Triumphant Tulips

Posted in All posts, Tulips, on

Tulips are my favourite flowers of all. I look forward to them more than any other bloom in the garden. To me tulips are the carnival of spring, a promise of warm climes and longer days to come. Back in October my mum and I decided on the tulip bulbs to order from Sarah Raven together. Mum was instantly drawn to the new Brandy Snap Mix so this was selected for the 2 large dolly tubs we have at either side of our front door. Complementing the large dolly tubs we have medium sized terracotta pots into which was set the Freesia-scented, freshly-squeezed-orange-juice-shaded ‘Ballerina’, mixed with the sultry classic ‘Queen of the Night’ and the bruised plum-pudding-velvet ‘Ronaldo’. This weekend has seen the first flickers of colour from our tulips...

Tulips Ronaldo, Ballerina and Belle Époque

The first to come out from the Brandy Snap Mix is the gorgeously named ‘Belle Epoque’.  This double flowering one is the colour of cappuccinos froth as it sinks into the coffee below. I'm surprisingly taken with it as it goes so well with the darker shades making a really bold, stylist contrast.

Belle Epoque Tulips

Interestingly the ‘Rococo’ parrot tulips are yet to bloom. They are still in bud looking quite sinister like something out of a science fiction horror film where plants suddenly become man eaters but I love them once they colour up. We also have the ‘Orange Favourite’ parrot tulip and Venetian Tulip Collection to look forward too but I am already regretting not planting ‘Blue Parrot’. We had them the year before and with the late spring of 2013 they bloomed with the alliums and looked truly stunning. They will be at the top of the list for this year’s autumn bulb order!

Blue Parrot Tulips

Our lilies are already 2 feet high so they were staked this weekend. Thankfully so far there are  no signs of the beasty lily beetle, but slugs are a constant problem for us. I wish we could have ducks for they are such good grubbers and unlike hens don’t scratch the plants. If you have a large garden a little pair of call ducks, mallards or even the beautiful ornamental mandarins are worth keeping as they make the best slug and snail patrol.

In the absence of drakes and ducks expanding slug deterring wool pellets are seeing the alstroemerias, hemerocallis and delphiniums remain untouched. The delphiniums we are yet to stake but I've staked my grandmother’s peonies using these brilliant, unobtrusive plant rings that I got at Harrogate flower show a few years ago.

Staked Peony

Her tulips this year are a marvellous marzipan, hundreds and thousands mix of shades some tulips in her circle island flower bed are very old and come back year upon year alongside the ever constant colonising muscari.

Mixed Tulips in my grandmothers garden

Our little back garden is a heightening carpet of emergence. Currently the dominating bloom here is the wallflower, that mum buys as bare roots each autumn. It’s always a gamble as the bundles of them are classed as Persian Carpet Mixed so some years you just get yellow ones which are a bit drab without the supporting shades of reds, purples and oranges. It seems we have got a good mixed batch this year to the delight of us and the bumble bees.


Inside, our window ledges are full of sprouting dahlias but I made a mistake in writing the labels in pen rather than pencil! Wishing everyone a wonderful Easter weekend!

Thanks for reading,