Sunday, May 06, 2007

And then they were gone . . .

Because I plant such a wide range of tulips with differing flowering times I usually have flowers for 5-6 weeks.

Last year I did a school fair the equivalent of next weekend and had 12 different varieties blooming and some still to flower in the cutting garden.

This year with the warm sunny weather they have all flowered in one spectacular whoosh! and are now sold out.

The flower in the photograph is Blue parrot, misnamed really as it is much more purple than blue. It is an unusual colour, a bit like that bruised colour that you get in bearded irises (now that doesn't sound attractive at all and it is in reality gorgeous)

The alliums are beginning to flower to take over from the tulips - I just hope that there isn't too much of a gap.


Liz said...

Most people love alliums.Do you plant new bulbs each year? I have found this year, that some of mine that have been in for a few years are not much bigger than chive flowers!

Jane said...

Liz - I'm taking a guess that you are gardening on heavy soil (as I do) and that you planted the tall purple alliums like purple sensation.

I have a problem with these reducing in size and indeed have one bed - now 3 years old - where they will come up like dark chive flowers by the looks of it.

In contrast, the same type of alliums which I gave to my father to plant for me in a spare piece of ground flower brilliantly and have grown in size, rather than diminished. He gardens on sand. My mum still brings over a hundred or so of these for me in late May.

I have had fewer problems with Allium christophii - a great globe of metallic purple on a relatively short stem. If I were planting it in a border I would nestle it among cat mint to look like spiky balls rolling along.

we are too wet to even consider the giants like Globemaster.

Happy Bank Holiday - coffee now brewed so I am off back to bed,



When I worked in London I sat and wathced the council gardeners rip out all the tulips and hurl them into a vast skip to be replaced with the next lot of planting.

I was sure they just dumped them but was far too shy then to ask if I could have some!! I love parrot head tulips so blousy that they remind me of trollopes with too much makeup !

weirdbunny said...

We have loads of differnet daffodils planted on the slop infront of the house amngost the grass. This year they all seemed to flower at once like your tulips. I was horrified as usually we see all the varieties coming out at different points which is always so exciting every year, as we all argue which variety is our favourite.

DevonLife said...

Beautiful blowsy tulips. Thank you so much for the lavender advice, my spindly friends have been chopped back in their prime! xx

Liz said...

Yes you are right. I have heavy clay soil which seems to be either waterlogged or bone dry and cracking. Have seen some Allium cernuum in a magazine and thought I might give them a go for next year.

Suffolkmum said...

Am loving your blogs Jane. Really enjoyed your one below about the elevtions. I garden in a heavy clay soil too so it was interesting to hear your comments to Liz about the alliums.

Jane said...

Un Peau - I'm sure that they wre throwing them out - tulips have such a bad rebloom rate in Britain that it probably doesn't make economic sense to keep them. My Mum is a great asker for unwanted plants - after a Country Living Fair where I was doing the booth flowers she came away with a carload of narcissi and jasmines being thrown out from the cafe decoration.

Julia - it is a pity - it is also inteseting to see how some plants respond to heat and some to day length. We are all of a muddle. The succession planting is completely to pot.

Devonlife - I'm glad your lavender is still thriving - I am still very impressed that you grew it from seed.

Liz and Suffolk Mum - you can try working in a lot of grit before planting your alliums - I suspect that the problem is them splitting into smaller units and it may be alleviated by having a very very well drained patch of soil. otherwise there are other varieties that do better - I mentioned Christophii - the small alliums, sphaerocephalum (?) work well here.

But then they are not as impressive in the garden!

Thanks for all your lovely comments

Rebecca (sustainable living in rural Ireland) said...

You certainly have a talent with the flowers. I'm still humming and hawing, and getting my head around the planting out of my two varieties of cabbage!!!