Plant Focus

My final tulip offering is ‘Prinses / Princess Irene which is the exotic colour of a sunset. Electric orange and stripes of violet and rust make this one of the most exciting tulips I grew this year. It is long-lasting and contrasts beautifully with a very dark tulip such as ‘Paul Scherer’ or ‘Havran’. They seem to glow in the sun and look fantastic in pots.


Plant Focus

One of the last tulips to show is this lovely slightly scented ‘Bruine Wimpel’ or ‘Malaika’ described as brandy-snap or caramel brown and lilac-pink. Not a brown tulip as such, but like a delicate tea stained silk, the colours are unusual and quite beautiful. And long-lasting too.

I’m  not sure if mine were true to form as they appeared much more orange than I thought they would be, although in the sunlight it is hard to capture their true colours.  Next to my other orange tulips though they definitely had a brownish hue.

Plant Focus

Although I prefer the bronze, copper and almost black tulips the most, I did plant a few pink ones.

This is a late flowering one (supposed to be May) called ‘Greenland‘ – an orchid rose-pink with green stripes. With all the sunshine we have been having, it opened this week!



Tulipmania #2

My favourite combination is this collection at the back of the garden, some are in pots and others were randomly planted in the raised bed where the forget-me-nots do their thing, rampantly marching through the garden and self-seeding everywhere. I pulled out loads of seedlings in the autumn, but they still manage to dominate the garden at this time of year. I do love their pretty blue faces though and they contrast nicely with the tall ‘Orange Emperor’, the coppery orange  ‘Whittallii’ and the rich red, lily-flower ‘Sarah Raven’ tulips. Top right is called ‘National Velvet’ a glossy, red flower and one which appeared yesterday.

Oh, and the little yellow one that sneaked into this collage is a species variety, called ‘Tardis’, a prostrate plant with multiple flowers consisting of yellow petals with white tips. It supposedly naturalises and self-seeds. Planted under the corkscrew hazel (that curly tree that always seems to pop up in my sunsets) I am hoping it goes mad!

Tulipmania #1

Tulips – north-facing

These pots of white/pink striped tulips with the green/purple ones and lipstick red are located at the front of my house which is in a north-facing courtyard where the sun never actually reaches the steps on which the pots stand. It can get a bit blustery in the courtyard, but so far these lovely flowers have withstood the weather and the pink ones have been flowering for a couple of weeks now. I see now that the pink and purple work well together, but perhaps the red ones should move to the back garden. I’ll work on the colour palette for next year!

Plant Focus

I love tulips, they are my favourite flower even though they are quite short-lived. Having not planted any for the past two years I went a bit mad in the autumn and bought bags of bulbs in copper, orange, dark purple, pale pink and deep red. I finally got them planted in December filling every available pot I own plus sticking the remainder in the herb/veg beds. And then in February I noticed them already beginning to peep through the soil.

Last month the white ones at the front of the house opened, and as they age they gradually take on pink stripes, deepening all the time. Combined with them are some dark purple ones which are now beginning to show.

Since the beginning of April the copper and orange ones in the back garden have opened. All thoughts of the money I spent last September have vanished as I look out at the splash of vibrancy among the greenery and smile. Hard to believe that so much pleasure can come from a little brown bulb.