Friday 16th April 2021

Plant ident.

This week, it’s all about Tulips. Look at these beauties –

‘Exotic Emperor’ and ‘Orange Emperor’ in all their glory. Early-flowering and perennial. Simply sumptuous.

Species Tulips, such as Tulipa acuminata, are especially exquisite. They are smaller and seemingly more delicate than some of their cultivated cousins – but actually, being wild, they are tough and vigorous. Needing little attention, they will reappear every spring. Plant in full sun. They look great in rockeries or borders – as well as in pots. Feed well after flowering and apply a mulch of organic material to sustain them.

Tulipa acuminata

Tulipa ‘Shogun’

Perennial and multi-stemmed, the pale orange T. ‘Shogun’ is reliably perennial and a good choice for naturalising in grass, where it will multiply. Early to flower – in March/April. Attractive, spear-shaped leaves.

Tulipa sylvestris

This wild Tulip is gorgeous. A bright yellow, lemon-scented flower which appears in early spring. Contrasts beautifully with vivid blue Muscari, or even Myositis. (If you have forgotten what the latter are, shame on you! They are Forget-Me-Nots.)

Tulipa clusiana ‘Cynthia’

A miniature, slender, scented, pale-yellow Tulip, with rose-red outer petals. Naturalises well. A.G.M.

Tulipa saxatilis (Bakeri) ‘Lilac Wonder’

Originally discovered in Crete, a delicious mauve-pink Tulip with a blotch of yellow at the centre. Broad and glossy green leaves. Distinctive and wonderful; will naturalise.

Tulipa ‘Annika’

A new variety of the clusiana Tulip. Salmon-pink petals are edged with pale yellow. A splosh of deep purple marks the centre of each flower. 3 to 5 flowers are produced by each bulb. Bargainous!

Tasks for the week

Charting the development of The Dry Garden

Plants are gradually being moved out of the lower garden around the lawn to make way for a transformation. Here is an artist’s impression of the dream to come – with thanks and respect to Vicky.

And, a (long) list of plants which might be included in the scheme

All plants suited to a dry environment

Before anything else, proper measurements of the site need to be taken. This takes patience, care, a measured approach – and a good, long measuring tape.

And a willing assistant

Hold very tight, please

This work provides the basis for an initial drawing. Provides dimensions/shape/area/. Significant trees and shrubs can be triangulated by measuring angles to them from known points on a fixed baseline. It’s time-consuming, but worthwhile, and will be the first rough draft of the survey for the dry garden.

First measurements completed. Note the Victory Dance.

In time, the plants which are to remain will be added to the initial rough draft (above) in order to create a template on which the design for the new scheme will be drawn.

We started to think about Garden House’s specific requirements and needs for the area. What will be the best way to move around the space? (The flow.) What will the function of different areas be?

Take cuttings of Chrysanthemums

Remove ‘mums’ from the greenhouse; tidy them up; take cuttings. Place these on gentle heat or in a warm, bright place indoors – and they should take. Pot on when the young plants have developed a good root system. All being well, they should be in flower by the end of the summer/ beginning of autumn.

If your boots, coat and hat are colour-coordinated, this will help

Take cuttings of Cotton Lavender

That’s Santolina pinnata subsp. neapolitana ‘Bowles Lemon’ to you. You could take 5 cuttings by the time you get your tongue round that name!

Construct an obelisk in the new herb garden

It will support a Rose. This job is rather a tall order. But still, nothing ventured…

Dig up and divide Chives

With gusto

Re-plant and re-pot

Jobs for the week

Grit around Sweet Peas

Helps keep the Slimy Ones at bay

Pot on Tomato seedlings as they develop true leaves

Label and water. Watch them tenderly.

Create frameworks for espalier or cordon fruits

Done correctly, you could achieve something like this! This is an espaliered Pear, looking just peachy.

Take cuttings of hardy and half-hardy annuals

Free plants. Say no more.

Check the vegetable plot

Before the plot thickens, so to speak.

Add a posh cloche or two.

If your Violas are vying for some attention, do give them some.