Tulips from Worthing

Unfortunately my plans to tick a visit to the Amsterdam Tulip fields off my list went awry this year.  I have consoled myself with my tulips from Worthing.   I am more than delighted with the display and the thought I had gone overboard buying bulbs last year has proved me wrong.  You can never buy too many tulip bulbs! 


As well as using containers, I planted bulbs in the open border and these are Sweetheart, Purissima and Yellow King with a few pink Botanical mixed.   They have combined well with the white narcissi Botanical Thalia.


On the side patio most of the containers have tulips left over from last year – the pink are Angelique which are not as good this year.  The new bulbs are lovely red Tulip Kaufmanniana and you can see there is also a white one.   The yellow/white Tulip is Sweetheart and I think is a perfect partner with narcissi. 


 There is one solitary Grand Perfection left over from last year.  I like this one so will make a not to buy more for 2018.   I grew them in 2016 with Ronaldo and the combination was quite striking. 


This interesting tulip is a double fringed variety called Bastia – it isn’t quite open so as I write this on a Sunday morning I can’t show it to its full glory, but if you check out the link you will see what it will look like.  I suspect it’s a tulip equivalent of Marmite, you will love it or hate it. 


I found this year that the tulips took a while to open but once open, the petals fell quite quickly. Perhaps it’s because it’s been really quite warm this last week.   I hope you’ve liked what you see and would be interested in seeing your favourite tulips to give me some ideas for 2018.  

End of Month View – March 2017

Gosh it’s been warm here on the south coast for the last week and really brought everything on.   I checked back a couple of years and my End of Month View March 2015 blog post shows the garden is more advanced this year. 


Compared to most gardens, my garden would be described as ‘tiny’.  I have more by accident than design managed to move away from a square garden that can be seen in total from just one view.   It means that wherever you stand you get a different view, which gives the impression of a larger garden when photographs are taken.  


I removed the raised bed a few months ago and enlarged the bed to sweep around the left side of the garden.  The new bed is full of spring bulbs with the intention to turn it into a cutting garden during summers months.  I try to garden on a budget and can regularly be seen in Wilko browsing the garden section.   Their bulbs might be cheap and often disappointing but I bought 8 dahlia tubers at a £1 each and so far 6 of them have sprouted.   I did buy a packet of 2 Echinacia ‘white swan’ and sadly there was only one very limp plant in the dry dust they pack them in and I’m not sure if anything will come of it, however at £2 I can afford some no shows.

I have a plastic greenhouse, which really is nothing more than a cold frame, but it is full at the moment with sweet peas,  Cosmos, rudbeckia and sweet william.  I ordered cleome, aster, calendula and scabiosa seeds from the lovely Benjamin (and Flash of course!) at Higgledy Garden and when I can move some things out of the greenhouse, I will sow ready for a summer showing.   I ran out of copper tape and read that copper coins work just as well, it will be interesting to see if they work, and certainly will be one way to empty the coppers jug.  By the way, the slug pellets you can see on the bottom shelf are organic and only used as a last resort. 


The north side of the garden has a bed which in the winter is boggy, and in the summer under the shadow of the stone wall gets very little sunshine, so I have to be careful what I grow here.   The pink Astilbe loves it as you can see, along with Alchemilla Mollis.  Recently I put a lot of Levington Organic Manure on this bed to improve and feed it, however, it has been an attraction to the local cats, who have managed to knock off a lot of the Euphorbia ‘Fireglow’ tips and in order to protect the rest of it I have placed a bit of plastic, but I don’t think the Euphorbia going to be as good this year. 

A few months ago I bought a small Tree Peony and after deliberation and advice from gardening followers on Instagram and Twitter as to whether to plant it in a container or in a flower bed, decided on the latter and it seems to have settled into its new home. 

There is a very small corner at the end of the garden which I have left alone – I call it my ‘wild section’, the primroses love it.  A job to go on the ‘to-do-list’ is to clear the ever invasive ivy before it gets a real foothold.  

It is quite exciting to see the number of buds on the peony this year, the first time since I planted it many years ago.  Previous years it’s only produced one or two flowers. 

A couple of years ago I planted a Clematis ‘Josephine’  to wrap its self around the Sambus Nigra (Elder).  I love this because the flowers are a good combination of colour with the new shoots of the Elder.

In 2015 I over pruned the Montana ‘Elizabeth’ and it hardly flowered in 2016 so I left it alone last year and look at it now! In a week or two it will be a picture of pink, fragrant flowers.

The photos above are a part of the garden I often ignore and don’t write about because it is not interesting and tends to be a dump area.  This year it is going to receive most of my attention.   The bed by the house wall, has had ever spreading raspberry bushes.  At the end of autumn 2016, I cut the raspberries right down to the ground and planted lots of spring bulbs which has given it lovely colour.  There is a small gravel patio in front of the shed, and a rather too large patio set donated to me by my youngest daughter.  There is a small path leading around from the side of the house across the front of the gravel area.  At the moment it is full of containers because it is the sunniest part of the garden.   My first job to improve this part of the garden is to dispose of the patio set, opening up the area which feels cluttered.  


The Day Lillies and Agapanthus are going to look really good this year and are filling up the left hand sunny corner.    The garden is still full of bits of chicken wire to protect young plants from animals who have complete disregard for the hard working gardener.   


My final photo is of the lime green Euphorbia adding contrast to the yellow tulips and Alliums which, although you can’t see, has some flower shoots. 

Thank you Helen at Patient Gardener for hosting this invaluable monthly meme.  Please pay her blog a visit and take a look at her lovely interesting garden as well as those of other contributors. 

In a Vase on Monday – A Spring Posy

I think I may have said this before, but it is often only seeing posts by others that I suddenly notice the garden really does have variety of choice for flower arrangements, no matter how small the flowers are.   Harriet Rycroft posted the prettiest posy on Instagram yesterday, which inspired me to venture into the garden with a carefully selected vintage cream jug from the jug shelf and a pair or scissors. 


The cream jug is one of many that I collect as they catch my eye.  Sadly they frequently collect more dust than being used for arrangements, something I must address.   I chose this one in particular because of the pretty soft blue and yellow wash around it. 


Scrambling my way in behind shrubs at the bottom of the garden into the tiny wild bit where lots of primroses grow, I picked just a few.  It must be a throw back but I always feel I am being naughty picking primroses! Am I the only one?  Then I chose a couple of Anemone ‘blanda’ and a stem of Chionodoxa which had whilted slightly.  


I grow a lot of Tête-à-tête daffodils, although I have often come across double headed ones, this is the first quadruple headed daffodil I have come across.  It is great for a posy, filling it at the flower end but not taking up extra room at the stem end. 


Proving I have given thought to my In Vase on Monday posy, to bring the colours together I added a few purple and yellow violas.  I adore violas, they have such sunny happy faces and are great for a hanging basket by the front door.  They always smile and say ‘Welcome Home’ – they do to me anyway!


Thank you Cathy from Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme.  Cathy always has interesting and delightful flower arrangements on In a Vase Monday.   Check it out, this Monday she has a display in colours of the Union Jack. 

Look Up and Smell the Blossom

I’ve been so busy looking downwards, watching and waiting for the daffodils and now the tulips to burst into colour, I have almost missed the wonderful blossom there is is around at the moment. 

The warmth has brought everything out in abundance, we just keep our fingers crossed that the blossom doesn’t get nipped by a late frost.  We are all to aware not to get complacent and caught out by cold nights and should still keep the fleece handy until the end of April.   Although we can’t cover the blossom trees with fleece! 

There is a breathtakingly beautiful blossom tree around the corner from me, on my way to my Mum’s nursing home.  I have no idea what it is but it has a real cotton wool look about it.  It was seeing this today, that spurred me into taking photos so I could write a post showing off blossoms on the 26 March 2017.

The Magnolias are looking particularly splendid this year, and the one above is in the garden of Mum’s home.  I do envy those residents who open their curtains and can see this so close up.   


My neighbours Quince is covered in pretty dark pink blossom.  The little House Sparrows love sitting in this tree and chirp away to their hearts content.   


Growing up against the front garden wall is an old Skimmia.  What endears me to this shrub is the white blossom in Spring together with the red berries that are on it all year round.   It is so good to look at from my lounge window.

In my back garden, there is a large ball of yellow.  I’m sure the forsythia is better this year than it has been for ages.


One of my favourite spring blossoms is the flowering Ribes, despite its pungent cat smell later as the flowers begin to die off. 


As a promise of things to come, the lilac tree is covered in tiny little buds so will give a grand display of lilac blossom before too long.   A few years ago it was heavy with blossom and you could catch its perfume way down the road, so fingers crossed it will deliver this year. 

You Can Never Have Too Many Daffodils

Seeing swathes of yellow daffodils really lifts the heart!  I drive to work on the A24 and it’s wonderful to see so many daffodils on the verges, and as I enter the town, the banks are complete yellow.  I looked at them last week as I crawled along with the local traffic, and it struck me how sad that in another month everything will be green again and we will have to wait until next Spring to drive through yellow corridors. 

I bought a large selection of daffodil/narcissi last autumn and all the back breaking planting of the bulbs has paid dividends.  The garden is full of a various pretty daffs, most of which unfortunately I can’t name. 

The narcissi above I can name, it is called ‘Iced Folly’ and the photo I took this morning in the rain makes it look even more beautiful don’t you think? 

On one of my many trips to the local garden center I came back having bought a large pot of narcissi called ‘Winston Churchill’ with the promise of clusters of creamy white, double flowers,  flecked with orange.  It looks like the label was wrong, because it has produced the above flower – very pretty but definitely not creamy white! 

Right in the middle of the pot, the above flower popped up!  It looks a little like ‘Rip van Winkle’ in shape but not colour.  A friend looked at it and thought it was possibly malformed due to a diseased bulb.  I asked on Twitter and Instagram if anyone could name it but disappoingly had no response so maybe no one knows what it is called and it will remain one of life’s little mysteries. 

To end this short post, above is vase of daffodils I picked today, that had been beaten down by the overnight rain. 

Enjoy Spring!