Showing posts from April, 2018

More tulips

I thought that instead of wittering on in my usual fashion, I would just post tulip photographs. These are all either from or in my garden.

Tulips and bins

Two things are guaranteed to irritate me at this time of year: tulips and refuse collections.
How on earth can tulips be irritating, I hear you ask. Well, maybe it's me, or maybe it's my soil, or maybe – having made a huge effort to plant them and label them in an orderly fashion - I've made a mistake somewhere. Whatever, at least one lot of tulips each year come up a totally different colour from the description. So this year, I've compiled a list of the worst offenders and I eagerly await your comments.

Tulipa 'Jenny'
I'm not quite sure why I bought this tulip, because what I desperately need are tulips in deep, moody colours like purple and maroon, not yellow ones. This is what comes of reading bulb catalogues in the autumn, when your garden is full of russet and yellow and orange.
Description: Sarah Raven catalogue says "beautiful golden tulip, feathered with the colours of a sunset".
Actual colour in my garden: a brilliant orange-scarlet.

And they're off!

Ascot racecourse launched its first-ever spring garden show on Friday 13 April (OK, the gala evening was the night before), and I went along with my daughter and my friend Helen, aka The Patient Gardener.
To be honest, we weren't sure what to expect. There didn't seem to be a lot of advance chatter about it on social media, so our hopes were not high, especially as the weather in the UK has been so awful this winter.

So we were pleasantly surprised to find that we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Everything seemed to be well-organised for a start - it was easy to park, we manage to locate the press desk and get our passes without any trouble, and there was a lovely friendly lady looking after the press tent refreshments.
It is sad but true that if you can get the press into your event, and give them tea and cake, you are halfway to a critical success. I am always a pushover for tea and cake, but I genuinely felt this was an event I'd like to visit again.
First, the exhibitors…

Now that April's here ...

Two things struck me when I read my blog the other day. The first was how little I have blogged since last April. The second was the contrast between last April and this April.
Last year at this time I was talking about tulips, and and sitting outside drinking tea in the sunshine, and blossom. This year, there are no tulips yet, hardly any blossom and not a lot of sunshine. I think this winter has been the worst, in many ways, for quite a few years.
I haven't lost many plants, despite two dumpings of snow and endless cold. The main victims were two variegated hebes, which I didn't expect to survive in any case. In my experience, the only reliably hardy hebe here in the Cotswolds is Hebe rakaensis. I also have H. pinguifolia Sutherlandii, which seems to survive all right, but it's in a much more sheltered position. Even H. parviflora angustifolia, which I would normally regard as bomb-proof, has suffered a bit of frost damage.
The other casualties have been terracotta pots …