Six on Saturday | Spring has Sprung

It has been a mixed week. Sunshine, showers and fog. But no wind! And the vernal equinox! It has been very still in the garden and warm too. Warm enough to encourage some of the tulip bulbs into flower. I hope this doesn’t mean they will be all over by May! Unfortunately a little light weeding caused me to hurt my back. I have suffered over the years with sciatica pain, often caused by doing the most normal of things, this time awkwardly bending to pull out a patch of chickweed! So no gardening for me, but I did manage to go out and take a few photos of the spring garden.

Tulips. I have a huge passion for tulips and each year I like to have a pot or two to welcome the spring. Last year with the severe cold followed by unusual heat early in the year meant that the tulips weren’t as good as normal and didn’t last too long. This year the unusual mild February brought the bulbs on very quickly and I was fearful that the gales last week would destroy them, but so far so good. I try out different ones each year, though these below are ‘Apricot Foxx’, ‘Cairo‘ they seem very similar to ‘Brown Sugar’.

The ‘Orange Emperor’ (left) were planted in the raised bed in 2016 and were splendid in their first year of flowering. Now only a few produce flowers and they are a lot shorter and smaller. I shall stick to buying new bulbs each year and grow them in pots.

In the pots of tulips I have planted various ‘toppers’. Often pansies or primulas, but this year I used other bulbs as well as Wallflowers and Sweet William. The Iris histrioides ‘George’ has already been and gone. Now it is the turn of the Anemone blanda ‘White Splendour’ forcing its way through the rest of the leaves. Next year I shall plant these little beauties on their own.

Looking for something other than bulbs I came across this Epimedium, planted under the willow tree and now sending up graceful spikes of orange and yellow. I am hoping it will spread a bit more under here, but it is certainly taking its time.

Most evident in the garden now are the self-seeded Forget-me-nots. Not always the pretty pale blue colour but sometimes throwing up pink or lilac flowers too. I always pull these out after flowering, but they manage to scatter their seeds throughout the garden!

Under the corkscrew hazel I have several plants that love to live in shade. After dying back over the winter now is the time that they put on new growth and take advantage of the light. Heucheras and Heucherellas and Brunnera live here with a bark mulch to prevent weeds from growing. On the other side of the tree is another Epimedium, but that one is not yet in flower.

The last plant to feature this week is a Tiarella. I was surprised to find it with so many flower buds. This one lives under the Willow tree, on the edge so receives dappled light throughout the summer. It seems very happy here.

I am hoping that the back will have improved by next week as the sun is supposed to shine here and there are more Cornish gardens for me to visit. As always if you want to have a nosy around other gardens where there are bound to be more spring (or autumn) flowers to admire and desire, then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world

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Six on Saturday


  1. A sore back is so debilitating. I hope it is improving, Jude. I love forget-me-nots and used to have heaps of self-sown ones. Last year there were none and I though they must be done, but this year I had one lovely plant pop up. I gathered the dried seeds and scattered them again. Fingers crossed some of them will germinate.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Often forget-me-not seeds will lie dormant for years until the right conditions. You were probably too dry last year and you will find after good rains they will appear again.

      1. That makes sense. The plant which did grow was under my dahlias and I was bucket watering them. Let’s hope I get more next season.

  2. I love your pots of Tulips. The royal blue pots are stunning. Do you lift the bulbs or leave them in the pots to die down?

    1. Heyjude says:

      I leave them in the pots usually, but this year I will use these blue pots for some summer bedding plants so I will lift them if necessary and put into plastic pots to finish dying down.

      1. I try and use plastic pot inserts for all my containers so I can move them around. I love the blue glazed pots, you’ve reminded me I need to buy more. I usually take an assortment of plastic pots when buy terracotta or glazed pots so I know they will fit. It’s amazing how the pots vary. (well they do in Portugal :))

        1. Heyjude says:

          I did that once with an Agapanthus and then couldn’t get the plastic pot out when I needed to re-pot it, ended up having to break the rather lovely glazed pot it was in.

  3. Ali, The Mindful Gardener says:

    So sorry to hear about your back Jude; hope you start to feel better very soon. Your tulips are lovely. Is Apricot Foxx scented?

  4. Nice start to the tulips. The first of my forget me not carpet is flowering. It currently makes it look like there is no room in the border but handfuls will be coming out for cosmos and dahlias. Hope your back feels better.

  5. restlessjo says:

    Apricot Fox is lovely! I know you love your tulips 🙂 🙂 Sorry about the back- thought that might be the cause. 😦 That’s the trouble with Spring- it goes! But hopefully it’ll hang on a while.

  6. BeckyB says:

    I am so sorry to learn of your back pain, horrid. I once suffered enormously from it, but thanks to pilates no problems these days. Hope yours is better soon.

    In the meanwhile must admit a little bit of me is glad you were not pulling weeds all day as now we have all been able to enjoy your glorious signs of spring. Stunning. We could do with your rain here . . .currently strong winds and glorious warm sunshine. Great for walking in but not so good for farmers or birders 😦

  7. Lovely Tiarella and nice to see forget-me-nots in flower. As ever you seem a little ahead of us in Sussex.

  8. Oh take it easy with your back Jude. Lovely coloured tulips.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I will. It is the most disabling pain, but I do have new plants to pot up!

  9. Suzanne says:

    Sorry to hear about your back. Sciatica can be very painful. Your garden is wonderful.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Suzanne. The back is a nuisance, sciatica pain is so debilitating.

      1. Suzanne says:

        I hope you are getting some relief now.

  10. cavershamjj says:

    I have reached the same conclusion as you regarding tulips. So few return I think it’s best to replace each year. Shame. My tiarella is an untidy little heap. I need to inspect for new growth or possibly bin it. Yours looks very nice….

    1. Heyjude says:

      I tend to keep the larger tulip bulbs and put them in pots, I have some coming up this year, but in the ground they are pretty useless.

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