Six on Saturday – 20 April 2019

Goodness! I know I missed one Six on Saturday but didn’t realise my last SoS was on 23 March. Lots has moved on since then, everything is growing, including weeds and the warm weather we are having this Easter weekend will provide a big shot in the arm, not only to the plants but me too.

This week I’m going to show off my patio plants. The daffodils are over and have been replaced with some fabulous tulips.

1. Left hand side of the patio doors

When I moved here a year ago today, I brought most of my pots with me and positioned them with the light, cool, colours on one side and hot colours on the other. This I continued through the summer and winter. Seems like it will stay like that for the time being. I might mix it up when it comes to summer planting.

2. Tulip ‘Purissima

The ‘Purissima’ have stood tall and proud, even on windy days, it’s almost as though they have steel rods in their stems. Even when almost over, the middle of tulips is always worth a photograph.

3. Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’

As the ‘Purissima’ are starting to die down, the ‘Queen of the Night’ tulips are coming through. It was my intention to have them both flowering at the same time, thinking the contrast of dark purple and white would look really striking but I didn’t get timing quite right.

4. Right hand side of the patio doors

This side of the patio has the hot colours and gets more of a battering from the wind, also it is more frost prone. However, the plants have survived and although, looking at the photo now, the pansies should be with the white and purple display, they still look ok. This display consists of 3 containers of different height.

5. Tulip ‘Sun Lover’ and Tulip ‘Slawa’

‘Sun Lover’ and ‘Slawa’ are new tulips for me. I suppose if you are a tulip purist you might not like ‘Sun Lover’ but this variety is a blaze of colour and looks even better when it’s on its way out. I underplanted them with orange pansies giving a really hot display. The second tulip is ‘Slawa’ which I had to hunt for, is a deep burgundy with an orange tip. I love this tulip and will certainly grow lots more next year.

6. Tulip ‘Rococo’

When I moved here I bought ‘Rococo’ along with me, they flowered prolifically. Although not deliberate I left them in the planter. I wasn’t sure if they would appear again, but this beautiful dark red parrot tulip is struggling masterfully to flower again. Only 5 have appeared and they do look a little fragile but they will flower and I look forward to showing them off on a Six on Saturday in a few weeks.

Please call on The Propagator Blog where you will see lots of Six on Saturday contributions. Details of how to join in are also on his blog.

Parham Gardens on the Last Day of April

On Sunday 30 April, my friend and I dusted off our season ticket and paid a visit to Parham Gardens in Pulborough.  We are lucky that it is only 20 minutes away and makes for an enjoyable afternoon out, without much driving. 


There is a small restaurant called The Big Kitchen at Parham that serves a light lunch of soup, quiche and salad, with some delicious looking cakes.  So we tend to eat first and then wander around the garden.  There was a kitchen issue on Sunday, sadly only sandwiches and cake were on offer, but it didn’t stop it from being busy.  The little cafe just by the main garden entrance was also closed.


In the open entrance one of the building walls was covered with wisteria and a week earlier must have looked wonderful.  Sadly it had been caught by the frost, but those flowers that had avoided the frost looked spectacular.  


As we walked through the gate into the garden,  the purple tulips made a splash of colour, although they were almost over.   I love tulips at this stage, the petals are floppy and more colourful than when they are closed and the traditional tulip shape. 


It was here, it struck us as to the amount of frost damage which hit Parham.  We also wondered whether some of the wilted planting, especially the Buddleia, were also suffering from lack of water.  It hasn’t rained for weeks in our area so all gardens must be very dry, not what is needed during the growing season.  


Last year, May 2016,  I wrote about the tulip trials held at Parham (click here) and it was lovely to see the best of the tulips in flower beds in the walled garden.  Considering all my tulips are over, including the late varieties, it was so good to see these still in bloom. 


I managed to find the names for most of the tulips but the fringed orange one escaped me.  It is similar to my favourite tulip I grew at home this year called ‘Bastia’. 


There is a bed of Alstromeria with the tulips and that too had succumbed to the sudden frost last week.  It will recover but I wonder if this year it will flower as prolifically as it usually does. 

At this stage, my friend checked me in and I was told not to take anymore photos of frost damage, especially if I was going to blog about the garden, because it wasn’t fair, the garden is still beautiful and interesting, which of course it is! 


One very bright, striking border was the one above.   The black and orange tulips contrasted so well against the green.   These varieties are in my notebook for 2018. 


You will have already seen on the first photo of this post the meadow full of camassia.  Such an impressive plant and one I never think to have in my own garden.  This is probably because I first met camassia in this meadow and assume meadows are the place they grow.  There are also a lot of alliums planted here which will be in flower very soon.   


There is always a lull in the garden  between the colourful spring displays leaving a mass of green.  The clever planting of orange Geum breaks up the green until the alliums and peonies open, and they are not far off.


Talking about alliums, my one and only dislike are their leaves which always look so untidy.  I noticed in the Rose Garden (sorry no photos) that some of the alliums had their leaves stripped leaving just the flower stems remaining.  An interesting idea and one I might try.  

A season ticket is really good value if you are going to visit a garden regularly.  Ours cost £42 and weighed against the ticket price of £9 each for the garden only is excellent value, and has more than paid for itself, and you get 10% off plant sales!

Opening times:  Parham is closed Monday, Tuesday and Saturdays unless there are events, see below. 

House | 14:00 – 17:00
Gardens | 12:00 – 17:00
Big Kitchen Restaurant | 12:00 – 17:00
Last Admission | 16:30

Parham Nursery & Garden Shop open to visitors free of charge from 10:30am to 12 noon on standard open days and from 12 noon to 5pm for paying Garden visitors.

Parham always has interesting events, which you can find HERE.