Spring Bulb Wrap-up 2022

In the autumn of 2021 I purchased new bulbs for pots and replanted some of my older bulbs that I had previously had in containers, allowed to die down in the full sun and then stored in my conservatory for a couple of months – these were mainly narcissus and iris reticulata bulbs. Most of my tulips from previous years were composted as I don’t have space in the garden to plant them.

Garden View, April 23 2022

I thought I would have another attempt at planting species tulips as they are supposed to come back fairly reliably, though the ones I grew in 2017 never really took off let alone reappeared. Wrong place probably. In 2021 I had two varieties planted in my two small barrels which were extremely lovely – Tulip hageri ‘Little Beauty’ and Tulip clusiana ‘Peppermintstick’. Both returned this year though neither lasted for very long.

I also wanted to try anemones again as they have been successful and are also very vibrant.

Ipheion bulbs were bought to replace the ones I transferred to the garden in 2019, never to be seen again discovered in the Cornish hedge, and I fancied some new Muscari bulbs as these do appear each year in the raised bed.

March 14, 2022

And of course I just had to order more tulips from Sarah Raven – she might be more expensive, but her tulips bulbs are always very good. Two new collections and only one repeat flower – Ballerina – which I love anyway.

Tulipa ‘Bastogne’ and ‘Caviar’ April 23, 2022

I read somewhere that to get a decent Allium ‘Sensation’ repeat show you should plant them each year for three years, by which time the year one bulbs will be big enough to re-flower and so on and so on. My only problem was knowing where to plant the bulbs so I didn’t dig up what was already there! And it was so wet in the autumn that getting out to plant anything was such a chore that I ended up stuffing them into a container!

I so loved seeing the Dutch irises last May in Somerset that I wanted to try them too. Some bulbs went into the gravel garden and some in containers. Miraculously the bulbs in the gravel came through as did my Snakehead fritillaries and Camassias! I really wasn’t sure they would.

Snake’s head fritillary, March 18, 2022

Farmer Gracy – £52

  • Tulip sylvestris – species tulips
  • Tulip Persian Pearl – species tulips
  • Tulip Purple Lady
  • Anemone Hollandia
  • Anemone St Brigid
  • Ipheion Alberto Castillo
  • Muscari Night Eyes
  • Muscari Mount Hood

The Muscari all flowered well and for a long time. The anemones suffered from the heat in March and I probably should have taken more care watering them, they did recover and those that flowered were beautiful. The species tulips came through, I was surprised at how tall Sylvestris is and how short Persian Pearl. If I had known then I would have planted them the other way round with the smaller tulips at the front. I’ll see how they perform next year as to whether I can be bothered to dig them up. Tulipa ‘Purple Ladies’ have been brilliant beginning flowering in early April and still going strong at the end of the month. Such a lovely shade of purple too with the pinky-blue overtones and a perfect match to the Aubrieta flowering at the same time.

Sarah Raven Tulips – £44

Something quite odd with this collection. This is one of the containers I planted them in – some ‘Ballerina’ appeared, some ‘Antraciet’ appeared, but what are ‘Green Star’ and those yellow tulips doing there? Now it is possible that the ‘Green Star’ are from a couple of years ago that I had saved, but there is no sign of the very beautiful ‘Request’

The yellow tulips were in fact the earliest ones to flower and I got quite a shock. I mean they are rather nice, but not what I expected or wanted. My colour scheme this year was reds, purples and oranges.

‘Antraciet’ is rather lovely, but also rather floppy. I really need to avoid double tulips.

Garden View – April 9th, 2022
Dutch Yard Collection

Three beautiful colours which work well together, except, the sizes. As you can see ‘Bastogne’ is much taller. If I use these bulbs again then I would plant them in separate pots. I must say that ‘Bastogne’ is the most beautiful red. ‘Caviar’ is very similar to my ‘Purple Ladies’.

Thompson & Morgan – £19

  • Iris ‘Eyecatcher’
  • Dutch Iris ‘Metallic Mixture’

I haven’t got any photos of these yet as they are still to flower. I thought that ‘Eyecatcher’ was an early spring flowering type, but apparently it can flower early to mid-spring. I was about to complain about them, but noticed that some are indeed about to flower.

Hayloft – £47

  • Allium Purple Sensation
  • Narcissus Pheasant’s Eye
  • Muscari Saver Collection – ‘Pink Sunrise’ ‘Latifolium’ ‘Ocean Magic’

The Alliums as I mentioned went into a container and have yet to flower. The same with the Narcissus. I will transplant all of these bulbs into the ground once they have flowered (and I can find room). The Muscari collection was a joy, although ‘Pink Sunrise’ failed to wow me. A bit too pale? I might try and plant this with the pale blue ‘Valerie Finnis’ next year as I think the combination with the latifolium wasn’t quite right.

Some older bulbs returned – narcissi and tulips in the garden beds and Allium cameleon in a container.

Tulip ‘White Triumphator’ in the raised bed with Narcissi ‘Pueblo’, ‘Geranium’, ‘Winston Churchill’ and ‘Thalia. All white.

It has been a wonderful spring garden yet again, thanks to all the containers. Many of the Narcissi and Daffodils from previous years came back, as did crocuses and cyclamen, a few snowdrops and winter aconites and some dwarf irises. Total cost this year was £162 which might seem expensive, but I will have had over two months of continual flowers so just under £3 a day. I think it has been value for money and apart from the tulips many of these will flower again next year.

Garden View – April 22, 2022


  1. So pretty – a rainbow of Joy!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Indeed. And hardly a breeze this year so the tulips have done well. SR refunded me for the mishap which is nice.

  2. kzmcb says:

    Beautiful display. I love those dark tulips.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The very dark ones are Paul Scherer or Queen of Night, both almost black and both very tall!

  3. restlessjo says:

    Money well spent because it gives you colour on your doorstep and something to look forward to. It’s not a precise art, gardening, is it? How they produce the blaze of glory for Chelsea, etc is a source of wonder. But you have some very pretty things, however fleeting. That’s Spring for you, isn’t it? Roll on Summer?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Quite. It would be boring without all the colour and I do love a spring garden. And the cost of eating out has risen so much that the amount would only cover 3-4 lunches! Still got the Alliums and irises to look forward to. 😊

  4. So beautiful. All these glorious blooms must give you so much pleasure.

    1. Heyjude says:

      They do indeed Carol. April is a lovely month.

  5. peggy says:

    Wow, what a variety of tulips. All of them are so lovely.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Peggy. They have been rather lovely this year, though most are going over now. Even though the yellow ones were a mistake they have been the longest flowering!

  6. bushboy says:

    So many wows Jude…..wow just wow ❤❤❤

    1. Heyjude says:


  7. Hubby would like the deep purple tulips, but I was tickled over the aptly named “Mount Hood” muscari.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Dark tulips are a favourite of mine, look great with orange ones.

  8. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Wow, so much colour and variety. Fabulous

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s been a lovely April month this year, so the flowers have lasted well (once I remembered to water those in containers). Usually the wet and the wind make short work of the tulips.

      1. Murtagh's Meadow says:

        I know what you mean 😊

  9. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Oh goodness, what an amazing collection of colour and shapes. It must give you so much pleasure, seeing these beauties in your garden every day. I couldn’t name a favourite, but species tulips are dear to my heart, as I’ve mentioned before. I’ve recently planted some new ones. We have had so much rain (600mm since last November) that I’ll be surprised if the older ones, which are supposed to naturalise, make an appearance this spring.
    PS I hope I haven’t managed to post this more than once.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’m always astonished that any bulbs make it through the winter here as we have a LOT of rain! I hope my new species tulips come back, but they have given me a lot of happiness this year.

  10. What a glorious garden, Jude! Can’t wait to see what you’ll have in summer although it’s hard to beat spring flowers. You must have an enormous area and how do you ever travel if you have to keep up such a large garden?

    1. Heyjude says:

      My garden is very small Janet. Just broken up into different areas and I do like to cram plants in! The bulbs are mostly in containers though. And I do try and avoid any travelling during the spring and summer months.

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