoes and celebrating the appearance of three lupin seedlings that were sown on the 29 February.  I’ve noticed a few dead bodies in the borders and I am pondering on a plan to re-plant a small border that’s a bit of a mish-mash at the moment.  This lockdown is giving me time to daydream and rather dangerously there are opportunities to buy plants on line.  For more news on our lockdown gardens take a look at The Propagator’s site.  He corrals all the links for the SOS meme.  Great job!



19 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: The tulips are marching on

  1. I just mentioned to someone else that tulips are so enviable. I will not grow them because they do not get enough chill here to naturalize. I intend to grow them in the future, and in a cool spot. I do not expect them to do more than bloom like expensive short term annuals; but would be pleased if they survive to bloom for another year, even only half as much as the first. Actually, there are some specie tulips that can survive here, but they are not the sort that I envy so much where winters are cooler.

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    • Tulips are among my favourites. Until recently I just bought garden centre varieties but I am getting a bit choosier lately. I too like species tulips but haven’t really researched into them yet. Once I am on top of this garden and it’s idiosyncracies I planto branch out a bit.

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  2. I grew Sarah Raven a few years ago and I swear they were darker than yours. But I love most tulips (the exception being parrots) and often they are quite different to what you expect. I grow most of mine in containers and pretty much treat them as annuals, though some do come back.

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  3. Impressive tulip displays.
    Hellebore looking good. My last ones in shade are just finishing. My dry shade is filled with hardy geraniums and ferns. Geraniums still flower giving a bit of colour and my ferns are largely evergreen to suppress weeds in hard to get to areas.

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    • When we came here I brought with me some geranium ‘Wargrave Pink’ which seems to have the ability to grow anywhere, but – and I thank Jim in Cornwall for this – I am getting to the point where I want to bring in some new plants that are not so well known to me. It will be a long process I am sure. I’d like to try a few ferns, but I need something small I think.


  4. I’d like to add that I am so enjoying these enforced endless days to be in the garden with no pressure and no need to look at a clock. I’m in my gardening clothes all day every day pootling in and out of the house doing all sorts of little gardening jobs but mainly enjoying being in the garden. Aren’t we so lucky to have our gardens. For the shady dry bed could I put in a vote for the common green ivy, the one that everyone tries to get rid of, cos actually it’s rather nice and surely a great habitat. It thrives everywhere. Am I mad?

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  5. I am encouraged by your lupin seedlings, I have none so far, two batches, sown end of January and some a bit later. I might have cooked them when I accidentally had the bench on 30+ degrees. your spud patch is going to look very well dressed.

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  6. I am up to four lupin seedlings now, but they are so slow. I am wondering if it is not too hot in the gh for them – temps get up to 30+ in the afternoons. But if I get four good plants I will be very happy.


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