Garden Journal 19.5.21

Tulip ‘Cummins’ down int’ Cotswolds

Then, last autumn, I found myself at Sulgrave Manor where I was challenged with another significant bulb planting project that had the aim of making a colourful start to the 2021 season – an important centenary year for the Manor. Two autumn planting seasons, more boxes of bulbs than I dare to remember, but incredible opportunities nonetheless to learn and play.

Here Onwards

Fast track to 2021 then, and where am I where tulips and their jazzy spring displays are concerned?

Orange Tulip Sunlover flowering in a pot outside Sulgrave Manor
Tulip tarda

Well, the garden at Sulgrave Manor has been flowering now since the end of winter, and has looked fabulous thanks to the serious input of pre and post winter labour from the team. On top of that, when tuning in to Rachel’s Cotswold garden tulip webinar recently, it was a real treat to see many of the tulips I planted in 2019 still flowering strongly in their second season – joined of course by many more beautiful specimens besides.

Rembrandt’ tulips at Sulgrave Manor

I don’t think for those reasons I could now seriously consider moving through any future winter season without knowing that I had at least one pot of tulips waiting in the wings or, in an ideal situation, numerous borders planted deeply with well chosen, top quality bulbs; all ready to brighten the new year. Beyond this, and new onto my ever-growing bucket list of places to visit just has to be Keukenhof – how could I not?!

Reality Check

Mind you, before I get too carried away with a personal tulip mania, I have to bring things down to earth with an a dose of reality gardening; my home containers. Both of the last two images show containers that were due to feature five flowers each of one single tulip variety; ‘Ice Cream’ and Tulip ‘Sensual Touch’. The bulbs were fresh, from a good supplier, and were planted efficiently last autumn.

It takes horticultural flair to restrict a full pot of tulips to one single flower! 😉

All winter I waited patiently, and whilst I feared something was amiss many weeks ago (with a less than average foliage display), all I could do was sit and wait – not literally of course. One of the pots features just three flowers, the other just one. But wow – aren’t they stunners!

Tulip ‘Ice Cream’ – 3 out of 5 isn’t that bad…

I have my suspicions that drainage for the pots just wasn’t good enough to cope with the winter rain, but I live and learn, and I’m not deterred in the slightest from trying again next year as that’s what gardening is all about; living and learning.

I do apologise if I’ve bored you senseless with my tulip ramblings, I can but hope that either I’m preaching to the converted, or in the very least you’ve simply enjoyed a few lovely flower pictures – I do promise that for my next garden journal entry; normal service will be resumed!

Until next time, do enjoy your garden, and be sure to make the most of those late season tulip displays!

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