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


  1. Colline says:

    Your tulips are absolutely beautiful

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Colline, they are starting to colour up nicely now, though I wish they would slow down or there will be none left by May!

  2. lolaWi says:

    the tulips are gorgeous! thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you for visiting 🙂

  3. YES, I love your tulips! I was too lazy/preoccupied in the autumn, but this year…

    1. Heyjude says:

      I wasn’t sure I’d get mine planted as it rained so much in the autumn! But I am glad I did!

  4. Not sure what’s happening but I kept getting the “Oops , that page can’t be found ” message when I tried gaining access to your SOS!? It worked eventually. Fantastic tulips, beautiful colours. I like the saxifrage, I’m not sure where mine has gone this year.

    1. Murtagh's Meadow says:

      Your tulips are tulippy magnificent 🙂

      1. Heyjude says:

        Thank you 😊

  5. Catherine says:

    No apology needed for many photographs of tulips! They are beautiful and your photographs show such stunning displays and varieties. With the exception of the kaufmanniana tulips mine are nowhere near ready to flower, so I will enjoy yours instead.

    The lily-flowering tulips are very graceful. I think most of mine are peony flowering tulips but after seeing yours I think I’ll introduce some lily-flowering varieties for next year.

    Your Thalia is also very lovely…I’m waiting for mine to grow a bit more and bloom. Thank you, I’ve enjoyed this little visit to your garden. 😊

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you for visiting. I like to mix up the tulips from year to year, though I still love the copper ones the best.

  6. Not complaining at all your tulips! Very cheering.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you 😊

  7. Su Leslie says:

    These are lovely Jude. Thank you for sharing them and cheering me up.

    1. Heyjude says:

      You are most welcome Su. And more to come 😊

      1. Su Leslie says:

        Yay. Our clocks went back last night, and it looks like the golden weather is coming to an end.

  8. Chloris says:

    What a glorious tulip selection Jude. Your garden must be giving you so much pleasure. I love tulips too but I wish they would stay around and not dwindle over the years.

  9. Cathy says:

    Lovely tulips – West Point is a stunner, dsepite being yellow!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Even more so when it opened up in the sun!

  10. BeckyB says:

    wow your tulips are way ahead of ours. Glorious show

    1. Heyjude says:

      The bowl in the centre of the garden has had tulips in flower for a couple of weeks! That’s why I need the rest to slow down.

      1. BeckyB says:

        oh my! That is early . . . .

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