07:00 Tuesday 11 May 2021
The tulips have been a revelation this year, not least because of the muddle I got into with them – jotting down what I’d planted where, wrongly, as it turned out! The red Darwins by the arbour bench were apparently mixed up with the Yellow Apeldoorns! It looks as if the red ones had been put in a patch behind the cypress tree, contrasting with a patch of lemon balm and a crop of dandelions, the latter providing nectar for the insects so I shall leave them! The fresh-looking Spring Greens are coming out gradually next to a choisya.
There is a lone orange one, splashed with salmon pink, probably an El Nino that I thought I’d lost, further down the border where the large ‘red satin’ ones mistakenly sold as Apricot Beauty, years ago, are just going over now as are the pale pink Algarves.
The new (to me) purple peony-like double Negritas are looking more and more gorgeous and the the dainty Little Beauty tulips that I’ve had for years are coming out amongst some forget-me-nots at the front of the long border. In the front garden more old favourites that come up every year are the red ones sold in aid of the Civil Service Benevolent Fund, ten originally, but three this year (only two last year so that’s a bonus!) amongst the emerging bluebells.
I still await a yellow tulip that must have been in the ground at the front when we first came here and in the back garden I keep looking out for the sweet little Honky Tonk tulips – also yellow – and which flower in the woodland garden at bluebell time.
I pick any long-stemmed tulips if they are battered down by the weather and enjoy them indoors, cutting the stems regularly because tulips continue to grow after being harvested from the garden! Here are some ‘red satin’ tulips with fatsia leaves.
And we have had a lot of battering weather this week with chilly, but sunny, days and wintry showers and pouring rain. It is not tempting me out into the garden for anything other than a look at the tulips!
I often get muddled between the emerging foliage of jack-by-the-hedge (alliaria petiolata), also known as garlic mustard, with edible leaves, and honesty (lunaria annua) which has beautiful purple flowers followed by mother-of-pearl moonpenny seed pods. Here are both specimens in flower and growing together by the compost bins. I’ve just checked the web and found that you can add the leaves and flowers of honesty to salads as well!
On a washout of a day when the rain stops you going into the garden why not do as my son-in-law did: wait at the window with a camera and see what comes into view and while you are waiting, snap the rain-spattered flowers, in this case, wallflowers and grape hyacinths! These are all his photos taken through our French windows.
A wood pigeon waddled up the path; a male house sparrow perched in the cotoneaster and then had a meal at the feeding station, while the female posed on the edge of a pot in the courtyard; a dunnock came to forage in the potager but the biggest surprise was the goldfinch in the holly tree.