Six on Saturday | Welcome to BST

I make no apologies for the number of tulip photos you will see this week. The first few photos are of tulips grown in pots in previous years that have come back again this year, proving that although tulips prefer a cold spell over winter and a hot baking summer, sometimes you are lucky enough to have them return despite a truly horrendous wet winter.

Last year’s bulbs in the foreground, new ones (red) behind

So I begin with a big welcome to the tulips. I am a little worried that so many of you are flowering right now, it would be nice if you could practice some social distancing and take it in turns to open up. The sunshine that has been with us all week has prompted many of you who are supposed to flower in late April and early May to join in with the early birds. Don’t. Stoppit. Your time will come.

Ballerina, Brown Sugar and Whittallii – first planted October 2016. Ronaldo in the background was planted in 2018.

Those of you who have followed my blogs for a while, including the flower blog which is currently in hibernation, will know all about my love of tulips. I cannot get enough of them, though this year I was seduced by lots of miniature daffodils and narcissi. My colour range is normally dark purples/reds and the orange/copper/bronze shades.

Cairo and Ronaldo – first planted October 2018

I have experimented with Parrots (and hated them) and last year I tried the well-known ‘Belle Epoque’ which is a delightful apricot/pink/coffee-cream confection, but again as a double flower, not really suitable in the windy conditions experienced in my garden. Along with the softer pastel theme I chose ‘Apricot Beauty’ and ‘Apricot Foxx’ – neither of which appealed to me.

Ballerina and Whittallii from 2016
Another look at the 2016 planter

So this year I went for a collection of six different lily-flowering tulips (also known as FlutedTulips) as I like the elegant look of them with their slender flowers and often pointed, recurving petals. ‘Ballerina’ have been a favourite of mine for several years, the colour and the scent being exceptional. I planted them in separate pots so I could mix and match the colours however I wanted.

(1)  Tulipa ‘Lasting Love’ – A deep red tulip with darker tones. If you look this one up then you will find some photos that are much darker than mine. Some looking much more purple. Mine are distinctly red. Maybe they will darken with age? They are very lovely though so I am not too concerned.

(2) Tulipa ‘West Point’ – I have never grown a yellow tulip. Yellow for me is a colour I associate with daffodils in spring. But this was in the collection I bought. This photo is taken with the white Ipheion in the foreground and Tulipa ‘Red Shine’ in the background. Definitely a fluted tulip!

(3) Tulipa ‘Red Shine’ is a glowing ruby-red flower with the lovely elegant lily-flowered shape. It gets its name from the way the petals literally shine when struck by the sun. According to the description by J.Parkers this should have a yellow base. It hasn’t. Edit: seen fully open this afternoon I noticed that it does have a white base! And it really glows in the sunshine.

Edit: Tulip Red Shine has a yellow base. White base probably Pieter de Leur, a common substitution! (Thanks to Matt Long for the information)

(4) Narcissi Tete a Tete Double (Pencrebar).  I bought these bulbs last year but most failed to flower. I am delighted to see more of them appear this year, a little later than the single variety or the white ‘Toto’. I ought to plant them with some of the dark blue Muscari next year to make a more spectacular bowl. This bulb produces large fully double golden yellow flowers in February to March with a fabulous sweet fragrance. Great for containers, borders with its height of 15-20cm, but they do seem to hang their pretty heads.

(5) Narcissus ‘Thalia’ is one of the few daffodils that open out pure white, this is refined and elegant, a greeny-white flower, multi-headed and scented. A well-known classy favourite since 1916, it is also a very good cut flower. I featured this flower a couple of weeks ago in bud, but now it is fully open and looking good in the sunshine. Planted at the bottom of my garden it shines out.

The Raised bed at the bottom of the garden, filled with white Narcissus at the moment – Pueblo, Thalia and Geranium.

(6) Saxifrage arendsii ‘Pixie Rose’ is in my Belfast sink. It was doing really well throughout most of the winter, but eventually succumbed to the wet weather and some of it rotted. I was therefore very happy to see some flowers on it this week. If it continues to grow then it will come indoors next winter!

And finally with the dry weather I have managed to clear the new bed I created last autumn of all the weeds that shot up (buttercups mainly) and spread over a bag of bark chippings. Two plants in pots – a hydrangea and a hellebore – have been planted too, so we’ll see how they fare.

While we are having to stay at home and practice social distancing in these distressing times those of us with gardens are so much more lucky that those without. Sharing them through the Prop’s meme will allow everyone to enjoy the spring flowers and help to keep stress at bay. And those in the southern hemisphere can share their autumn colours.

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls 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.

Take care out there!

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday

65 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    Talking to tulips now, eh, Jude! Some cracking colour here

    1. Heyjude says:

      I always talk to my plants Sue. Doesn’t everyone? Those that misbehave get a stern talking to and then a warning, before being removed and replaced. It is amazing how many suddenly remember what it is they are there for!

      1. Sue says:

        Oh, fantastic!!!

  2. susurrus says:

    My goodness – this is (pauses for word…) beyond words gorgeous. Fantastic. I had no idea there were double N. Tete a Tete daffodils and would never have believed a daffodil could reasonably be mistaken for a rose, as your third picture could. It’s interesting in light of your challenge how my favourite tulip picture is the one with the crossed lines of foliage (Cairo and Ronaldo). I would have thought the lines would detract from the image, but they seem to add something – a feeling.

    1. Heyjude says:

      So glad you are enjoying this post. I wanted to show that sometimes tulips do surprise you in coming back. The narrow foliage is from the irises that were flowering in February. The leaves just keep on growing! And I like how they contrast with the wider tulip leaves.

  3. Gorgeously gorgeously gorgeous!

    1. Heyjude says:

      You like? 😉

        1. Heyjude says:

          Oh good…

  4. Tish Farrell says:

    Am now covetting your Westpoint yellow tulips. Also I’ve had discarded pot-tulips come back with great panache this year, especially where I mulched the bed with wood chippings. I have a clump of ivory ones outside the back door which must have come from bulbs bought 10 years ago. Not as big as the original but very pleasing. Maybe we do need to rethink what we think we know about tulip behaviour 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’m not sure about the yellow ones, but they make a change. The flowers do get smaller each year, but then the bulbs have to grow, which is why the best flowers come from the bigger bulbs you buy and why they are more expensive.

  5. restlessjo says:

    Fabulous! I never used to like pink much but those hot pinks are beautiful 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Red. Jo. They are red. I do have some pink ones somewhere though. I obviously stopped labelling the pots!

      1. restlessjo says:

        That must be why I like them. Love red 🙂 🙂

        1. You also stay well.

  6. I can’t get enough of your tulips (especially the pointed petals) and your colour palette – I stopped growing them (always in pots as I have no garden of my own) as they did well one year and failed the next. Do you dig yours up and replant in November to avoid tulips fire or do the tulips know how much you love them and come back to please you?

    1. Heyjude says:

      I haven’t planted many in the ground, and I won’t dig them up. The ones in pots I usually remove after the leaves have died down and store the larger bulbs to repot in November. A few pots escaped being emptied because the wallflowers on top flowered right through to the autumn! And the 2016 pot has Heuchera on top so I haven’t disturbed that one at all. But I always buy new bulbs for the patio pots each year.

  7. Rita says:

    Awesome! Love them all and interesting names! Love your proposed idea of social distancing for plants to follow 😃

  8. fredgardener says:

    So many lovely flowers… ! Great pictures as always ,Jude

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Fred! I do my best 🙂

  9. Thanks for sharing. I’m missing so much now without garden of my own and this shelter in place.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Happy to share them with you! Stay well 🙂

  10. Will these tulip temptations never end?! Red Shine will have to be added to the list now.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Red Shine is gorgeous – though I think I still like the darker reds more. This year is an experiment with different colours to see what I like. I have some Flaming Spring Green in the raised bed and I am now thinking that I should have planted them with the Red Shine.

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