Tag Archives: Tulip Queen of the Night

In a vase on Monday – perky posy!

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I made this little posy for my lovely neighbour, and, starting with the jewel like tulips, I thought I’d see where they led me.

Firstly T. ‘Queen of the Night’ (and T. Merry go round) and zingy, fresh Spiraea japonica foliage,IMG_4040

then Cerinthe major purpurescens,IMG_4043

and lastly fabulous Erysimum ‘Red Jep’.IMG_4042

Simples!IMG_4045

With thanks to Cathy who hosts all our Monday vases.

End of month view – April 2018

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I feel like I’ve barely been here for weeks!  Firstly a lovely weekend away with my daughter and then a week in Italy has meant this last weekend has been the first I’ve spent on the island in a month.  Goodness know when all this happened, but look!  It’s all happened!

On a slightly more negative note, the dear OH, has occasioned this to happen.  The decking outside the office was becoming increasingly unsafe and, as we had builders in doing other work, he kindly instructed them to take the decking away.  I can’t say I’m exactly thrilled that we’ve lost our terrace just as the weather’s changing, but hopefully we can conclude discussions about its replacement and get cracking.  Hmm.IMG_4010

My absence has meant progress on the Veg Patch has been extremely limited.  There are some broad beans under the cover at the bottom but everything else is way behind – including the weeding.IMG_4005

As previously noted, the Agapanthus in the strawberry bed are threatening to squeeze out the strawberries.  And the Diving Lady is looking increasingly like she needs a machete to find her pool.IMG_4013

In the Swing Beds, after last year’s dismal performance, the tulips have come up trumps.  The larger, blousier ones are T. Pink Impression, with the rather smaller, softer ones ‘Menton’.

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In the Grass Bed the N. ‘Peeping Jennys’ are over and have been replaced N. ‘Lieke’ and T. ‘Green Star’.  Sadly many of the grasses (Stipa tenuissima) do definitely look like they’ve died over the winter.  I’m still deciding whether I’ll replace them or come up with another plan.IMG_4034

In the Mid Century bed I added ‘Night Club’ tulips to the existing ‘Merry go round’ and ‘Queen of the Night’.  These latter two are returning for their third year, which is great as so many tulips really aren’t perennial.IMG_4018IMG_4020

In the Bronze Bed the N. ‘Yazz’ are still blooming but the ‘Jimmy’ tulips seem to have largely disappeared this year.

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The Wisteria is out along the front of the veranda and the scent is heavenly.IMG_4024

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In front of the greenhouse I’m very disappointed with these tulips.  I’ve had the same Narcissus ‘Bellsong’ in these pots for years but have bought various tulips to accompany them.  This year’s ‘Mango Charm’, firstly, don’t look anything like the ones of the same name I bought last year, but also don’t look remotely ‘mango’ and are instead an insipid pink.  The one tulip I do like is the oddity which has turned up in the middle!IMG_4027

Inside the greenhouse is utter chaos.  Although I have moved out some tender plants since this photo was taken, there are still pots and pots getting in the way of seedlings and cuttings.IMG_4028

Even more sadly I still haven’t planted out my winter flowering sweet peas (languishing half dead in the foreground).  I was picking bunches by now last year.  Silly Jen.IMG_4029

In large pots I have various dahlias sprouting, including some new large orange ones to go in the bed outside the greenhouse.  IMG_4030

And to finish a rather more pleasing pot.  This is N. ‘Blushing Lady’ and, would you believe, T. ‘Blushing Lady’.  Clearly nothing goes better with blushing ladies than more blushing ladies!IMG_4031

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardner who hosts our End of Month Views.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – April 2017

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Very late with GBBD but, looking back to March’s End of Month View, spring has suddenly accelerated in the last fortnight and some tulips have come and gone!

There are a few Narcissi still hanging on – Lieke

and Jazz

Even more astonishing are a few Fritallaria meleagris, still flowering in the lawn.

And although some tulips have finished, Tulip Queen of the Night, is still looking mighty fine – what a colour!

And what another colour!  Tulip Jimmy in the Bronze Bed.

Plenty of over wintered Antirrhinums.  I particularly like the first one, A. majus nanum Black Prince, and lovely to see them flowering so early.

Other annuals already flowering Nicotina mutablis – this either self seeded or survived the winter (er, in which case it can’t be an annual!)

and good old Cerinthe major purpurescens.  This one’s a bit mildewed already, but you’ve got to love that astonishing slatey purple flower colour.

Plenty of Pelagoniums too, these two in the greenhouse

but these two outside (and have been all winter).

Also in the greenhouse I’m excited to see this small shrubby plant blooming again.  It hails from Madeira, but I’m not sure of the name.

Abutilon Orange Marion is showing off her crinkled petals

and the Sweet Peas are definitely on their way now.

But to finish a rather bonkers combination which I’m rather chuffed with – not for the fainted hearted:

With thanks to Carol at May Dream Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBDs.

In a vase on Monday – mauving in the right direction?

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It’s been a busy old Easter weekend with a trip to the dump on Friday (!) the mainland on Saturday, plenty of ‘housey’ issues to sort, and a college deadline to draw 10 construction drawings of steps, walls etc which I only started on Sunday (aaargh!) and am still struggling through.

Consequently, and sadly, gardening and blogging seem to have got rather squeezed out.  However, some things are important and, although I’ve taken photos for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day (due on the 15th!) I thought I’d allow myself a blogging minute and instead of catching up with that, I’m catching up with Cathy and all her lovely gang who take part in In a Vase on Monday.

My vase this week is a purple affair of Cerinthe major purpurescens, together with Tulip Queen of the Night.IMG_2340

Further purple is provided by the stalwart Erysimum Bowles Mauve,

and the whole lot lightened up by the pretty Narcissus Lieke.  The vase itself is another from Repeat Repeat (see larger one here).  I persuaded my sister to by this for the OH as a Christmas present (and I bought an even smaller one).  I just love the simple relief pattern.  They do mugs too, but so far I’ve resisted!IMG_2338

With thanks to Cathy who hosts all our vases, and provides a calm, flowery oasis to Mondays.

Right, literally, back to the drawing board!

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – mid May 2016

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There are still a few bulbs clinging on, particularly Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’ (above) and below with ‘Merry go round’IMG_0496

just a few Tulip ‘Jimmy’ and Narcissus ‘Yazz’IMG_0490

Narcissus ‘Goose Green’IMG_0513

and in the Swing Beds, the Tulips ‘Menton’ and ‘Mistress’.IMG_0500

New bulbs emerging include these Gladiolus byzantinus, just coming into bloom in the Lavender Beds but rather more shy elsewhere,

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as well as these Nectoscordum siculum that I’ve said for two years I was going to pull out.IMG_0499

I’ve already got a good showing of Pelargoniums, both outside and in the greenhouseIMG_0517

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and a couple of Clematis.  I love this Montana, which has found its way through the (sadly now empty) chicken hutIMG_0503

but I’m really not convinced about Clematis ‘Josephine’.  What was I thinking?

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Meanwhile, thinking of climbers, my Wisteria is already going over.

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and has showered its purple petals on the succulentsIMG_0493

Also in containers the Matthiola incana has gone mad in the troughs and smells absolutely divine.IMG_0497

Surviving through the winter and already looking better than last year, Cerinthe major purpurescens (such a favourite)IMG_0507

and Daucus carota ‘Black Knight’, grown from seed last year.IMG_0506

And to finish, the first of the roses, Rosa ‘Snow Goose’ on the pergola.IMG_0501

With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.

In a vase on Monday – heaven scent

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Today’s vase not only has more of my lovely ‘Winter Sunshine’ Sweet Peas, but also Matthiola Incana which has just started flowering in the troughs which sit below the raised decking.  You can see them in the background of this photo.IMG_0280

To the two scented plants I added more Cerinthe major purpurescens and TulipQueen of the Night

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I’ve now moved the little jugful onto the kitchen table and it’s doing a very good job of scenting the whole room.  Mmmm.IMG_0282

With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting all our Monday vases.  Why don’t you go and see what everyone else has been picking?

Tulip review 2015

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In common with a number of other bloggers (including Peonies and PosiesMy Hesperides Garden, The Blooming Garden and Owl House Flowers) I thought I’d share a post about this year’s tulips.

And this year, my tulips have been a complete revelation.  Always afraid the bulbs would get eaten, or I’d get stuck with dying foliage for EVER, I’ve tiptoed around tulips, planting a few in pots but very few directly in the flower beds.

Well this year I went for it, planting three varieties in the Swing Beds and have enjoyed them enormously for well over a month.  Above and below, the rather large and blowsy T Pink Impression. Sadly these didn’t last that long due to strong wind in the latter part of April, but boy did they make their mark.IMG_6911

Interestingly, the same variety was used at Arundel Castle in their pots:IMG_7089

To follow on from T Pink Impression I’d planted T Mistress and T Menton.  These were much softer and more delicate in colour and have lasted really well.  The rather more peachy one is Menton.IMG_7018

In the Grass Bed I have T Spring Green returning, which was planted in 2013 and does seem to be quite perennial.IMG_7038

As the new MId Century and Bronze beds weren’t created until this spring, neither had any spring bulbs planted.  However, I did buy a few pots of Prinses Irene to pop into the Bronze Bed.  I didn’t separate the bulbs out when I planted (you can see they look rather ‘clumped’) but what I don’t understand is why they’re so short.  According to Peter Nyssen, where I buy my bulbs, they should be 35cm, but these ones were only about half that and looked rather stunted.  Perhaps the Prinses didn’t like being squashed in a pot?

Anyway, I don’t think I’ll be selecting her again, but I’m very much looking forward to chosing tulips for both new beds for 2016.

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As in previous years I also grew a number of tulips in pots.  Last year I grew the lovely pink, peony flowered T Angelique in the greenhouse pots and absolutely loved it, but this year I thought I’d try something different, and planted T Orange Angelique, together with this lovely Narcissus, N Bellsong.

Although most of the tulips had this beautiful soft peach colour, to be honest some were rather more yellow (see the one at the right hand edge of the photo) and so didn’t work as I’d intended.  Also, they didn’t last nearly as long as I remember the T Angelique lasting, so I don’t think I’ll be growing T Orange Angelique again.  Does anyone have any suggestions of another tulip to pair with this Narcissus?

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In the tin bath by the front steps I grew the very jolly T Merry go round.  I loved the size, shape and colour of this tulip, and it looked so cheerful to come home to.  Unfortunately these didn’t last that long but I think that was down to a lack of water – they bloomed early and caught the lovely April weather and I think the whole bath got hot and dry while we were away on holiday.IMG_6973

Tulips I’ve enjoyed away from my garden include T White Triumphator and T Ballerina, IMG_7138

(I think) T  Mistress, and T Paul Scherer, (not sure about the dark red one)IMG_7107

and T White Triumphator, all at Arundel Castle.IMG_7150

And lastly, Tulip Queen of the Night at Common Farm Flowers.  I just love the colour and the ‘bloom’ on the petals of this tulip.  I’d love to grow these next year but am still considering where to plant them so that they can be seen.  One of the disadvantages of my lovely hedges is that dark blooms don’t tend to show up, and it would be a crime to miss these beauties!2015-04-29 12.26.33

I hope you’ve enjoyed my review, and would love to hear any of your thoughts for tulips for my two new beds – think ‘bronze’ or ‘bruised’ or both!

Flower farming at Common Farm Flowers

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It was a funny week – Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at work in the City, with Wednesday, a joyous interlude spent at Common Farm Flowers in Somerset.

I’ve already blogged about a talk I went to at the Garden Museum by Georgie Newbery here, but this was a whole day, and this time on Georgie’s home turf, Common Farm.   The subject was ‘Flower Farming for Beginners’ and although I don’t see myself chucking in the ‘proper’ job any time soon, within the wonderful group on the course with me, were a number clearly determined to do exactly that, and good luck to them!

And we couldn’t have had a better teacher than Georgie, who combines a wonderful warm personality with such generosity sharing her advice and knowledge.  She was also quite fierce about not losing sight of the business side of things!

The morning was spent with a general introduction and then a tour of the farm, roughly in the order in which the different areas have been brought into cultivation.  The farm covers 20 acres and the beds used for growing flowers have grown in size in line with the business.  The most recent ones above are massive – only about a metre wide but they must have been at least 30 metres long.  Georgie grows over 250 crops, which of course makes her life much more difficult, but in my view makes her arrangements so much more interesting.

At the moment, out in the beds, there are plenty of bulbs (I have to get some Tulip Queen of the Night next year!)2015-04-29 11.14.18

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together with blossom and other tree and shrub branches.

In the polytunnel, her first of four crops of sweet peas, together with many other annuals, were just starting to come in to bud.

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Back inside for a delicious lunch, with wine 2015-04-29 16.47.10

and then in the afternoon, a slightly more formal run through of a number of prepared sheets we were able to take away with us.

The information (and our questions) came thick and fast, and it was fascinating to hear both Georgie’s experiences and everyone else’s plans.  Some people wanted just to grow, to provide flowers for florists wholesale, others wanted to do the floristry too.  With a £2.2Bn cut flower market in this country, Georgie is convinced there is room for all of us – the ones that we all want to squeeze out are the imported flowers, which never smell and only have a long vase life because of the chemicals they’re been treated with.

We didn’t cover floristry in any detail, but there are plenty of other workshops scheduled during the year such as ‘Posy tying’ and ‘DIY Wedding Flowers’ which are tempting to sign up for.  Perhaps we would get to play with her vase collection:2015-04-29 16.47.36

Finally, after tea, we headed back to our budding flower farms around the country, replete with both knowledge and delicious home made flapjacks.

With enormous thanks to Georgie, and everyone at Common Farm for a delightful day, and also to Rosie, a fellow attendee, who very kindly gave me a lift back to the station.

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